I am still reading Catch-22, at a rather slow pace. I hope you are still enjoying the book.
I just found this lesson plan for the book at Discovery Education.
[Posted as +La Vergne Lestermeringolo Thatch
What do you think of the discussion questions?Discussion Questions from the Lesson Plan
1. The Vietnam War made Catch-22 an antiwar classic. How was the Vietnam War a "catch-22" situation?
2. Some critics have said that Yossarian is one of the first characters in modern American literature to fight against a powerful system. Imagine yourself in his position. Would you make the same choices he did? Why or why not? Does it make sense to fight powerful systems like the military? Can you think of any causes that might be worth fighting for?
3. According to Joseph Heller, "The only freedom we really have is the freedom to say no." Explain what you think he means by this statement; then debate its philosophical merits. Do you agree or disagree with him? Support your opinion with examples from historical and personal experience. For example, how does the above statement compare with the "just say no" catchphrase from the war against drugs?
4. Analyze the impact of Heller's choice of a satiric writing style on his novel. Would the book have been as effective if it had been written in a more serious manner? How might readers' responses to the novel have been different? Would the book have the same meaning if the style were different?
5. Would Catch-22 have been as popular if it had been published during World War II, rather than almost two decades after it ended? How might readers' reactions to it have differed? Would it still have become a classic of American literature? Discuss how the time in which a book is published might or might not affect its success.
6. Catch-22 is strongly critical of many societal institutions, including medicine, business, religion, government, and the military. Are Heller's criticisms still valid? How do your experiences with large societal institutions—such as the public school system, your church, your community—compare with those in Catch-22 ?
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