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Yossarian is a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war, and his efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him.
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.
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie. Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
A comprehensive study guide offering in-depth explanation, essay, and test prep for Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which eponymously coined the term so frequently used today to describe the predicament of being trapped by contradictory rules. As a novel of post-World War II America, Catch-22 is profound in its conception, complex in its artistry, and radical in its message. Moreover, in some colleges it is studied as the modern counterweight to Homer's Iliad. This Bright Notes Study Guide explores the context and history of Heller’s classic work, helping students to thoroughly explore the reasons it has stood the literary test of time. Each Bright Notes Study Guide contains: - Introductions to the Author and the Work - Character Summaries - Plot Guides - Section and Chapter Overviews - Test Essay and Study Q&As The Bright Notes Study Guide series offers an in-depth tour of more than 275 classic works of literature, exploring characters, critical commentary, historical background, plots, and themes. This set of study guides encourages readers to dig deeper in their understanding by including essay questions and answers as well as topics for further research.
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.