Symbolism Of Parrots In Captain Yossarian's Catch-22

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Parrots. The most colorful birds that can fly anywhere around the world. Parrots and other birds have freedom, but what separates the parrot from the other birds is the sounds the parrot can make. Parrots mimic the sound of the owner. That is why man buys the parrot as a pet. Parrots “...had the right to make all the noise they wished” as long as it pleased its owner (Chopin 1). However, man is just like the parrot. More often than not, the knowledge that simmers within man’s heart and mind is not original; it comes from the peers or the mentors within the environment of influence which is then regurgitated. Like the parrot, man will only utter noises that are pleasing to the ears of society; if a man “squawks” then that man will be considered crazy and may be shunned by society. Yossarian is the parrot that “squawks.” In Catch-22, Captain Yossarian is considered “crazy” because he does not follow protocol of Catch-22, the unofficial rule…show more content…
One may not be accustomed to how he acts or the way he speaks. Yossarian is seen as a crazy man with no logic, but is his question, “Am I supposed to get my ass shot off just because the colonel wants to be a general?” (Heller 123), not logical? Yossarian simply believes that if officers are truly ambitious then they should fight in battle. He no longer wants to fly because “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission” (39). Is it reasonable to die for a colonel? Just by the question alone, the obvious answer is no; however, if others are fighting then one would typically fight along even if the goal is flawed. Conformity is dangerous. When a situation is given, approximately one-third of people conform (McLeod). Throughout the novel, Heller uses Milo, Hungry Joe, and other minor characters to prove how they conform, or absentmindedly follow the officer’s orders, and not carry the same stigma that Yossarian carries--even though their deeds are more
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