Catch-22, written by Joseph Heller, describes Yossarian, a cunning bombardier fighting in the second world war. Currently, he’s stuck in a hospital with several other injured soldiers, oblivious to the war going on just a couple of miles away.
However, most of these men carry self-diagnosed injuries, desperate to escape the horrors of the front lines. I thoroughly enjoyed the character dynamic of the different soldiers, each man conscious of the fact that soon, they will be discharged from the hospital, forced to return back to the war. Each man emotionally takes this fact in their own way. For example, Yossarian and Dunbar, a fellow soldier in the bed next to him, attempts to make most of their time. The two joke around with the nurse, enjoy hot meals, and spark conversation with the other soldiers about their lives back home.
However, some dynamics of this first chapter were confusing, and presented no new advancements towards the story. One of the prominent reasons for this is due to a random chaplain that suddenly appears. Yossarian and this chaplain exchange a awkward conversation with each other, followed with long pauses, and warnings of the patients in the mental hospital nearby. Furthermore, a fatally wounded soldier passes away after a few days in the room with the men. Yossarian takes this opportunity to verbally abuse the man who bunked next to the dead soldier. This conversation is abrupt in the story, and doesn’t reflect Yossarian’s personalty that was seen previously. The first chapter of Catch-22 introduces the character Yossarian, a soldier in the United States Army, and his desperation to escape the brutality of the second world war.