Presents the contemporary classic depicting the struggles of a U.S. airman attempting to survive the lunacy and depravity of a World War II base
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Discusses the writing of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Includes critical essays on the work and a brief biography of the author.
Presents a collection of essays analyzing Heller's Catch-22, including a chronology of his works and life.
Comic novelist and critic, Paul McDonald, provides an accessible, revealing guide to Joseph Heller’s seminal anti-war novel, Catch-22. In order to help readers deepen their understanding of this perplexing comedy, McDonald succinctly contextualises it both in relation to the author’s life, and key developments in modern American literature. The book offers a thorough summary and analysis of the plot of Catch-22, addresses important characters such as Colonel Cathcart, Lieutenant Scheisskopf, Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, and Doc Daneeka, and explains the various ways in which Yossarian’s hilarious predicament has been interpreted. Among other things it considers Yossarian’s status as a mythic hero, an individualist hero, and a postmodern hero, assessing his relevance to contemporary America, and his re-emergence in the sequel to Catch-22, Closing Time, published in 1994. It also offers a descriptive bibliography of important secondary sources, and links to useful online texts.
By showing that Joseph Heller was heavily influenced by the New Criticism and myth criticism that he studied in graduate school, this book discloses that <I>Catch-22 is a faithful and inclusive retelling of the ancient epic of Gilgamesh, much as Joyce's <I>Ulysses famously recapitulates Homer's <I>Odyssey. This book shows that what previous critics have understood to be characteristics of the absurdist and Black Humor influence are derived from Heller's faithfulness to the Babylonian text itself. The study details Heller's use of a mystical and Jungian framework to portray the individuation of a modern hero through his struggles with the mythic and archetypal forces of irrationalism as they are manifested in modern civilization. Revealing that Heller's conception is religious and mystical, this book explores Heller's use of T. S. Eliot's mythic method and the experimental techniques of Joyce's <I>Finnegans Wake. The themes of race, homosexuality, individuation, sado-masochism, and modernity are dealt with at length.
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. CliffsNotes on Catch-22 takes you into this unforgettable novel that is full of satire, exaggeration, grotesque and comic caricatures, and telling allusions. Heller’s main characters are two Jewish boys from Brooklyn at the end of World War II – one from an orthodox family, one from a secular background. The growing friendship between the boys reflects the tensions within American society. With this study guide, you’ll be able to follow the unique structure of the novel and supplement your reading with insights into the life and background of author Joseph Heller. Other features that help you study include Life and background of the author Character analyses of major players A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters Critical essays Review questions Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
The perfect companion to Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," this study guide contains a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, a summary of the plot, and a guide to major characters and themes. BookCap Study Guides do not contain text from the actual book, and are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book.