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___________________________Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

Catch-22

 

 

Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 15-21

Summary:

Yossarian is reprimanded for his behavior by the joint squadron operations officers and is told that he has fly a second mission to Bologna to hit some targets that were missed. Having seen that the men came back from the first mission without any mishaps, Yossarian expects the same easy approach and isn't concerned about this order. He leaves with confidence but to his surprise his plane encounters heavy fire.

In spite of heavy resistance, he is able to hit his target and return safely. After this mission he is entitled to a leave and he decides to go to Rome. There, he meets Luciana, an attractive Italian woman. He makes love to her and asks her to marry him. She refuses and they part company. Before she leaves, Yossarian asks her for her address, but as soon as she leaves he tears it up the paper. He then meets Hungry Joe who tells him that Colonel Cathcart has again upgraded the number of mission that were required before a man could be sent home. Yossarian is taken aback by this news and decides to check himself into the hospital.

Yossarian decides that he will stay in the hospital rather than fly the additional missions. He feigns a pain in his liver and is able to confuse the doctors. He again asks Doc Daneeka to ground him so that he can be sent home. Daneeka vaguely agrees but only after Yossarian will complete fifty-five missions.

Yossarian thinks back of the time when he first faked an illness in order to end up in the hospital. At that time he faked an appendix illness and was advised by a good natured intern to fake a liver illness instead as it was much more difficult to determine whether it was really true. This ailment Yossarian used consistently thereafter.

Yossarain spends Thanksgiving in the hospital and exclaims that it was the best Thanksgiving he has ever had. He is involved in a very bizarre episode when one of the doctors asks him to meet with the family of a soldier who has died to give them the opportunity to spend the dying moments together with their son. Yossarian pretends to be their son and they don't seem to realize that he is not because his face is totally bandaged and the lights in the room are dimmed.

The next few chapters discuss some of Yossarian's superiors, Colonel Cathcart and General Dreedle. Colonel Cathcart's ambitious personality comes to the foreground when he wants the chaplain to lead the men in religious prayers before each mission and in that way gain attention for himself from his superiors. He abandons the idea when the chaplain suggests that God might punish them for not including the enlisted men..

At another time, Colonel Cathcart's patience is tested by Yossarian's belligerent behavior of attending a medal award ceremony in the nude. The day is saved by General Dredel when he intercedes on Yossarian's behalf. He explains that Yossarian suffered a great shock when Snowden bled to death in his arms and he couldn't save him.

Review:

The hospital, which is usually thought of as a place that offers hope for life and healing, is presented in a mocking fashion. Even the sobriety of death is not taken seriously.

The Chaplain’s ineffectuality is reinforced at this point through the narrative structure. Following his dismissal by Cathcart in chapter 19 he is immediately given the opportunity to voice his concerns to the colonel however he says, ‘Everything is working out.’

In conclusion to this chapter we see a seemingly good man ponder on his helplessness. The chaplain recognizes the unhappiness in the world and his own inability to do anything about it. The reader became aware of this earlier in the chapter when he demonstrated his inability to speak out against the colonels.

 

  • Biography of Joseph Heller

  • About Catch-22

  • Character List

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Short Analysis

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-7

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 8-14

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 15-21

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 22-28

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 29-35

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 36-42

  • Studyworld Essay Search on Catch-22

     

     

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