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Joseph Heller satirizes among other matters red tape and bureaucracy in his first novel Catch-22 The novel concerns itself with a World War II bombardier named Yossarian who suddenly realizes the danger of his position and tries various means to extricate himself from further missions Yossarian is driven crazy by the Germans who keep shooting at him when he drops bombs on them and by his American superiors who seem less concerned about winning the war than they are about getting promotedHeller spent eight years writing Catch-22 is a former student at three universities--New York Columbia and Oxford--and a former teacher at Pennsylvania State College From 1942 to 1945 he served as a combat bombardier in the Twelfth Air Force and was stationed on the island of Corsica where he flew over 60 combat missions That experience provided the groundwork for this novel Way 120 UsborneThe protagonist and hero of the novel is John Yossarian a captain in the Air Force and a lead bombardier in his squadron but he hates the war During the latter half of World War II Yossarian is stationed with his Air Force squadron on the island of Pianosa near the Italian coast and the Mediterranean Sea Heller The squadron is thrown thoughtlessly into brutal combat situations and bombing runs on which it is more important for them to capture a good aerial photograph of an explosion than to destroy their target Their colonels continually raise the number of missions they are required to fly before being sent home so that no one is ever sent home Hellers satire targets a variety of bureaucrats the military-industrial complex and the business ethic and economic arrangements of American society Humor rising out of the crazy logic of modern warfare hits squarely on the mark Hicks 32 The following passage demonstrates the humor and enlightens the reader about the books title and the major cause of Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried
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