Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
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Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Some info on Joseph Heller
b. May 1, 1923, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.
American writer whose novel Catch-22 (1961) was one of the most significant works of protest literature to appear after World War II. The satirical novel was both a critical and a popular success, and a film version appeared in 1970. Heller flew 60 combat missions as a bombardier with the U.S. Air Force in Europe. He received an M.A. at Columbia University in 1949 and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Oxford (1949−50). He taught English at Pennsylvania State University (1950−52) and worked as an advertising copywriter for the magazines Time (1952−56) and Look (1956−58) and as promotion manager for McCall «p.s (1958−61), meanwhile writing Catch-22 in his spare time. The plot of the novel centres on the antihero Captain John Yossarian, stationed at an airstrip on a Mediterranean island in World War II, and portrays his desperate attempts to stay alive. The «catch «in Catch-22 involves a mysterious Air Force regulation, which asserts that a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions; but, if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. The term Catch-22 thereafter entered the English language as a reference to a proviso that trips one up no matter which way one turns. His later novels including Something Happened (1974), an unrelievedly pessimistic novel, Good as Gold (1979), a satire on life in Washington, D.C., and God Knows (1984), a wry, contemporary-vernacular monologue in the voice of the biblical King David, were less successful. Closing Time, a sequel to Catch-22, appeared in 1994. Heller «p.s dramatic work includes the play We Bombed in New Haven (1968).
Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. He served as an Air Force bombardier in World War II, and has enjoyed a long career as a writer and a teacher. His bestselling books include Something Happened, Good as Gold, Picture This, God Knows, and Closing Time--but his first novel, Catch-22, remains his most famous and acclaimed work.
Written while Heller worked producing ad copy for a New York City marketing firm, Catch-22 draws heavily on Heller «p.s Air Force experience, and presents a war story that is at once hilarious, grotesque, bitterly cynical, and utterly stirring. The novel generated a great deal of controversy upon its publication; critics tended either to adore it or despise it, and those who hated it did so for the same reason as the critics who loved it. Over time, Catch-22 has become one of the defining novels of the twentieth century. It presents an utterly unsentimental vision of war, stripping all romantic pretense away from combat, replacing visions of glory and honor with a kind of nightmarish comedy of violence, bureaucracy, and paradoxical madness.
Unlike other anti-romantic war novels, such as Remarque «p.s All Quiet on the Western Front, Catch-22 relies heavily on humor to convey the insanity of war, presenting the horrible meaninglessness of armed conflict through a kind of desperate absurdity, rather than through graphic depictions of suffering and violence. Catch-22 also distinguishes itself from other anti-romantic war novels by its core values: Yossarian «p.s story is ultimately not one of despair, but one of hope; the positive urge to live and to be free can redeem the individual from the dehumanizing machinery of war. The novel is told as a disconnected series of loosely related, tangential stories in no particular chronological order; the final narrative that emerges from this structural tangle upholds the value of the individual in the face of the impersonal, collective military mass; at every stage, it mocks insincerity and hypocrisy even when they appear to be triumphant.
Summary for «catch-22 «
Yossarian is in a military hospital in Italy with a liver condition that isn «t quite jaundice. He is not really even sick, but he prefers the hospital to the war outside, so he pretends to have a pain in his liver. The doctors are unable to prove him wrong, so they let him stay, perplexed at his failure to develop jaundice. Yossarian shares the hospital ward with his friend Dunbar; a bandaged, immobile man called the soldie r in white; and a pair of nurses Yossarian suspect hate him. One day an affable Texan is brought into the ward, where he tries to convince the other patients that «decent folk «should get extra votes. The Texan is so nice that everyone hates him. A chaplain comes to see Yossarian, and although he confuses the chaplain badly during their conversation, Yossarian is filled with love for him. Less than ten days after the Texan is sent to the ward, everyone but the soldier in white flees the ward, recovering from their ailments and returning to active duty.
Outside the hospital there is a war going on, and millions of boys are bombing each other to death. No one seems to have a problem with this arrangement except Yossarian, who once argued with Clevinger, an officer in his group, about the war. Yossarian claimed that everyone was trying to kill him. Clevinger argued that no one was trying to kill Yossarian personally, but Yossarian has no patience for Clevinger «p.s talk of countries and honor and insists that they are trying to kill him. After being released from the hospital, Yossarian sees his roommate Orr and notices that Clevinger is still missing. He remembers the last time he and Clevinger called each other crazy, during a night at the officers «club when Yossarian announced to everyone present that he was superhuman because no one had managed to kill him yet. Yossarian is suspicious of everyone when he gets out of the hospital; he has a meal in Milo «p.s mess hall, then talks to Doc Daneeka, who enrages Yossarian by telling him that Colonel Cathcart has raised to fifty the number of missions required before a soldier can be discharged. The previous number was forty-five. Yossarian has flown forty missions.
Yossarian talks to Orr, who tells him an irritating story about how he liked to keep crab apples in his cheeks when he was younger. Yossarian briefly remembers the time a whore had beaten Orr over the head with her shoe in Rome outside Nately «p.s whore «p.s kid sister «p.s room. Yossarian notices that Orr is even smaller than Huple, who lives near Hungry Joe «p.s tent. Hungry Joe has nightmares whenever he isn «t scheduled to fly a mission the next day; his screaming keeps the whole camp awake. Hungry Joe «p.s tent is near a road where the men sometimes pick up girls and take them out to the the tall grass near the open-air movie theater that a U.S.O. troupe visited that same afternoon. The troupe was sent by an ambitious general named P.P. Peckem, who hopes to take over the command of Yossarian «p.s wing from General Dreedle. General Peckem «p.s troubleshooter Colonel Cargill, who used to be a spectacular failure as a marketing executive and who is now a spectacular failure as a colonel. Yossarian feels sick, but Doc Daneeka still refuses to ground him. Doc Daneeka advises Yossarian to be like Havermeyer and make the best of it; Havermeyer is a fearless lead bombardier. Yossarian thinks that he himself is a lead bombardier filled with a very healthy fear. Havermeyer likes to shoot mice in the middle of the night; once, he woke Hungry Joe and caused him to dive into one of the slit trenchs that have appeared nightly beside every tent since Milo Minderbinder, the mess officer, bombed the squadron.
Hungry Joe is crazy, and though Yossarian tries to help him, Hungry Joe won «t listen to his advice because he thinks Yossarian is crazy. Doc Daneeka doesn «t believe Hungry Joe has problems--he thinks only he has problems, because his lucrative medical practice was ended by the war. Yossarian remembers trying to disrupt the educational meeting in Captain Black «p.s intelligence tent by asking unanswerable questions, which caused Group Headquarters to make a rule that the only people who could ask questions were the ones who never did. This rule comes from Colonel Cathcart and Lieutenant Colonel Korn, who also approved the skeet shooting range where Yossarian can never hit anything. Dunbar loves shooting skeet because he hates it and it makes the time go more slowly; his goal is to live as long as possible by slowing down time, so he loves boredom and discomfort, and he argues about this with Clevinger.
Doc Daneeka lives in a tent with an alcoholic Indian named Chief White Halfoat, where he tells Yossarian about some sexually inept newlyweds he had in his office once. Chief White Halfoat comes in and tells Yossarian that Doc Daneeka is crazy and then relates the story of his own family: everywhere they went, someone struck оіл, and so оіл companies sent agents and equipment to follow them wherever they went. Doc Daneeka still refuses to ground Yossarian, who asks if he would be grounded if he were crazy. Doc Daneeka says yes, and Yossarian decides to go crazy. But that solution is too easy: there is a catch. Doc Daneeka tells Yossarian about Catch-22, which holds that, to be grounded for insanity, a pilot must ask to be grounded, but that any pilot who asks to be grounded must be sane. Impressed, Yossarian takes Doc Daneeka «p.s word for it, just as he had taken Orr «p.s word about the flies in Appleby «p.s eyes. Orr insists there are flies in Appleby «p.s eyes, and though Yossarian has no idea what Orr means, he believes Orr because he has never lied to him before. They once told Appleby about the flies, so that Appleby was worried on the way to a briefing, after which they all took off in B-25s for a bombing run. Yossarian shouted directions to the pilot, McWatt, to avoid antiaircraft fire while Yossarian dropped the bombs. Another time while they were taking evasive action Dobbs went crazy and started screaming «Help him, «while the plane spun out of control and Yossarian believed he was going to die. In the back of the plane, Snowden was dying.
Hungry Joe has his fifty missions, but the orders to send him home never come, and he continues to scream all through every night. Doc Daneeka persists in feeling sorry for himself while ignoring Hungry Joe «p.s problems. Hungry Joe is driven crazy by noises, and is mad with lust--he is desperate to take pictures of naked women, but the pictures never come out. He pretends to be an important Life magazine photographer, and the irony is that he really was a photographer for Life before the war. Hungry Joe has flown six tours of duty, but every time he finishes one Colonel Cathcart raises the number of missions required before Hungry Joe is sent home. When this happens, the nightmares stop until Hungry Joe finishes another tour. Colonel Cathcart is very brave about sending his men into dangerous situations--no situation is too dangerous, just as no ping-pong Shot is too hard for Appleby. One night Orr attacked Appleby in the middle of a game; a fight broke out, and Chief White Halfoat busted Colonel Moodus, General Dreedle «p.s son-in-law, in the nose. General Dreedle enjoyed that so much he kept calling Chief White Halfoat in to repeat the performance--but the Indian remains a marginal figure in the camp, much like Major Major, who was promoted to squadron commander while playing basketball and who has been ostracized ever since. Also, Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen explains to Yossarian how Catch-22 requires him to fly the extra missions Colonel Cathcart orders, even though Twenty-Seventh Air Force regulations only demand forty missions.
Yossarian «p.s pilot, McWatt, is possibly the craziest of all the men, because he is perfectly sane but he does not mind the war. He is smiling and polite and loves to whistle show tunes. He is impressed with Milo--but not as impressed as Milo was with the letter Yossarian got from Doc Daneeka about his liver, which ordered the mess hall to give Yossarian all the fresh fruit he wanted, which, in turn, Yossarian refused to eat, because if his liver improved he couldn «t go to the hospital whenever he wanted. Milo is involved in the black market, and he tries to convince Yossarian to go in with him in selling the fruit, but Yossarian refuses. Milo is indignant when he learns that a C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Division) man is searching for a criminal who has been forging Washington Irving «p.s name in censored letters--it is Yossarian who used to pass time in the hospital by writing the letters. But Milo is convinced the C.I.D. man is trying to set him up because of his black market activity. Milo wants to organize the men into a syndicate, as he demonstrates by returning McWatt «p.s stolen bedsheet in pieces--half for McWatt, a quarter for Milo, and so on. Milo has a grasp on some confusing economics: he manages to make a profit buying eggs in Malta for seven cents apiece and selling them in Pianosa for five cents apiece.
Not even Clevinger understands that, but though he is a dope, he usually understands everything, except why Yossarian insists that so many people are trying to kill him. Yossarian remembers training in America with Clevinger under Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who was obsessed with parades, and whose wife, along with her friend Dori Duz, used to sleep with all the men under her husband «p.s command. Lieutenant Scheisskopf hated Clevinger, and finally got him sent to trial under a belligerant colonel. Clevinger is stunned when he realizes that Lieutenant Scheisskopf and the colonel truly hate him, in a way that no enemy soldier ever could.
Given a horrible name at birth because of his father «p.s horrible sense of humor, Major Majo r Major was chagrined when, the day he joined the army, he was promoted to Major by an IBM machine with an equally horrible sense of humor, making him Major Major Major Major. Major Major Major Major also looks vaguely like Henry Fonda, and did so well in school that he was suspected of being a Communist and monitored by the FBI. His sudden promotion stunned his drill sergeant, who had to train a man who was suddenly his superior officer. Luckily, Major Major applied for aviation cadet training, and was sent to Lieutenant Scheisskopf. Not long after arriving in Pianosa, he was made squadron commander by an irate Colonel Cathcart, after which he lost all his new friends. Major Major has always been a drab, mediocre sort of person, and had never had friends before; he lapses into an awkward depression and refuses to be seen in his office except when he isn «t there. To make himself feel better, Major Major forges Washington Irving «p.s name to official documents. He is confused about everything, including his official relationship to Major ----- de Coverley, his executive officer: He doesn «t know whether he is Major ----- de Coverlay «p.s subordinate, or vice versa. A C.I.D. man comes to investigate the Washington Irving scandal, but Major Major denies knowledge, and the incompetent C.I.D. man believes him--as does another C.I.D. man who arrives shortly thereafter, then leaves to investigate the first C.I.D. man. Major Major takes to wearing dark glasses and a false mustache when forging Washington Irving «p.s name. One day Major Major is tackled by Yossarian, who demands to be grounded. Sadly, Major Major tells Yossarian that there is nothing he can do.
Clevinger «p.s plane disappeared in a cloud off the coast of Elba, and he is presumed dead. Yossarian finds the disappearance as stunning as that of a whole squadron of sixty-four men who all deserted in one day. Then he tells ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen the news, but ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen isn «t impressed with the disappearance. Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen continually goes AWOL, then is required to dig holes and fill them up again--work he seems to enjoy. One day ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen nicked a water pipe, and water sprayed everywhere, leading to mass confusion much like that of the night seven months later when Milo bombed the camp. Word spread that the water was оіл, and Chief White Halfoat was kicked off the base. Around this time, Appleby tried to turn Yossarian in for not taking his Atabrine tablets, but the only time he was allowed to go into Major Major «p.s office was when Major Major wasn «t there. Yossarian remembers Mudd, a soldier who died immediately after arriving at the camp, and whose belongings are still in Yossarian «p.s tent. The belongings are contaminated with death in the same way that the whole camp was contaminated before the deadly mission of the Great Big Siege of Bologna, for which Colonel Cathcart bravely volunteered his men. During this time even sick men were not allowed to be grounded by doctors. Dr. Stubbs is overwhelmed with cynicism, and asks what the point is of saving lives when everyone dies anyway. Dunbar says that the point is to live as long as you can and forget about the fact that you will eventually die.
Captain Black is pleased to hear the news that Colonel Cathcart has volunteered the men for the lethally dangerous mission of bombing Bologna. Captain Black thinks the men are bastards, and gloats about their terrifying, violent task. Captain Black is extremely ambitious, and hoped to be promoted to squadron commander; when Major Major was picked over him, he lapsed into a deep depression, which the Bologna mission lifts him out of. Captain Black first tried to get revenge on Major Major by initiating the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade, when he forced all the men to swear elaborate oaths of loyalty before doing basic things like eating meals. He refused to let Major Major sign a loyalty oath, and hoped thereby to make him appear disloyal. The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a major event in the camp, until the fearsome Major ----- de Coverley put a stop to it by hollering «Give me eat! «in the mess hall without signing an oath.
It rains interminably before the Bologna mission, and the bombing run is delayed by the rain. The men all hope it will never stop raining, and when it does, Yossarian moves the bomb line on the map so that the commanding officers will think Bologna has already been captured. Then the rain starts again. In the meantime, Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen tries to sell Yossarian a cigarette lighter, thus going into competition with Milo as a black market trader. He is aghast that Milo has cornered the entire world market for Egyptian cotton but is unable to unload any of it. The men are terrified and miserable over Bologna. Clevenger and Yossarian argue about whether it is Yossarian «p.s duty to bomb Bologna, and by the middle of the second week of waiting, everyone in the squadron looks like Hungry Joe. One night Yossarian, Nately, and Dunbar go for a drunken drive with Chief White Halfoat; they crash the jeep, and realize it has stopped raining. Back in the tents, Hungry Joe is trying to shoot Huple «p.s cat, which has been giving him nightmares, and the men force Hungry Joe to fight the cat fairly. The cat runs away, and Hungry Joe is the self-satisfied winner; then he goes back to sleep and has another nightmare about the cat.
Major ----- de Coverley is a daunting, majestic man with a lion «p.s mane of white hair, an eagle «p.s gaze, and a transparent eyepatch. Everyone is afraid of him, and no one will talk to him. His sole duties include travelling to major cities captured by the Americans and renting rooms for his men to take rest leaves in; he spends the rest of his time playing horseshoes. He is so good at his room- renting duties that he always manages to be photographed with the first wave of American troops moving into a city, a fact which perplexes both the enemy and the American commanders. Major ----- de Coverley is a force of nature, but when Yossarian moved the bomb line, he was fooled and traveled to enemy-controlled Bologna; he still has not returned. Once, Milo approached him on the horseshoe range and convinced him to authorize Milo to import eggs with Air Force planes. This elated the men, except for Colonel Cathcart, whose spur-of-the-moment attempt to promote Major Major failed, unlike his attempt to give Yossarian a medal some time earlier, which succeeded. Back when Yossarian was brave, he circled over a target twice in order to hit it; on the second overpass, Mudd was killed by shrapnel. The authorities didn «t know how to rebuke Yossarian for his foolhardiness, so they decided to stave off criticism by giving him a medal.
The squadron finally receives the go-ahead to bomb Bologna, and by this time Yossarian doesn «t feel like going over the target even once. He pretends that his plane «p.s intercom system is broken and orders his men to turn back. They land at the deserted airfield just before dawn, feeling strangely morose; Yossarian takes a nap on the beach and wakes up when the planes fly back. Not a single plane has been hit. Yossarian thinks that there must have been too many clouds for the men to bomb the city, and that they will have to make another attempt, but he is wrong. There was no antiaircraft fire, and the city was bombed with no losses to the Americans.
Captain Pilchard and Captain Wren ineffectually reprimand Yossarian and his crew for turning back, then inform the men that they will have to bomb Bologna again, as they missed the ammunition dumps the first time. Yossarian confidently flies in, assuming there will be no antiaircraft fire, and is stunned when shrapnel begins firing up toward him through the skies. He furiously directs McWatt through evasive maneuvers, and fights with the strangely cheerful Aarfy until the bombs are dropped; Yossarian doesn «t die, and the plane lands safely. He heads immediately for emergency rest leave in Rome, where he meets Luciana the same night.
Luciana is a beautiful Italian girl Yossarian meets at a bar in Rome. After he buys her dinner and dances with her, she agrees to sleep with him, but not right then--she will come to his room the next morning. She does, then angrily refuses to sleep with Yossarian until she cleans his room--she disgustedly calls him a pig. Finally, she lets him sleep with her. Afterward, Yossarian falls in love with her and asks her to marry him; she says she can «t marry him because he «p.s crazy, and he «p.s crazy because he wants to marry her, because no one in their right mind would marry a girl who wasn «t a virgin. She tells him about a scar she got when the Americans bombed her town. Suddenly, Hungry Joe rushes in with his camera, and Yossarian and Luciana have to get dressed. Laughing, they go outside, where they part ways. Luciana gives Yossarian her number, telling him she expects that he will tear it up as soon as she leaves, self-impressed that such a pretty girl would sleep with him for free. He asks her why on Earth he would do such a thing. As soon as she leaves, Yossarian, self-impressed that such a pretty girl would sleep with him for free, tears up her number. Almost immediately, he regrets it, and, after learning that Colonel Cathcart has raised the number of missions to forty, he makes the anguished decision to go straight to the hosp ital.
Things are better at the hospital, Yossarian decides, than they are on a bomb run with Snowden dying in the back whispering «I «m cold. «At the hospital, Death is orderly and polite, and there is no inexplicable violence. Dunbar is in the hospital with Yossarian, and they are both perplexed by the soldier in white, a man completely covered in plaster bandages. The men in the hospital discuss the injustice of mortality--some men are killed and some aren «t, some men get sick and some don «t, with no reference to who deserves what. Some time earlier Clevinger saw justice in it, but Yossarian was too busy keeping track of all the forces trying to kill him to listen. Later, he and Hungry Joe collect lists of fatal diseases with which they worry Doc Daneeka, who is the only person who can ground Yossarian, according to Major Major. Doc Daneeka tells Yossarian to fly his fifty-five missions, and he «ll think about helping him.
The first time Yossarian ever goes to the hospital, he is still a private. He feigns an abdominal pain, then mimics the mysterious ailment of the soldier who saw everything twice. He spends Thanksgiving in the hospital, and vows to spend all future Thanksgivings there; but he spends the next Thanksgiving in bed with Lieutenant Scheisskopf «p.s wife, arguing about God. Once Yossarian is «cured «of seeing everything twice, he is asked to pretend to be a dying soldier for a mother and father who have traveled to see their son, who died that morning. Yossarian allows them to bandage his face, and pretends to be the soldier.
The ambitious Colonel Cathcart browbeats the chaplain, demanding prayer before each bombing run, then abandons the idea when he realizes that the Saturday Evening Post, where he got the idea, probably wouldn «t give him any publicity for it. The chaplain timidly mentions that some of the men have complained about Colonel Cathcart «p.s habit of raising the number of missions required every few weeks, but Colonel Cathcart ignores him. On his way home, the chaplain meets Colonel Korn, Colonel Cathcart «p.s wily, cynical sidekick, who mocks Colonel Cathcart in front of the chaplain and is highly suspicious of the plum tomato Colonel Cathcart gave the chaplain. At his tent in the woods, the chaplain encounters the hostile Corporal Whitcomb, his atheist assistant, who resents him deeply for holding back his career. Corporal Whitcomb tells the chaplain that a C.I.D. man suspects him of signing Washington Irving «p.s name to official papers, and of stealing plum tomatoes. The poor chaplain is very unhappy, helpless to improve anyone «p.s life.
Colonel Cathcart is preoccupied with the problem of Yossarian, who has become a real black eye for him, most recently by complaining about the number of missions, but previously by appearing naked at his own medal ceremony shortly after Snowden «p.s death. Colonel Cathcart wishes he knew how to solve the problem and impress General Dreedle, his commanding officer. General Dreedle doesn «t care what his men do, as long as they remain reliable military quantities. He travels everywhere with a buxom nurse, and worries mostly about Colonel Moodus, his despised son in law, whom he occasionally asks Chief White Halfoat to punch in the nose. Once Colonel Korn tried to undercut Colonel Cathcart by giving a flamboyant briefing to impress General Dreedle; General Dreedle told Colonel Cathcart that Colonel Korn made him sick.
Yossarian loses his nerve on the mission that follows Colonel Korn «p.s extravagant briefing, the mission where Snowden is killed and spattered all over Yossarian «p.s uniform when Dobbs goes crazy and seizes the plane «p.s controls from Huple. As he dies, Snowden pleads with Yossarian to help him; he says he is cold. Dobbs is a terrible pilot and a wreck of a man, and he later tells Yossarian he plans to kill Colonel Cathcart before he raises the mission total again; he asks Yossarian to give him the go-ahead, but Yossarian is unable to do so, so Dobbs abandons his plan. Yossarian thinks that Dobbs is almost as bad as Orr, with whom Yossarian and Milo recently took a trip to stock up on supplies. As they travel, Orr and Yossarian gradually realize the extent of Milo «p.s control over the black market and vast international influence: he is the mayor of Palermo, the Assistant Governor-General of Malta, the Vice-Shah of Oran, the Caliph of Baghdad, the Imam of Damascus, the Sheik of Araby, and is worshipped as a god in parts of Africa. Each region has embraced him because he revitalized their economy with his syndicate, in which everybody has a share. Nevertheless, throughout their trip, Orr and Yossarian are forced to sleep in the plane while Milo enjoys lavish palaces, and they are finally awakened in the middle of the night so that Milo can rush his shipment of red bananas to their next stop.
One evening Nately finds his whore in Rome again after a long search. He tries to convince Yossarian and Aarfy to take two of her friends for thirty dollars each. Aarfy objects that he has never had to pay for sex. Nately «p.s whore is sick of Nately, and begins to swear at him; then Hungry Joe arrives, and the group abandons Aarfy and goes to the apartment building where the girls live. Here they find a seemingly endless flow of naked young women; Hungry Joe is torn between taking in the scene and rushing back for his camera. Nately argues with an old man who lives at the building about nationalism and moral duty--the old man claims Italy is doing better than America in the war because it has already been occupied, so Italian boys are no longer being killed. He gleefully admits to swearing loyalty to whatever nation happens to be in power. The patriotic, idealistic Nately cannot believe his ears, and argues somewhat haltingly for America «p.s international supremacy and the values it represents. But he is troubled because, though they are absolutely nothing alike, the old man reminds him of his father.
By April, Milo «p.s influence is massive. The mess officer controls the international black market, plays a major role in the world economy, and uses Air Force planes from countries all over the world to carry shipments of his supplies; the planes are repainted with an «M & M Enterprises «logo, but Milo continues to insist that everybody has a share in his syndicate. Milo contracts with the Germans to bomb the Americans, and with the Americans to shoot down German planes. German anti-aircraft guns contracted by Milo even Shot down Mudd, the dead man in Yossarian «p.s tent, for which Yossarian holds a grudge against Milo. Milo wants Yossarian «p.s help concocting a solution for unloading his massive holdings of Egyptian cotton, which he cannot sell and which threatens to ruin his entire operation. One evening after dinner, Milo «p.s planes begin to bomb Milo «p.s own camp: He has landed another contract with the Germans, and dozens of men are wounded and killed during the attack. Almost everyone wants to end M & M Enterprises right then, but Milo shows them how much money they have all made, and the survivors almost all forgive him. While Yossarian sits naked in a tree watching Snowden «p.s funeral, Milo seeks him out to talk to him about the cotton; he gives Yossarian some chocolate-covered cotton and tries to convince him it is really candy. Yossarian tells Milo to ask the government to buy his cotton, and Milo is struck by the intelligence behind the idea.
The chaplain is troubled. No one seems to treat him as a regular human being; everyone is uncomfortable in his presence, he is intimidated by the soldiers--especially Colonel Cathcart--and he is generally ineffectual as a religious leader. He grows increasingly miserable, and is sustained solely by the thought of the religious visions he has seen since his arrival, such as the vision of the naked man in the tree at Snowden «p.s funeral. Of course, the naked man was Yossarian. He dreams of his wife and children dying horribly in his absence. He tries to see Major Major about the number of missions the men are asked to fly, but, like everyone else, finds that Major Major will not allow him into his office except when he is out. On the way to see Major Major a second time, the chaplain encounters Flume, Chief White Halfoat «p.s old roommate who is so afraid of having his throat slit while he sleeps that he has taken to living in the forest. The chaplain then learns that Corporal Whitcomb has been promoted to sergeant by Colonel Cathcart for an idea that the colonel believes will land him in the Saturday Evening Post. The chaplain tries to mingle with the men at the officers «club, but Colonel Cathcart periodically throws him out. The chaplain takes to doubting everything, even God.
The night Nately falls in love with his whore, she sits naked from the waist down in a room full of enlisted men playing blackjack. She is already sick of Nately, and tries to interest one of the enlisted men, but none of them notice her. Nately follows her out, then to the officers «apartments in Rome, where she tries the same trick on Nately «p.s friends. Aarfy calls her a slut, and Nately is deeply offended. Aarfy is the navigator of the flight on which Yossarian is finally hit by flak; he is wounded in the leg and taken to the hospital, where he and Dunbar c hange identities by ordering lower-ranking men to trade beds with them. Dunbar pretends to be A. Fortiori. Finally they are caught by Nurse Cramer and Nurse Duckett, who takes Yossarian by the ear and puts him back to bed.
The next morning, while Nurse Duckett is smoothing the sheets at the foot of his bed, Yossarian thrusts his hand up her skirt. She shrieks and rushes away, and Dunbar grabs her bosom from behind. When she is finally rescued by a furious doctor, Yossarian tries to plead insanity--he says he has a recurring dream about a fish--so he is assigned an appointment with Major Sanderson, the hospital psychiatrist. Sanderson is more interested in discussing his own problems than his patient «p.s. Yossarian «p.s friends visit him in the hospital--Dobbs offers again to kill Colonel Cathcart--and finally, after Yossarian admits that he thinks people are trying to kill him and that he has not adjusted to the war, Major Sanderson decides that Yossarian really is crazy and decides to send him home. But because of the identity mixup perpetrated by Yossarian and Dunbar earlier in their hospital stay, there is a mistake, and A. Fortiori is sent home instead. Furiously, Yossarian goes to see Doc Daneeka, but Doc Daneeka will not ground Yossarian for reasons of insanity. Who else but a crazy man, he asks, would go out to fight?
Yossarian goes to see Dobbs, and tells him to go ahead and kill Colonel Cathcart. But Dobbs has finished his sixty missions, and is waiting to be sent home; he no longer needs to kill Colonel Cathcart. When Yossarian says that Colonel Cathcart will simply raise the number of missions again, Dobbs says he «ll wait and see, but that perhaps Orr would help Yossarian kill the colonel. Orr crashed his plane again while Yossarian was in the hospital and was fished out of the ocean--none of the life jackets in his plane worked, because Milo took out the carbon dioxide tanks to use for making ice-cream sodas. Now, Orr is tinkering with the stove he is trying to build in his and Yossarian «p.s tent; he suggests that Yossarian should try flying a mission with him for practice in case he ever has to make a crash landing. Yossarian broods about the rumored second mission to Bologna. Orr is making noise and irritating him, and Yossarian imagines killing him, which Yossarian finds a relaxing thought. They talk about women--Orr says they don «t like Yossarian, and Yossarian replies that they «re crazy. Orr tells Yossarian that he knows Yossarian has asked not to fly with him, and offers to tell Yossarian the story of why that naked girl was hitting him with her shoe outside Nately «p.s whore «p.s kid sister «p.s room in Rome. Yossarian laughingly declines, and the next time Orr goes up he again crashes his plane into the ocean. This time, his survival raft drifts away from the others and disappears.
The men are dismayed when they learn that General Peckem has had Scheisskopf, now a colonel, transferred onto his staff. Peckem is pleased because he thinks the move will increase his strength compared to that of his rival General Dreedle. Colonel Scheisskopf is dismayed by the news that he will no longer be able to conduct parades every afternoon. Scheisskopf immediately irritates his colleagues in Group Headquarters, and Peckem takes him along for an inspection of Colonel Cathcart «p.s squadron briefing. At the preliminary briefing, the men are displeased to learn they will be bombing an undefended village into rubble simply so that Colonel Cathcart can impress General Peckem with the clean aerial photography their bomb patterns will allow. When Peckem and Scheisskopf arrive, Cathcart is angry that another colonel has appeared to rival him. He gives the briefing himself, and though he feels shaky and unconfident, he makes it through, and congratulates himself on a job well done under pressure.
On the bombing run, Yossarian flashes back to the mission when Snowden died, and he snaps. During evasive action, he threatens to kill McWatt if he doesn «t follow orders. He is worried that McWatt will hold a grudge, but after the mission McWatt only seems concerned about Yossarian. Yossarian has begun seeing Nurse Duckett, and he enjoys making love to her on the beach. Sometimes, while they sit looking at the ocean, Yossarian thinks about all the people who have died underwater, including Orr and Clevinger. One day, McWatt is buzzing the beach in his plane as a joke, when a gust of wind causes the plane to drop for a split second--just long enough for the propellor to slice Kid Sampson in half. Kid Samson «p.s body splatters all over the beach. Back at the base, everyone is occupied with the disaster; McWatt will not land his plane, but keeps flying higher and higher. Yossarian runs down the runway yelling at McWatt to come down, but he knows what McWatt is going to do, and McWatt does it, crashing his plane into the side of a mountain, killing himself. Colonel Cathcart is so upset that he raises the number of missions to sixty-five.
When Colonel Cathcart learns that Doc Daneeka was also killed in the crash, he raises the number of missions to seventy. Actually, Doc Daneeka was not killed in the crash, but the records--which Doc Daneeka, hating to fly, bribed Yossarian to alter--maintain that the doctor was in the plane with McWatt, collecting some flight time. Doc Daneeka is startled to hear that he is dead, but Doc Daneeka «p.s wife in America, who receives a letter to that effect from the military, is shattered. Heroically, she finds the strength to carry on, and is cheered to learn that she will be receiving a number of monthly payments from various military departments for the rest of her life, as well as sizable life insurance payments from her husband «p.s insurance company. Husbands of her friends begin to flirt with her, and she dies her hair. In Pianosa, Doc Daneeka finds himself ostracized by the men, who blame him for the raise in the number of missions they are required to fly. He is no longer allowed to practice medicine and realizes that, in one sense, he really is dead. He sends a passionate letter to his wife begging her to alert the authorities that he is still alive. She considers the possibility, but after receiving a form letter from Colonel Cathcart expressing regret over her husband «p.s death, she moves her children to Lansing, Michigan and leaves no forwarding address.
The cold weather comes, and Kid Sampson «p.s legs are left on the beach; no one will retrieve them. The first things Yossarian remembers when he wakes up each morning are Kid Sampson «p.s legs and Snowden. When Orr never returns, Yossarian is given four new roommates, a group of shiny-faced twenty- one year-olds who have never seen combat. They clown around, calling Yossarian «Yo-Yo «and rousing in him a murderous hatred. Yossarian tries to convince Chief White Halfoat to move in with them and scare the new officers away, but Halfoat has decided to move into the hospital to die of pneumonia. Slowly, Yossarian begins to feel more protective toward the men, but then they burn Orr «p.s birch logs and suddenly move Mudd «p.s belongings out of the tent--the dead man who has lived there for so long is abruptly gone. Yossarian panics and flees to Rome with Hungry Joe the night before Nately «p.s whore finally gets a good night «p.s sleep and wakes up in love.
In Rome, Yossarian misses Nurse Duckett and goes searching in vain for Luciana. Nately languishes in bed with his whore, when suddenly Nately «p.s whore «p.s kid sister dives into bed with them. Nately begins to cherish wild fantasies of moving his whore and her sister back to America and bringing the sister up like his own child, but when his whore hears that he no longer wants her to go out hustling she becomes furious, and an argument ensues. The other men try to intervene, and Nately tries to convince them that they can all move to the same suburb and work for his father. He tries to forbid his whore from ever speaking again to the old man in the whores «hotel, and she becomes even angrier, but she still misses Nately when he leaves and is furious with Yossarian when he punches Nately in the face, breaking his nose.
Yossarian breaks Nately «p.s nose on Thansksgiving, after Milo gets all the men drunk on bottles of cheap whiskey. Yossarian goes to bed early, but wakes up to the sound of machine gun fire. At first he is terrified, but he quickly realizes that a group of men are firing machine guns as a prank. He is furious, and takes his. 45 in pursuit of revenge. Nately tries to stop him, and Yossarian breaks his nose. He fires at someone in the darkness, but when a return Shot comes Yossarian recognizes it as Dunbar «p.s. He and Dunbar call out to each other, and go back to help Nately. They cannot find him, and discover him in the hospital the next morning. Yossarian feels terribly guilty for having broken Nately «p.s nose. They encounter the chaplain in the hospital; he has lied to get in, claiming to have a disease called Wisconsin shingles, and feels wonderful--he has learned how to rationalize vice into virtue. Suddenly the soldier in white is wheeled into the room, and Dunbar panics; he begins screaming, and soon everyone in the ward joins in. Nurse Duckett warns Yossarian that she overheard some doctors talking about how they planned to «disappear «Dunbar. Yossari an goes to warn his friend, but cannot find him.
When Chief White Halfoat finally dies of pneumonia and Nately finishes his seventy missions, Yossarian prays for the first time in his life, asking God to keep Nately from volunteering to fly more than seventy missions. But Nately does not want to be sent home until he can take his whore with him. Yossarian goes for help from Milo, who immediately goes to see Colonel Cathcart about having himself assigned to more combat missions. Milo has finally been exposed as the tyrannical fraud he is; he has no intention of giving anyone a real share of the syndicate--but his power and influence are at their peak and everyone admires him. He feels guilty for not doing his duty and flying missions, and asks the deferential Colonel Cathcart to assign him to more dangerous combat duties. Milo tells Colonel Cathcart that someone else will have to run the syndicate, and Colonel Cathcart volunteers himself and Colonel Korn. When Milo explains the complex operations of the business to Cathcart, the colonel declares Milo the only man who could possibly run it, and forbids Milo from flying another combat mission. He suggests that he might make the other men fly Milo «p.s missions for him, and if one of those men wins a medal, Milo will get the medal. To enable this, he says, he will ratchet the number of required missions up to eighty. The next morning the alarm sounds and the men fly off on a mission that turns out to be particularly deadly. Twelve men are killed, including Dobbs and Nately.
The chaplain is devastated by Nately «p.s death. When he learns that twelve men have been killed, he prays that Yossarian, Hungry Joe, Nately, and his other friends will not be among them. But when he rides out to the field, he understands from the despairing look on Yossarian «p.s face that Nately is dead. Suddenly, the Chaplain is dragged away by a group of military police who accuse him of an unspecified crime. He is interrogated by a colonel who claims the chaplain has forged his name in letters--his only evidence is a letter Yossarian forged in the hospital and signed with the chaplain «p.s name some time ago. Then he accuses the chaplain of stealing the plum tomato from Colonel Cathcart and of being Washington Irving. The men in the room idiotically find him guilty of unspecified crimes they assume he has committed, then order him to go about his business while they think of a way to punish him. The chaplain leaves and furiously goes to confront Colonel Korn about the number of missions the men are required to fly. He tells Colonel Korn he plans to bring the matter directly to General Dreedle «p.s attention, but the colonel replies gleefully that General Dreedle has been replaced with General Peckem as wing commander. He then tells the chaplain that he and Colonel Cathcart can make the men fly as many missions as they want to make them fly--they «ve even transferred Dr. Stubbs, who had offerred to ground any man with seventy missions, to the Pacific.
General Peckem «p.s victory sours quickly. On his first day in charge of General Dreedle «p.s old operation, he learns that Scheisskopf has been promoted to lieutenant general and is now the commanding officer for all combat operations: He is in charge of General Peckem and his entire group. And he intends to make every single man present march in parades.
Yossarian marches around backwards so no one can sneak up behind him and refuses to fly in any more combat missions. When they are informed of this, Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn decide to take brief pity on Yossarian for the death of his friend Nately, and send him to Rome, where he breaks the news of Nately «p.s death to Nately «p.s whore, who tries to kill Yossarian with a potato peeler for bringer her the bad news. When he resists, she tries to seduce him, then stabs at him with a knife again when he seems to have relaxed. Nately «p.s whore «p.s kid sister materializes, and tries to stab Yossarian as well. Yossarian loses patience, picks up Nately «p.s whore «p.s kid sister and throws her bodily at Nately «p.s whore, then leaves the apartment. He notices people are staring at him, and suddenly realizes that he has been stabbed several times and is bleeding everywhere. He goes to a Red Cross building and cleans his wounds, and when he emerges Nately «p.s whore is waiting in ambush and tries to stab him again. He punches her in the jaw, catches her as she passes out and sets her down gently. Hungry Joe flies him back to Pianosa, where Nately «p.s whore is waiting to kill him with a steak knife. He eludes her, but she continues to try to kill him at every opportunity. Yossarian walks around backwards; as word spreads that he has refused to fly more combat missions, men begin to approach him, only at night, and to ask him if it «p.s true, and to tell him they hope he gets away with it. One day Captain Black tells him that Nately «p.s whore and her kid sister have been flushed out of their apartment by M.P. «p. s, and Yossarian, suddenly worried about them, goes to Rome without permission to try to find them.
He travels with Milo, who is disappointed in him for refusing to fly more combat missions. Rome has been bombed, and lies in ruins; the apartment complex where the whores lived is a deserted shambles. Nately finds the old woman who lived in the complex sobbing; she tells Yossarian that the only right the soldiers had to chase the girls away was the right of Catch-22, which says «they have a right to do anything we can «t stop them from doing. «Yossarian asks if they had Catch-22 written down, and if they showed it to her; she says that the law stipulates that they don «t have to show her Catch-22, and that the law that says so is Catch-22. She says that the her old man is dead. Yossarian goes to Milo and says that he will fly as many more combat missions as Colonel Cathcart wants if Milo uses his influence to help him track down the kid sister. Milo agrees, but becomes distracted when he learns about huge profits to be made in trafficking illegal tobacco. He slinks away, and Yossarian is left to wander the dark streets through a horrible night filled with grotesqueries and loathsome sights; he returns to his apartments late in the night to find that Aarfy has raped and killed a maid. The M.P. «p.s burst in. They apologize to Aarfy for intruding, and arrest Yossarian for being in Rome without a pass.
Back at Pianosa, Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn offer Yossarian a deal: they will allow him never to fly another combat mission and will even send him home, if only he will agree to like them. He will be promoted to major and all he will have to do is to make speeches in America in support of the military and the war effort, and in support of the two colonels in particular. Yossarian realizes it is a hideous deal and a frank betrayal of the men in his squadron, who will still have to fly the eighty missions, but he convinces himself to take the deal anyway, and is filled with joy at the prospect of going home. On his way out of Colonel Cathcart «p.s office, Nately «p.s whore appears, disguised as a private, and stabs him until he falls unconscious.
In the hospital, a group of doctors argues over Yossarian while the fat, angry colonel who interrogated the chaplain interrogates him. Finally the doctors knock him out and operate on him; when he awakes, he dimly perceives visits from Aarfy and the chaplain. He tells the chaplain about his deal with Cathcart and Korn, then assures him that he isn «t going to do it. He vaguely remembers a malignant, almost supernatural man jeering at him «We «ve got your pal «shortly after his operation,. He then and he tells the chaplain that his «pal «must have been one of his friends who was killed in the war. He realizes that his only friend still living is Hungry Joe, and but then the chaplain tells him that Hungry Joe has died--in his sleep, with Huple «p.s cat on his face. Later, Yossarian wakes up to find a mean-looking man in a hospital gown leering saying «We «ve got your pal. «He asks who his pal is, and the man tells Yossarian that he «ll find out. Yossarian lunges for him, but the man glides away and vanishes. He flashes back to the scene of Snowden «p.s death, which he relives in all its agony--Snowden smiling at him wanly, whimpering «I «m cold, «Yossarian reassuring him and trying to mend the wound until he opens up Snowden «p.s flak suit and Snowden «p.s insides spill out all over him. He then --and remembers the secret he had read in those entrails: «The spirit gone, man is garbage. «man is matter, and without the spirit he will rot like garbage.
In the hospital, Yossarian tries to explain to Major Danby why he can no longer go through with the deal with Cathcart and Korn: he won «t sell himself so short, and he won «t betray the memory of his dead friends. He tells Danby he plans to run away, but Danby tells him there is no hope, and he agrees. Suddenly the chaplain bursts in with the news that Orr has washed ashore in Sweden. Yossarian realizes that Orr must have planned his escape all along, and joyfully decides there is hope after all. He has the chaplain retrieve his uniform, and decides to desert the army and run to Sweden, where he can save himself from the madness of the war. As he steps outside, Nately «p.s whor e tries to stab him again, and he runs into the distance.
Yossarian — The protagonist and hero of the novel. Yossarian is a captain in the Air Force and a lead bombardier in his squadron, but he hates the war. His powerful desire to live has led him to the conclusion that millions of people are trying to kill him, and he has decided either to live forever or, ironically, die trying.
Milo Minderbinder — The fantastically powerful mess officer, Milo controls an international black market syndicate and is revered in obscure corners all over the world. He ruthlessly chases after profit and bombs his own men as part of a contract with Germany. Milo insists that everyone in the squadron will benefit from being part of the syndicate, and that «everyone has a share. «
Colonel Cathcart — The ambitious, unintelligent colonel in charge of Yossarian «p.s squadron. Colonel Cathcart wants to be a general, and he tries to impress his superiors by bravely volunteering his men for dangerous combat duty whenever he gets the chance. He continually raises the number of combat missions required of the men before they can be sent home. Colonel Cathcart tries to scheme his way ahead; he thinks of successful actions as «feathers in his cap «and unsuccessful ones as «black eyes. «
The Chaplain — The timid, thoughtful chaplain who becomes Yossarian «p.s friend. He is haunted by a sensation of deja vu and begins to lose his faith in God as the novel progresses.
Hungry Joe — An unhinged member of Yossarian «p.s squadron. Hungry Joe is obsessed with naked women, and he has horrible nightmares on nights when he isn «t scheduled to fly a combat mission the next morning.
Nately — A good-natured nineteen year-old boy in Yossarian «p.s squadron. Nately comes from a wealthy home, falls in love with a whore, and generally tries to keep Yossarian from getting into trouble.
Nately «p.s whore — The beautiful whore Nately falls in love with in Rome. After a good night «p.s sleep, she falls in love with Nately as well. When Yossarian tells her about Nately «p.s death, she begins a persistent campaign to ambush Yossarian and stab him to death.
Clevinger — An idealistic member of Yossarian «p.s squadron who argues with Yossarian about concepts such as country, loyalty, and duty, in which Clevinger firmly believes. Clevinger «p.s plane disappears inside a cloud during the Parma bomb run, and he is never heard from again.
Doc Daneeka — The medical officer. Doc Daneeka feels very sorry for himself because the war interrupted his lucrative private practice in the States, and he refuses to listen to other people «p.s problems. Doc Daneeka is the first person to explain Catch-22 to Yossarian.
Dobbs — A co-pilot, Dobbs seizes the controls from Huple during the mission to Avignon, the same mission on which Snowden dies. Dobbs later develops a plan to murder Colonel Cathcart, and eventually awaits only Yossarian «p.s go-ahead to put it in action.
McWatt — A cheerful, polite pilot who often pilots Yossarian «p.s planes. McWatt likes to joke around with Yossarian, and sometimes buzzes the squadron. One day he accidentally flies in too low, and slices Kid Sampson in half with his propellor; he then commits suicide by flying his plane into a mountain.
Major — The supremely mediocre squadron commander. Born Major Major Major, he is promoted to major on his first day in the army by a mischievous computer. Major Major is painfully awkward, and will only see people in his office when he isn «t there.
Aarfy — Yossarian «p.s navigator. Aarfy infuriates Yossarian by pretending he cannot hear Yossarian «p.s orders during bomb runs. Toward the end of the novel, Aarfy stuns Yossarian when he rapes and murders the maid of the officers «apartments in Rome.
Orr — Yossarian «p.s often maddening roommate. Orr almost always crashes his plane or is Shot down on combat missions, but he always seems to survive.
Appleby — A handsome, athletic member of the squadron and a superhuman ping-pong player. Orr enigmatically says that Appleby has flies in his eyes.
Captain Black — The squadron «p.s bitter intelligence officer. He wants nothing more than to be squadron commander. Captain Black exults in the men «p.s discomfort and does everything he can increase it; when Nately falls in love with a whore in Rome, Captain Black begins to buy her services regularly just to taunt him.
Colonel Korn — Colonel Cathcart «p.s wily, cynical sidekick.
Major de Coverley — The fierce, intense executive officer for the squadron. Major ----- de Coverley is revered and feared by the men--they are even afraid to ask his first name-- though all he does is play horseshoes and rent apartments for the officers in cities taken by American forces. When Yossarian moves the bomb line on a map to make it appear that Bologna has been captured, Major ----- de Coverely disappears in Bologna trying to rent an officers «apartment.
Major Danby — The timid operations officer. Before the war, he was a college professor; now, he does his best for his country. In the end, he helps Yossarian escape.
General Dreedle — The grumpy old general in charge of the wing in which Yossarian «p.s squadron is placed. General Dreedle is the victim of a private war waged against him by the ambitious General Peckem.
Nurse Duckett — A nurse in the Pianosa hospital who becomes Yossarian «p.s lover.
Dunbar — Yossarian «p.s friend, the only other person who seems to understand that there is a war going on. Dunbar has decided to live as long as possible by making time pass as slowly as possible, so he treasures boredom and discomfort. He is mysteriously «disappeared «as part of a conspiracy toward the end of the novel.
Chief White Halfoat — An alcoholic Indian from Oklahoma who has decided to die of pneumonia.
Havermeyer — A fearless lead bombardier. Havermeyer never takes evasive action, and he enjoys shooting field mice at night.
Huple — A fifteen year-old pilot; the pilot on the mission to Avignon on which Snowden is killed. Huple is Hungry Joe «p.s roommate, and his cat likes to sleep on Hungry Joe «p.s face.
Washington Irving — A famous American author whose name Yossarian signs to letters during one of his many stays in the hospital. Eventually, military intelligence believes Washington Irving to be the name of a covert insubordinate, and two C.I.D. (Criminal Investigation Division) men are dispatched to ferret him out of the squadron.
Luciana — A beautiful girl Yossarian meets, sleeps with, and falls in love with during a brief period in Rome.
Mudd — Generally referred to as «the dead man in Yossarian «p.s tent, «Mudd was a squadron member who was killed in action before he could be processed as an official member of the squadron. As a result, he is listed as never having arrived, and no one has the authority to move his belongings out of Yossarian «p.s tent.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf — Later Colonel Scheisskopf and eventually General Scheisskopf. He helps train Yossarian «p.s squadron in America and shows an unsettling passion for elaborate military parades. («Scheisskopf «is German for «shithead. »)
The Soldier in White — A body completely covered with bandages in Yossarian and Dunbar «p.s ward in the Pianosa hospital.
Snowden — The young gunner whose death over Avignon shattered Yossarian «p.s courage and opened his eyes to the madness of the war. Snowden died in Yossarian «p.s arms with his entrails splattered all over Yossarian «p.s uniform, a trauma which is gradually revealed throughout the novel.
Corporal Whitcomb — Later Sergeant Whitcomb, the chaplain «p.s atheist assistant. Corporal Whitcomb hates the chaplain for holding back his career, and makes the chaplain a suspect in the Washington Irving scandal.
ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen — The mail clerk at the Twenty-Seventh Air Force Headquarters, Wintergreen is able to intercept and forge documents, and thus wields enormous power in the Air Force. He continually goes AWOL (Absent Without Leave), and is continually punished with loss of rank.
General Peckem — The ambitious special operations general who plots incessantly to take over General Dreedle «p.s position.
Kid Sampson — A pilot in the squadron. Kid Sampson is sliced in half by McWatt «p.s propeller when McWatt jokingly buzzes the beach with his plane.
Lieutenant Colonel Korn — Colonel Cathcart «p.s wily, condescending sidekick.
Colonel Moodus — General Dreedle «p.s son-in-law. General Dreedle despises Colonel Moodus, and enjoys watching Chief White Halfoat bust him in the nose.
Flume — Chief White Halfoat «p.s old roommate who is so afraid of having his throat slit while he sleeps that he has taken to living in the forest.
Dori Duz — A friend of Scheisskopf «p.s wife. Together, they sleep with all the men training under him while he is stationed in the U.S.
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