In his 1961 piece, Joseph Heller in a subtle way brings an exclusive attention of the readers to the experiences of the world wars to the soldiers. Heller uses the Second World War and John Yossarian, the protagonist as case studies in this milieu. The story transmitted in a third person narrative illuminates the experiences that make Yossarian afraid to continue serving as a soldier.
It remains an enlightening piece that divulges the inner spirit of a soldier when masked with fear, more so having seen his or her colleagues die dreadfully. As the narration commences, the story is told within the hospital buildings where Yossarian is hospitalized. The doctors examining him are puzzled with his condition, which means that he would be pretending. They make a determination that if he would be jaundiced, they would treat him, but if not, they discharge him.
Explicitly, Yossarian is faking sickness, but in an intelligent manner. It seems that in his mind, the hospital is safe to take solace since liver problems take time to treat. Nurse Duckett signs a note to give him some pills, but interestingly, the liver pain had healed, yet no doctor realized it.
Yossarian is the center of the story and everything is deflected from his perspective. Innately, he is determined to remain safe at all times. However, the story is not told in a chronological order, and therefore, the readers must collect all the jaunts together to comprehend what it all implies. It uses flashbacks and presages to depict what happens. For instance, Yossarian is troubled with the memories of Snowden case where a soldier was killed awfully, and as a result, he has lost the aspiration to continue participating in the war.
He is more perturbed and feels weak, something that happens with many soldiers on the battlefield. The same applies to other characters such as Dunbar who similarly stay with him in the ward. He wants to stay longer in the hospital by engaging in various boring activities to pass time. Indeed, the hospital setting has become a better place for them. Yossarian has made up his mind to remain in the hospital for the remaining time of the war, and writes a letter to different people known to him, but never tells them the reasons.
Having realized that being insane can work for him, he pretends to be insane in order to be discharged from the military service. He is surprised that by claiming that he is insane is a proof that he is actually sane. The readers can see the way a soldier suffers emotionally in the military camp, even if expected to be strong.In conclusion, the story portrays the diverse points of views that the readers can relate to. It gives a pointer to the minds of the characters that depict the inner world of a soldier.
It carries the audience with mixed reactions while interacting with the events. Certain events are funny, while others elicit pity. Yossarian is shaken by the storms of the experiences of the war and uses numerous tactics to get himself out of the military service. For instance, he fakes his prolonged stay in the hospital. When he also tries to pretend to be insane, he is openly caught. Rightly, the story compels the readers to see much inside a soldier’s heart than just what is seen from outside.