Chapter 25 - The Chaplain
The Chaplain, A.T. Tappman, is kind, sensitive, shy, and moral man. He finds it difficult to relate to most of the men, and he fears that he is not doing his job well. He is overcome with self-doubt, suffers from episodes of dï¿½jï¿½ vu, finds it difficult to stand up to his loudmouthed superiors, and has begun to doubt the existence of God.
He enjoys the company of Yossarian and Dunbar, with who he sits in the officer's club every night. He is constantly either being ordered to go to the club, or to stay away from the club by his superiors, especially Colonel Cathcart, who changes his mind often. He loves his family back home very much, and is plagued by terrible nightmare fantasies in which they are killed in freak accidents, crimes, or natural disasters.
Feeling like a charlatan and a fake at Snowden's funeral, he thinks he sees some sort of vision in the trees in the distance; actually he is seeing the naked Yossarian and the clothed Milo sitting on a branch.
Gathering up all the gumption he has, the Chaplain resolves to go see Major Major about the excessive number of missions Colonel Cathcart is requiring. He sneaks off quietly (so that Corporal Whitcomb won't see him leaving) and makes his way to Major Major's office, where he is told, of course, that he can go right in since Major Major is out. The Chaplain thinks he is being mocked and, too mortified to leave the way he came in, jumps out the window and runs all the way back to his tent.
Upon arriving back at his tent, he is told by Whitcomb that Major Major came to visit him and left a letter for him, which Whitcomb read and threw out. The Chaplain runs right back to Major Major's office, and this time is told that he cannot see the Major because, of course, the Major is in. However, in a brief discussion with the reception officer, the Chaplain learns that Major Major will not be of any help. Only a few days earlier, he apparently told Yossarian "there's nothing I can do."
On the way back from Major Major's office, the Chaplain encounters the gaunt, unshaven figure of Captain Flume. Flume, who is Chief White Halfoat's roommate, has been living in the woods because he is afraid that the Chief will slit his throat while he sleeps. Flume becomes convinced that the Chaplain wants to slit his throat, and runs off.
When he returns to his tent in the woods, the Chaplain finds that Corporal Whitcomb has become Sergeant Whitcomb. Whitcomb, it seems, went over the Chaplain's head and spoke to Colonel Cathcart about sending form letters to the families of men killed in action. Although the Chaplain never thought this was a good idea, Cathcart did, and promoted Whitcomb for coming up with it.
The Chaplain runs back to the base and confronts Cathcart. The Colonel orders him to write the letters, and reprimands him for being opposed to the idea, all the while remarking that this could be just the thing to get him into the Saturday Evening Post. He even resolves to volunteer the group to bomb Avignon again, as that will get the ball rolling with some quick casualties.
Later that evening, the Colonel tries to kick the Chaplain out of the officer's club. Yossarian rises to punch the Colonel, but Nately yells "Yossarian!" and the Colonel shrinks back at the sound of that hateful, haunted name. Cathcart inadvertently bumps into General Dreedle, who angrily shoves him off and orders him to order the Chaplain to come every night to the officer's club.
The Chaplain regularly attends the offcer's club every night until a vicious fight breaks out. Orr clubs Appleby in the head with a ping-pong paddle, and Chief White Halfoat uses the incident as an excuse to punch Colonel Moodus in the nose. General Dreedle laughs lustily as his son-in-law hits the ground, and the Chaplain eyes the General with disgust. General Dreedle reacts angrily, ordering Colonel Cathcart to order the Chaplain out of the officer's club for good.
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Chapter 26 and 27
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