A cult classic, Catch-22 is also considered a classic
in American literature. It tells the story of Captain
John Yossarian, bombardier in the U.S. Army Air
Force in the Second World War. Yossarian sees
himself as one powerless man in an overpoweringly
Heller himself was a bombardier for the U.S. Army in
the Second World War, flying in combat over Italy.
He flew 60 missions before he was discharged as a
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his own letter protesting that he is really alive. And
so Doc Daneeka realizes that he is actually dead; in a kind of extreme version
of Mudd's case, death is no longer a matter of biology, it is simply a matter of
paperwork. The soldiers' powerlessness over their own lives extends even to
their own deaths, which can be enforced upon them living, not only by a gun
but by the fall of a stamp.