Catch 22 Character Analysis

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Yossarian is not a classic hero because, even though he performs heroic actions such as standing for the weak, having a bigger enemy, and overcoming a problem that tests his morals, ultimately he does not fit the stereotype of a hero, thus changing our perceptions of heroism. Catch-22 tells a story of an American bombardier who is at war. Yossarian isn’t the military man that goes to war and returns a war hero. Instead, he wants to get out of it because he hates the idea of war and people trying to kill him. He does anything to avoid his missions because he is simply scared of them. Catch-22 has a world where its commanding officers, missions, and even its laws are Yossarian’s enemies. “People go to fight wars because they don't understand…show more content…
As the Webster’s New World Dictionary states, an anti-hero is the protagonist of a novel who lacks the virtues of a traditional hero. (#27) Instead of showing the good and the bad by using two different people in a hero-villain format, the anti-hero combines the two extremes into one character to show a more realistic human nature. “Yossarian is a morally and physically weak character, the epitome of an anti-hero.” (Sanders, #1) Most of Yossarian’s actions reflect that he disagrees with the term heroism because they are simply the opposite of what a hero…show more content…
Heroism is defined as the qualities of being a hero and its synonyms are: bravery, daring, courage, boldness, gallantry, fearlessness, and valor. Philip Zimbardo said in his article, “We need a Hero”, that since heroism is a social concept, it could be explained, taught, and molded though education and practice. Zimbardo believes that heroism is a universal attribute to human nature rather than being exclusive to few special individuals. (#25) With this idea, heroism can’t be limited to only those heroes like Hercules, Odysseus, Superman, and the traditional heroes that save the day. As Emily Sanders said in her essay, “No End in Sight: The Anti-Hero and the Futility of War in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22”, Yossarian’s character allows the author to create a satirical work to expose problems in society, especially those around humanity’s response to war. Through him, Heller satirizes the commonly held view of a hero and illustrates the futility of war. (#1) Yossarian does change throughout the novel and shows us his own type of heroic
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