Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
A STEP BEYOND
TESTS AND ANSWERS
TEST 1_____ 1. During war, soldiers often feel as if their commanding officers consider them interchangeable. This feeling is best illustrated in Catch-22 by the case of
B. the dead man in Yossarian's tent
C. the soldier who saw everything twice
B. The chaplain must be Washington Irving if he doesn't know whether he is or not
C. Men may see Major Major only when he is out
II. Colonel Cathcart's finding Yossarian's name subversive because it contains two s's
III. accusation meaning automatic guilt for Clevinger and for the chaplain
B. I and II only
C. II and III only
II. what is good for business is good for one's country
III. government should serve business interests
B. I and III only
C. I, II, and III
II. black humor
B. I and III only
C. I, II, and III
B. omniscient and third-person limited
C. first person and third person
B. King Lear by Shakespeare
C. The Iliad and The Odyssey
B. Yossarian's opposition to Cathcart on increases in the number of missions
C. Peckem's campaign to acquire Dreedle's command
B. General Dreedle, as in his memo ordering everyone on combat duty to practice skeet shooting
C. General Peckem, as in his directives on bombing patterns and his speech welcoming Colonel Scheisskopf
11. According to Catch-22, what kinds of people thrive on war?
12. Who is "the enemy" in Catch-22? Consider the perceptions of characters in the novel.
13. How do comic routines make it easier to grasp Heller's serious message? Use examples.
14. Which characters seem more like stereotypes than individuals? Why are they included?
15. Was it Snowden's death that caused Yossarian to desert, or were there other causes?
_____ 1. Which pair best illustrates the theme that things are not what they seem?
B. Piltchard and Wren
C. Daneeka and Mudd
B. Korn's suggestion that Yossarian be awarded a medal
C. Whitcomb's form letters for families of men killed
B. bombardier in his compartment
C. tail gunner at the rear of the plane
B. the uniform stood for a system that was killing his friends
C. he wanted to confuse General Dreedle about where to put the medal
B. use of chronological order
C. following comic scenes with grim ones
B. Scheisskopf's desire to wire the cadets together so they will march perfectly
C. Danby's conversation with Yossarian on the ethics of desertion
B. the riotous Thanksgiving Day
C. the macabre death of Kid Sampson
B. bomb his own squadron in a deal with the Germans
C. paint M & M over symbols on military planes
B. Orr and his crew examining the raft's survival gear
C. Yossarian and Milo in a tree during Snowden's funeral
B. the old man in Rome
C. military planners in the Pentagon
11. If you were to view some of the characters as symbols, what would they stand for? Use three of these characters in your response: Major Major, Captain Black, Chief White Halfoat, Havermeyer, Major de Coverley, Milo Minderbinder.
12. Was Yossarian's decision to desert an act of courage or an act of cowardice? Explain.
13. What motivates the chaplain to take the blame for Yossarian's actions?
14. How does the straightening out of the time pattern in the last few chapters show that things have become very grim for Yossarian?
15. What similar functions are served by the beach, the apartments in Rome, and the base hospitals?
11. Your first reaction to this question may be to say Milo Minderbinder and big business people thrive on war. It's a good answer, but others thrive as well. Consider the manipulative Lieutenant Colonel Korn; the sneaky Wintergreen; the conniving General Peckem; and even lesser characters such as Piltchard and Wren and the bombardier Havermeyer. You may find others as well. In your answer, describe the benefits each person can acquire in the military that would be unavailable- or at least less available- in civilian life. Minderbinder and Korn, for instance, can take advantage of military transport in their business ventures. Peckem and Wintergreen, who enjoy sabotaging the plans of others, have greater opportunities in the military than they would in civilian life- whole combat wings come under their influence. And Piltchard, Wren, and Havermeyer simply enjoy military work- bombing itself, a skill useless in civilian life.
12. If you are tempted to say "the Germans" are the enemy, think about it. When General Peckem is preening himself in his speech to the newly arrived Colonel Scheisskopf, whom does he identify as the enemy? "Dreedle's on our side and Dreedle is the enemy." When Yossarian complains about additional missions, whom does he identify as the enemy? Anyone likely to get him killed, including Colonel Cathcart. You could come up with many more examples- Cathcart vs. Korn, Whitcomb vs. the chaplain,. the C.I.D. men vs. their country's officers, the men vs. Major Major, and so on. The enemy is within; the real battles in Catch-22 involve bureaucratic infighting. In each instance that you use, clearly state the arena in which the enmity occurs- what each side sees as making the other the enemy.
13. Answers to this question are likely to be highly individual, since each reader will have favorite comic scenes. One example everyone is likely to remember is Clevinger's trial before the Action Board. Clevinger gets in trouble because he takes everything said to him literally, and protests every time he is misunderstood. Contradictory orders are given- shut up, speak up. Questions phrased negatively make any answer the wrong answer- "When didn't you say we couldn't punish you?" The humor ends by the time the colonel is pounding the table to define justice, and it becomes clear that the trial was a formality only. The humor makes it easier to grasp Heller's message when you realize that the colonel is unaware of or does not care about lack of logic. The punishment tours that Clevinger must march are very real, and the fat, comic colonel has the power to inflict them. If his questions and comments had been phrased more seriously, you might have been taken in. You might have believed real justice was possible.
14. You might consider answering the second half of the question first. Stereotypes are useful when a cast is as large as that of Catch-22- not just because you can't recall that many characters as distinct individuals, but also because real life involves relating to most people as types. It is a way of functioning, to know that a certain person is a bigot, another is warm-hearted, and so on. Characters with similar roles in Catch-22 include Hungry Joe, who is governed by his ineffective lust for women; Colonel Moodus, who is a caricature of the worthless son-in-law; Colonel Cathcart, who operates solely in his own self interest; Milo Minderbinder, who will do anything to make a profit; and so on. Again, you will be able to think of many more, simply by jotting down all the characters you can remember, and then choosing from your list.
15. Read this question carefully. The key word is cause. There is little doubt that Snowden's death had a great impact on Yossarian, but many factors led to his decision to desert. You need to consider Yossarian's alternatives first, and why each failed or was unacceptable: a request to be sent home at the number of missions other squadrons had to fly; getting the number reduced; goldbricking in the hospital; being grounded as insane; flying milk runs only; accepting Cathcart's and Korn's hero deal. You may also wish to consider other elements of Yossarian's reasoning, such as the argument from his talks with Clevinger- men must die in a war, but it doesn't matter which particular men do the dying. As you examine these elements, you will see that Snowden's death served as a grim reminder of the probable result of flying more missions, but not as the cause of Yossarian's decision.
11. You are being asked to look at these seven characters not as individual people, but as representative of something else- perhaps whole groups of people, perhaps abstract ideas. Since you need use only three of them, choose the ones that seem clearest to you. Most people see Milo Minderbinder as representing unethical business practices, for example, or unethical businessmen. Chief White Halfoat might stand for all American Indians, or, in this novel, as an ironic symbol of all that the Allies are fighting against- herding people into camps, treaty-breaking, and so on. De Coverley, who is described as even looking like the Greek god Zeus, could symbolize a God who is at first kindly, but then deserts his people, leaving them on their own. Major Major, Black, and Havermeyer can be taken, in order, as symbols of people promoted beyond their talents, fanatical patriots, and single-minded militarists. Use the three characters whose roles you see most clearly. In your answer, add explanatory examples for each, making clear the correctness of your interpretation.
12. This question is similar to the one on whether or not Snowden caused Yossarian to desert. The focus this time, however, is on the nature of courage and cowardice. Once you have mentally defined these terms, you can think about Yossarian. Courage, for example, is defined as strength to withstand danger or difficulty, and cowardice is the lack of such strength. Has Yossarian, in the past, shown inability to deal with danger? What has been his overall pattern? Does a decision to desert avoid danger or difficulty, or does it demand just as much strength as accepting Cathcart's and Korn's deal? When you have answered these questions in your own mind, write a topic sentence that states whether Yossarian's decision was an act of courage or cowardice. Then define the word and go on, giving supportive examples derived from your answers to these questions.
13. You could speak about the chaplain's motivation on more than one level. One level is theological. By the time of the interrogation when he recognizes one Washington Irving signature as Yossarian's, he has given a great deal of thought to deja vu and his own sense of repeating an earlier pattern from history. He has also noticed mysterious events which have, for him, a religious significance, such as Flume's sounding like John the Baptist, a prophetic "voice in the wilderness" announcing the coming of Christ. At this level, the chaplain is acting as a Christ-like figure- one who suffers willingly for the sins of others. On another level, you might find the chaplain's motivation in friendship. He has been tricked, reviled, and generally abused by Corporal Whitcomb, the C.I.D. men, Colonel Cathcart, and Colonel Korn. But Yossarian has taken him seriously and treated him simply as a man, and the chaplain has come to admire Yossarian deeply.
14. You might approach it this way: In earlier chapters the war was still something of a game to Yossarian. He could deal with it playfully, having Snark put soap in the men's food or moving a bomb line to postpone a mission. He could talk about Switzerland and Sweden as good places to go to get out of fighting, but without considering the notion seriously. He could check into the hospital to make passes at the nurses and play with enlisted men's letters home. By the end of the novel, however, things have changed. Goldbricking won't work because he can be required to go so far as to fool a dead man's family. Missions can't be delayed forever. Worst of all, his friends are dying, and they are dying horribly- not to win the war, however, but for the insane purpose of helping a colonel become a general. It's only a matter of time till death overtakes Yossarian. He has already been wounded in the leg. His attention focuses on one overriding goal- how to end the madness for himself, personally, since the Air Force won't do it for him. In keeping with this single-minded focus, he attends relentlessly to the "now", taking no more playful side excursions.
15. For much of the novel, the beach, the apartments in Rome, and the hospitals serve as places of rest or recreation. Cite an example which shows the use of each for this purpose. It is also true, however, that all three become places of darkness and death. The most gruesome example for the beach is Kid Sampson's death, followed by McWatt's. In Rome, military police empty the apartments, and Aarfy cold-bloodedly murders one of the women who previously entertained the men. At the hospitals, minor complaints such as colds and imaginary liver disease give way to genuinely life-threatening wounds. Considering both ideas- these places as representing play and death- you could say that all three serve as metaphors or symbols for the entire novel. Like the novel as a whole, all three take you from comedy to tragedy.
TERM PAPER IDEAS AND OTHER TOPICS FOR WRITING
© Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.