Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” Quotes (58 Quotes)



    When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job, and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering.

    All over the world, boys on every side of bomb line were laying down their lives for what they had been told was their country, and no one seemed to mind, least of all the boys who were laying down their young lives.





    It made him proud that 29 months in the service had not blunted his genius for ineptitude.

    Yossarian marveled that children could suffer such barbaric sacrifice without evincing the slightest hint of fear or pain. He took for granted that they did submit so stoically. If not, he reasoned, the custom would certainly have died, for no craving for wealth or immortality could be so great, he felt, as to subsist on the sorrow of children.

    As always occurred when he quarreled over principles in which he believed passionately, he would end up gasping furiously for air and blinking back bitter tears of conviction. There were many principles in which Clevinger believed passionately. He was crazy.

    Only Hungry Joe had something better to do each time he finished his missions. He had screaming nightmares and won fist fights with Huple's cat.



    It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.


    But Yossarian knew he was right, because, as he explained to Clevinger, to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong.

    Prostitution gives her an opportunity to meet people. It provides fresh air and wholesome exercise, and it keeps her out of trouble.

    I am miracle ingredient Z-247. I'm immense. I'm a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I'm a bona fide supraman.



    You wouldn't be normal if you were never afraid. Even the bravest men experience fear. One of the biggest jobs we all face in combat is to overcome fear.

    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.

    She destroyed egos by the score and made men hate themselves in the morning by the way she found them, used them, and tossed them aside.


    This stuff is better than cotton candy, really it is. It's made out of real cotton. Yossarian, you've got to help me make the men eat it. Egyptian cotton is the finest cotton in the world.

    Kraft was a skinny, harmless kid from Pennsylvania who wanted only to be liked, and was destined to be disappointed in even so humble and degrading an ambition. Instead, of being liked, he was dead, a bleeding cinder on the barbarous pile whom nobody had heard in those last precious moments while the plane with one wing plummeted.

    You're an intelligent person of great moral character who has taken a very courageous stand. I'm an intelligent person with no moral character at all, so I'm in an ideal position to appreciate it.

    Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskoph had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times.



    Victory gave us such insane delusions of grandeur that we helped start a world war we hadn't a chance of winning. But now that we are losing again, everything has taken a turn for the better, and we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated.


    More Joseph Heller Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - War & Peace - World - Mind - Countries - Madness - People - Success - Society & Civilization - Death & Dying - Justice - Pain - America - Service - Sadness - Literature - Failure - Government - Fear - View All Joseph Heller Quotations

    More Joseph Heller Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Catch-22

    Related Authors


    Ernest Hemingway - V. S. Naipaul - Salman Rushdie - Robert Ludlum - P. D. James - Miguel de Cervantes - James Clavell - Arthur Herzog - Anne Rice - Anne Bronte


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Authors (by First Name)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Other Inspiring Sections

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.