Thursday, November 18, 2010

seventy-seven

Catch-22

Once again, in reading a classic, I can't really add anything worthwhile to the discussion of Catch-22. I enjoyed reading it on the whole, and appreciated its contradictory absurdist use of symbols to explain some of the problems of modern life. I liked how each character was a different symbol of absurdity: status, economics, greed, leadership, opportunity, violence, sex. I did think, however, that it could have been done in 100 less pages. If you want to know what Catch-22 is, here's the distillation:

"Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them."

Also, not that it necessarily was meant to be, but this is certainly not a feminist book. The women are there to serve functions for the men. It's set on an Army base, so it's somewhat predictable, but nonetheless disappointing.

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