Chapter 9 - Major Major Major Major
This character's story is unrelentingly sad. He is told as a child that his name is Caleb Major, but his birth certificate reads Major Major Major. When his real name becomes clear (around age 5), he loses all his friends and begins a life of sadness, loneliness, and frustration. His skills are described as "mediocre" and not knowing what else to do, he enlists in the army and applies for aviation training. Due to a glitch in an IBM machine, he is promoted to major almost immediately.
On the base at Pianosa, he comes the closest he will ever come to happiness, playing friendly pick-up basketball with the other men. But when Colonel Cathcart promotes him to squadron commander, he is instantly hated by all his basketball friends. He is forced to eat alone, work alone, and sleep alone, as nobody wants to be friends with the squadron commander. When he sneaks back onto the basketball court, disguised with a fake mustache and glasses, the men pretend not to know who he is and beat him senseless. He, not wishing to use his authority as a superior officer, keeps up the charade and absorbs the blows.
His work consists only of signing his name on official documents, which invariably return to him weeks later with pages and pages of other signatures attached. Since signing his name does not cause the documents to go away, he decides to experiment, and (taking his cue from Yossarian's infirmary games) signs Washington Irving on all official documents. This does succeed in making the documents go away. They never return to him for further signatures.
Soon after, however, a C.I.D. man appears to investigate the mysterious "Washington Irving." Both this investigator and the one sent earlier to look into Yossarian's creative censoring of letters in the infirmary bungle around incompetently, attempting to track down Washington Irving, both apparently unaware that this is the name of a famous American writer.
Major Major's attempt to isolate himself from all human contact fails when he is accosted by Yossarian, who asks how he can avoid flying any more missions. Although Major Major is a sympathetic character who understands Yossarian more than most, his position makes it impossible to help the pilot. The chapter ends with Major Major saying "I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do," despite orders from Colonel Korn that this answer must never be given.
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Chapter 11 and 12
Chapter 14, 15, and 16
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 26 and 27
Chapter 28 and 29
Chapter 30 and 31
Chapter 32 and 33
Chapter 35 and 36
Chapter 37 and 38
Chapter 40 and 41