Mrs. Schuet's AP Literature Class of '16 discussion

Catch-22, Joseph Heller

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message 1: by Anjuli (last edited Dec 09, 2015 10:16AM) (new)

Anjuli Corzine | 5 comments I chose this book because I have seen and heard many references to it in pop culture and everyday life but I didn't fully understand them because I had never read the book. I am on page 20, and so far the book has discussed a soldier who was placed in the hospital for an internal problem that he is not even sure is real. He meets many other soldiers in the hospital, but is released back to his camp to do more missions. I like it, but it is more dialogue than I am used to in a classic novel.

message 2: by Sruthi (new)

Sruthi | 4 comments I'm thinking of reading Catch 22 sometime as well because of the pop culture references. Why doesn't the soldier think his internal problem is real?

message 3: by Dilan (new)

Dilan | 3 comments I chose this book because it was in my shelf for future reading. This book was actually recommended by my sister who usually does not read. It must be a good book if my sister had read it before, or it might be bad because my sister does not read and does not know what is good and bad.

The novel introduces a character by the name Yossarian who avoids participating in the war by being is "injured". A Texan is admitted to the hospital and expresses his patriotism to the whole hospital. (16)

message 4: by Oded (new)

Oded (odedtzori) | 4 comments I chose this book because it was recommended to me by a friend. He says that the book will be interesting to me because of the paradox and the outside the box style. I am still reading the first chapter. So far I have read about Yossarian's activities in the hospital and just started reading about a Texan who is extremely patriotic and just got put in the hospital. The book seems interesting so far because I am hearing the thoughts of people, but not through their minds.

message 5: by Allegra (new)

Allegra Koch | 5 comments Does the colloquial language take away from the depth of the novel?

message 6: by Anjuli (new)

Anjuli Corzine | 5 comments It mentions in chapter one that the colonel has something wrong with him, but since the doctors aren't sure exactly what it is, they repeatedly run tests on him. This process seems to be messing up his internal organs. I think that this is commentary on society being obsessed with physical illness, and ignoring mental illness unless there are physical symptoms. It's very likely that the colonel is mentally ill, but the doctors are dead set on finding a physical cause for his distress, which in the end just hurts him even more.

message 7: by Anjuli (new)

Anjuli Corzine | 5 comments A connection I made in chapter one is "the soldier in white" to the Schrodinger's cat problem. While many in the ward accuse the Texan of killing the soldier, they were unsure if there even was a live person in the case in the first place. Before the nurse took its temperature, it had an equal chance of either being alive or dead. By taking the temperature, she assured his fate as dead. According to this logic, is it fair to say that the nurse actually killed the soldier in white? As a side note, what was the point of including this character in the first place?

message 8: by Dilan (new)

Dilan | 3 comments I do not believe that the nurse actually killed the soldier in white because all she does is a routine check. According to this logic, this would mean that the nurse is killing everyone by taking their temperature and slowly waiting for them to all die.
Connecting to the Schrodinger's cat problem, I believe that the "soldier in white" was included in order to show that there are different perspectives for certain things. In this case, some people have optimistic views saying that the soldier was alive, while others have pessimistic views saying that he was dead from the start. That is just my opinion for including that character.

message 9: by Dilan (new)

Dilan | 3 comments One thing I've noticed is the author's style of writing. It seems contradicting to what Yossarian thinks. The author says the word, "monotonous", many times in order to show a sense of boredom from the characters. By referring to Yossarian as having a monotonous life, this shows that his life is going in circles and is repetitive most of the time. In what ways can Yossarian break off this circular track and change his lifestyle? After the war, is it possible to forget it for those who participate in it? Or will they all live their life reliving the past?

message 10: by Ian (last edited Dec 10, 2015 02:19PM) (new)

Ian | 4 comments Allegra wrote: "Does the colloquial language take away from the depth of the novel?"

The language and syntax was the focus of the novel for me. The characters are constantly haunted by looming death, and the narrator has to describe some of the most awful horrors of war. Yet, the characters are very humorous and casual in their speech, and the narrator is direct and nonchalant. This juxtaposition is the crux of the book, it solidifies the author's perspective that war is insanity.

message 11: by Oded (new)

Oded (odedtzori) | 4 comments A big thing that I was told before I started reading this book is that there will be a lot of conceptual, questioning ideas throughout the novel. The issue of whether the nurse killed the soldier in white presents exactly that. Both sides are presented, if the nurse did not check the soldier's temperature, for all we know, the soldier could have been alive. Since she checked, she took that unknown into a fact, thus, killing him. On the other hand, the soldier would have already been dead, taking away all possibility that the nurse killed him by checking the temperature. This thought process is exactly what was promised to me before starting to read this novel, and will hopefully continue.

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