Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


James Tackach, Ph.D.


Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 (1961) depicts a world entrenched in bureaucracy, paperwork, and official documents. During the course of the novel, it becomes more and more apparent that, in the world of Catch-22, what is written down on paper carries more weight than what actually transpires. For Yossarian and his comrades, reality is dictated and decided by paperwork, and therefore it can be changed or altered at a moment’s notice. However, while the world of Catch-22 may appear to be absurd, it eerily mirrors social processes that are all too common: mistaking the written record for unequivocal fact, and replacing objective reality with a malleable paper reality.