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Free Study Guide-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 2: CLEVINGER

Summary

Yossarian lives in a tent along with his roommate Orr. Orr is described as "a grinning pygmy with pilotís wings." He is very enterprising and has equipped the tent with a fireplace, running water and a cement floor. In the next tent lives Havermeyer. He shoots tiny field mice every night.

McWatt and Nately have a tent close by. McWatt is a "crazy" pilot who flies his plane as low as possible over Yossarianís tent to frighten him. Nately is in love with a Roman prostitute. Another officer, Appleby believes in God, Motherhood, and the American way of life. Yossarian hates Appleby.

Yossarian is now out of hospital. Before he had entered the hospital, Yossarian had told Clevinger that some people were trying to kill him (Yossarian), but that he had no idea who they were. Yossarian believes that they will not succeed in killing him because he is a hero: "a Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon." Clevinger tells Yossarian that he is crazy.


Yossarian meets Doc Daneeka and asks to be taken off combat duty and sent home. Daneeka tells him that he must complete fifty missions in order to be sent home as Cathcart has raised the required number. Yossarian has only completed forty-four.

Notes

We are introduced to some of Yossarianís fellow soldiers. They appear grotesque in character. Hellerís characters are drawn almost to the point of caricature. We can remember some of the characters by the unique things they habitually do: Havermeyer shoots tiny field mice at night, and McWatt loves to fly his plane as low as possible.

Yossarian hates Appleby because Appleby believes in the American system, and Yossarian no longer does. Yossarian deserves a rest, yet Cathcart keeps raising the required number of missions to bolster his own status. of America. Yossarian knows democracy does not exist within the armed forces and throughout the novel he will fight for his rights as a soldier.

There is evidence that Yossarian is beginning to lose his sanity when he says that everybody is trying to kill him. But it is also Hellerís way of exposing the utter indifference of the administrative officers, and the low morale of the fighting men. Yossarian believes that his commanding officer is trying to kill him by sending him on more missions.

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