From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
Catch-22 (1961) | Written by: Joseph Heller | Published by: Simon & Schuster
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
What’s good padna? This week we gettin fu**ed by the Man with Catch- 22 by Joseph Heller.
It’s World War II, playa, and some soulja boy named Yosarrian just set up shop on the island of Pianosa. Yosarrian and his crew always cruisin round in their G-Fo droppin BOMBS on suckas. But Yossarian don’t give a sh** about the war, this cat just tryin to come out the other side with his nuts in tact.
Since a bunch of crooked-ass bureaucrats running the show, makin it home ain’t gonna be easy. Yo- money was s’posed to only fly a certain number of missions before he can head back to his hood. But every time he hits the mark, some ignant-ass colonel named Cathcart re-ups the number.
Turns out there’s only one way for Yosarrian and his boys to stay off their bomb-droppin grind: they gotta be whacked out in the head. So if you crazy, all you gotta do is say so and the military will send yo ass home. Ain’t no thang, right?
Well there’s a catch, son- an unwritten law called Catch-22. If you straight enough to be like “Say, brah. Im crazy. Get me outta here,” then you ain’t ACTUALLY crazy. To these shysti hustlas, just tryin to save yo own ass is proof enough that ain’t nothin wrong with yo mind. So no matter what, these soldiers gotta keep marchin.
By the end, Yo-seezy seen da war put all his homies six feet deep- Clevinger, Kid Sampson, McWatt, Dunbar, Nately- even his roommate Orr who crashing his planes on the reg.
But it ain’t til he sees his boy Snowden get iced that everything changes for Yo-yo. After watchin snow-baby’s guts get splattered all up on his threadz, he realize that life is way more important than some bunk-ass war.
Well turns out Yo-dawg’s roomie Orr flowin the same rhyme. Erryone thought he was dead, but on the real, this fool actually PRACTICED crashing his plane, and now he kickin back up in Sweden. Gangsta!
So Yosarrian be all like “Man. fu**. This. So long suckas. Sweden it is!” Yosarrian lives, B!
Harper Lee once called Catch-22 “the only war novel [she’d] ever read that makes any sense.” Now you might be wonderin “What the hell was that girl smokin?” This book confusing as sh**! Everything’s outta order, the same unrealistic jive keeps happening over and over, and the hell is up with all these fancy words?
Well this literary OG wouldn’t have it any other way. Catch-22 is absurd and confusing cuz we live in an absurd and confusing world.
So if you feel like you gettin burned just tryin to make sense of this mess, you feelin just like our man Yossarian.
This cat gotta throw down with shysti capitalists, bent-ass bureaucrats, stuck-up psychiatrists, and people he don’t even know who wanna bust a cap in his ass! Fool stuck in a crooked system that got him by the balls in the worst way:
Sparky reads quote: “Catch-22 did not exist, he was positive of that, but it made no difference. What did matter was that everyone thought it existed, and that was much worse, for there was no object or text to ridicule or refute, to accuse, criticize, attack, amend, hate, revile, spit at, rip to shreds, trample upon or burn up.” (409)
Life can wreck even the hardest playas on the block, and nothin does it faster than havin to take on a faceless evil. How’s a brotha gonna step to something he can’t even see?
Yeah this book got a assload of villains- but none of em badder than Death itself. When Yo-sizzle peeps Snowden get straight LIT UP, he realize he done with all this flag waving nonsense and just gotta get his ass outta there STAT.
Sparky reads quote: “he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s big secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret.” (440)
Life is fragile as fu**, and it goes by like (Sparky snaps) that. So live it up, padna.
And there ain’t no better way to start livin large than sportin my swag and hittin dat subscribe button. SPARKY SWEETS LIVES. Peace!