Alex S., Jordan S., Ashley L., and Benjamin J.

Synopsis
This book is about a bombardier by the name of John Yossarian. He served with the 256th Squadron of Pianosa. Although the characters and stories are made up, they were based on the author, Joseph Heller's, experience in the Army Air Corps. The book takes place on the island of Pianosa. In reality, this island is too small for the amount of action that Heller writes about. It takes you through Yossarian's experiences as a bombardier trying to live forever or die in the attempt. While you read Catch-22, it is easy to get lost in the book. You feel yourself living the stories with Yossarian. As the number of missions required goes up, the sanity level drops in the camps. Soldiers are struggling to stay alive and some are even willing to go to drastic measures in order to go home. The only problem is the catch. Catch-22 puts a hold on Yossarian's plans for tryin gto go home. Although it is a long read, Heller keeps you entertained as you follow Yossarian and his journey.


Biography of Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was born on May 1, 1923, in Brooklyn, New York. After his father passed when he was five, Heller and his two half-siblings were raised by his mother. His two half-siblings were from his father's first marriage. Lee, his half-brother, because a big role model and father figure to Heller after their father passed. The reason for death playing such a big role in Heller's work, some critics say, can be traced back to the fact that Heller lost his father at such a young age(Pennsylvania Center for the Book). One year, a cousin gave Heller a kid's version of Homer's Iliad(Pennsylvania Center for the Book). After reading it, Heller decided that, when he grew up, he wanted to become a writer. As a teenager, he began writing short stories and still kept down part time jobs. In 1941, he graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School as an honor student(Pennsylvania Center for the Book).

Two years after enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1942, Heller was sent to Corsica. During his tour, he flew 60 missions and was awarded an Air Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation(Pennsylvania Center for the Book). This experience was the guidelines for Heller's book Catch-22. However, his service as a pilot in World War II was not the main story, but it was the base of it. In addition to Catch-22, Heller also wrote six other novels and some screenplays. He was also an English professor at The Pennsylvania State University. At the end of his life, Portrait of an Artist, As an Old Man was published posthumously(Pennsylvania Center for the Book). In 1999, Heller passed away after having a heart attack.

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Time Period of Catch-22
Catch-22 is set during world War II and it follows the fictional 256th squadron. World War II itself took place between 1939 and 1945. Most world countries, including the major powers fought in this war. There were two major battle grounds in the war, the Pacific and the Atlantic. There were two sides fighting the war, the Allied Powers and the Axis Powers. The Allied Powers, which included such nations as the United States, eventually won the war with help from the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war itself caused for the 70 million total casualties, making it the deadliest conflict in human history. The author, Joseph Heller, based the novel off of his own experiences in the war even though the story is fictional.

The novel was first published in 1961 which is roughly 16 years after the end of the war. As previously mentioned, even though it was written after the war it was based on the authors own experiences in the war. Joseph Heller was fortunate enough to survive through the war but it took him several years there after to be able to start writing. The story was written in the post-war demographic period. This was a time known as the baby boom as all the soldiers that were coming home from the war were starting families and having children. During the war all the men between the ages of 18 and 30 were basically over seas fighting. After it ended you had all the surviving men come home back to their families or looking to start a family. Other countries such as Germany experience a similar boom, but since the country was so damaged the boom didn’t start until many years later (About.com Geography).

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Setting of Catch-22
Pianosa was the main setting in teh book. Pianosa is located in teh Mediterranean Sea. Even though it is a real island, the events that ahppened in the book could not happen on teh islent due to it being very small. Pianosa is abotu four square mines big. It is part of Italy's Tuscan Archipelago(Life in Italy). Pianosa in the book was used as a staging ground for bomber flights into France and Germany. This was the same role that Italy played in the World War II. Pianosa played a part in the story as a place thta even though the stuff couldn't really happen on it, the story gives the idea that the events were still possible.

Pianosa is a secluded island in the Mediterranean Sea. This island pays a huge role because it holds all of the crazy people. It separates the crazy people away from the sane people. The crazy people are separated from everyone else. As an example, Yossarian is an insane person who is trapped in Pianosa. he believes that all the other people are trying to kill him ands he is not able to escape. Yossarian is deeply afected by the surroundings of the island being small.


What might be thought of Catch 22
Catch-22, an interesting world war two novel written during the post war time in the prime of the baby boom which later became such a hit. Today it is known as one of the greatest American novels ever written, but what most people don’t know is that when it originally came out it was not that much of success. It was at the time just another war novel and unlike its counterparts did not show the war in glorious gruesome detail. It was humorous which was uncharacteristic for the books coming out of world war two especially considering that it was supposed to be such a glorious and righteous war. Heller’s depiction was anything other than glorious it was comical but yet true and realistic. It was both loved and hated for the same reasons; that it was a sort of mad and crazy but a truly fascinating creation. Other loved how the sensation of reading certain parts brought a sort of light to the faults that were present in leaders and officers. People loved the sense of understanding people but at the same time being completely appalled at their decisions.

Compared to the literature of time as I said above it was in a completely different direction going in a more comical rendition of the war that was to a lot of people actually more realistic than other novels of the time. It was a sort of revolution for the post-modern age but it did not actually change anything until later because it got lost in all of the war novels. Once it came out as a famous American work it was revered and actual gave the people something to laugh about. It brought a sense of humanity to the war and gave it a more colorful character. It was written in a time when the war was still thought to be a good and righteous thing but when the Vietnam War came around it kind of brought a sense of lightness to a dark war and allowed people to understand how crazy people can be and how funny they become because of their craziness. The way it was received definitely alluded to that with its relatively slow start but its later greatness following the Vietnam War. People wanted to see war in a better light but it was hard. Glorious war novels were not able to sate this hunger for new emotions. People wanted to experience happiness when thinking about the war and this novel in its own special way delivered this (The New York Times Catch-22 Article).

Creative Project
For our project, we made a journal for John Yossarian. Trying to make this book truly look as if it went through war, hours were spent on very specific details. Pages were burned, the cover was carved into, and one person wrote to make sure that it looked realistic. Journal entries were based upon the different chapters and pictures were scattered throughout the book.