catch22_cover.jpgCatch-22 is both historical and satirical. It is set during World War II and satirizes the military. The plot is presented in a non-chronological manner which reflects on the lack of true logic present in the book. In Catch-22 by American novelist Joseph Heller, Yossarian is different from the other characters. Yossarian’s name, logic, and perspective are all unique.
The name Yossarian is unique in itself. Yossarian claims he is Assyrian however his name is Armenian. John is Yossarian’s first name which is not revealed until late in the book. The other characters’ names are not hidden from the reader as Yossarian’s is. The name Yossarian is used for the reason that it differs from the rest of the names and therefore, emphasizes his detachment from the traditional mainstream military.
Yossarian is convinced that everyone is trying to kill him and takes the war personally. He is the only character that displays the paranoid delusion that everyone is trying the kill him personally. Yossarian also believes that the enemy was anyone who was going to him killed no matter what side they were on. He is focused on self-preservation however, the death of other members of his squadron traumatize him and causes internal conflict. Yossarian values life highly in a society where life has loosed its importance. For this reason Yossarian is the only character in the book that can be considered a hero.