Despite such difficulties throughout Joseph Heller's literary career, Catch-22 remains widely admired today and is considered the hallmark of Heller's works. Not only has the behavior of Yossarian provided much amusement for the mass of readers, but it also has become the source of much psychological analysis of the isolated character trying to flee from neurotic or hostile societies and circumstances, situation that tend to fail to recognize the needs of the individual. As people find themselves struggling between the impositions of social institutions and the need for personal expression, they find themselves in their own “catch-22” situations: how can a society recognize individuality and still make collective decisions? How can a bureaucracy ever be nuanced enough to take individual differences into account? Such topics continue to generate much interest in Heller's writings because the question of individual versus community is an enduring problem for society, philosophy, and politics.
The most important revelation in these chapters comes about when Holden writes the composition for Stradlater, divulging that his brother Allie died of leukemia several years before. Holden idealizes Allie, praising his intelligence and sensitivity—the poem--covered baseball glove is a perfect emblem for both—but remaining silent about his emotional reaction to Allie’s death. He alludes to his behavior almost in passing, saying that he slept in the garage on the night of Allie’s death and broke all the windows with his bare hands, “just for the hell of it.” He tried to break the car windows as well, but could not because his hand was already fractured from smashing the garage windows. Throughout the novel, it becomes increasingly clear that Allie’s death was one of the most traumatic experiences of Holden’s life and may play a major role in his current psychological breakdown. Indeed, the cynicism that Holden uses to avoid expressing his feelings may result from Allie’s death.