Catch 22 Yossarian's Death Analysis

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It takes a single instant in a person’s life for a memory to be seared into their mind. Any provocative situation – no matter how brief – leaves a stark impression and often immensely influences future events. In Heller’s novel Catch-22, Snowden’s death is one such episode for Yossarian. Though Yossarian had not known Snowden very well, his death has a profound impact on Yossarian’s actions and attitudes in future situations. Snowden’s death is a prominent catalyst in Yossarian’s life. It is after this incident that Yossarian begins to focus on his survival as an individual rather than being an obedient soldier. This is blatantly demonstrated through Yossarian’s choice to roam…show more content…
The most effective use of being naked occurs at Snowden’s funeral. Yossarian calls the tree he is perched upon “the tree of life… and of knowledge of good and evil” which likens him…show more content…
After Snowden passes on, Yossarain becomes even more adamant about not flying. Now every time Yossarian goes into battle, his only mission is solely to “come down alive” instead of hitting his target. All of his energy is put toward giving him a reason to stay out of the air. He does everything from seeking refuge in the hospital, to trying to get Doc Daneeka to proclaim him unfit for flying, and even hunting for the tiniest equipment malfunction. He realizes that there is no clear cut enemy in war: “the enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed.” It occurs to Yossarian that if he is going to pursue his right to life, he will have to worry about Colonel Cathcart trying to kill him as well as the Germans. However, a soldier should not have to be alarmed that his allies are trying to organize his demise. The fact that he is apprehensive serves to expose the flaws in the concept of war we currently hold. Had Snowden’s death not occurred, Yossarain may never come to this
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