Catch-22 Blog #3 — Insight on Excerpt

Progress: Finished this long book

“ ‘Goodbye, Yossarian,’ the chaplain called. ‘And good luck. I’ll stay here and persevere, and we’ll meet again when the fighting stops.’ ‘So long, Chaplain. Thanks, Danby.’ ‘How do you feel, Yossarian?’ ‘Fine. No, I’m very frightened.’ ‘That’s good,’ said Major Danby. ‘It proves you’re still alive. It won’t be fun.’ Yossarian started out. ‘Yes it will.’ ‘I mean it, Yossarian. You’ll have to keep on your toes every minute of every day. They’ll bend heaven and earth to catch you.’ ‘I’ll keep on my toes every minute.’ ‘You’ll have to jump.’ ‘I’ll jump.’ ‘Jump!’ Major Danby cried. Yossarian jumped. Nately’s whore was hiding just outside the door. The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off.” (Last page and scene of the Book where Yossarian is escaping to Sweden.)

Catch-22 was quite a novel and I feel more mature having read it. Even though it compares somewhat to George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, I feel like it left me with a different perspective in life toward life. I always knew that it was good to be out of your comfort zone because life is all about growth: growing as a person means learning about the world and interactions that happen around you. This last paragraph or so summarizes that in idea very well in my opinion. It shows how something better awaits if you have the courage to “jump” into a position where you’ll be exposed to what you want and have a better chance of achieving it. The opportunity is there, but we just have to have the courage to pursue it. I don’t want this to turn into a life lesson rant, but when Major Danby said,” It proves you’re still alive…” I immediately thought about how these type of moments make ME feel alive! Joseph Heller is telling the reading that we should all take on adventures like Yossarian’s (without the war stuff of course) and take chances at failure even because they will prove that you are alive even if you fail because you grow from the experience.

Maybe I’m over analyzing, but the beginning of the dialogue also reflects life in my opinion because “when the fighting stops” is when we die because every day is a struggle to live even if you don’t think of it that way. Danby is saying “see you on the other side” to Yossarian right now and I kind of think that is sad but it is reality.

Overall, I would like to say that it has been a great experience reading this book and it is highly recommendable if only for its humor alone. The characters are very vibrant and the absurdity of Catch-22 is what makes this struggle of the soldiers feel real enough to have favorites and characters you hate.


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