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CHAPTER 10: WINTERGREEN
Clevinger’s plane disappears in a bombing over Elba. He is assumed dead.
As a cadet, Wintergreen would go AWOL and as punishment would dig and then fill up holes. Thus he manages to remain in cadet school, hoping that the war will be over before he would be sent to the front.
Appleby reports Yossarian for refusing to take his malaria tablets. Towser tells Appleby that Major never sees anybody in his office. Appleby is furious and writes a report on Yossarian’s behavior and leaves.
Mudd, whose belongings are in Yossarian’s tent, was known to very few of his fellow soldiers. Towser thinks it was a colossal waste to bring Mudd all the way to Pianosa, only for the Germans to shoot him down two hours after his arrival.
An atmosphere of tension and impending doom prevails a week after Mudd’s death, as the men prepare for the Great Siege of Bologna. Dr. Stubbs describes Yossarian as the only sane man left, because he does not want to go to Bologna.
Wintergreen is trying to avoid fighting in the war. He spends the better part of the war digging holes at cadet school.
An atmosphere of decay and death pervades this chapter. The "sulphurous fog" makes the plot appear like a living hell. Stubb’s statement that he does not care anymore whether he saves men’s lives is a poignant reflection of the fact that the war has made men’s lives cheap. In their situation, it is wiser to be like Yossarian. His pretended insanity is a mark behind which Stubb’s finds the mind of a rational man.