Catch-22 Chapters 22-26 Summary

Yossarian lost his nerve on the mission to bomb Avignon when the copilot, Dobbs, took the controls away from the pilot, Huple. This put the plane into a nose dive which put all the men in danger. Snowden, the radio-gunner, was wounded and froze to death from the damage done to the plane during the rapid descent. After they returned to the base, Dobbs came to Yossarian with a plan to kill Cathcart because he kept raising the number of mission needed to go home. Yossarian would not go along with the plan.

Milo, who is in charge of the mess, had created a syndicate in which many men in and outside of the squadron were involved. He bought and sold various food products all over Italy and its surrounding areas to make a profit for both himself and the members of the syndicate.

In chapter 23, Yossarian, Nately, Aarfy, and Hungry Joe are in Rome. Nately has found the prostitute he is in love with. She has brought two other prostitutes with her, which Nately has to pay 90 dollars in exchange for their company. Nately asks Yossarian and Aarfy to occupy the other two girls so he can be alone with his girl and they all end up at the girls' brothel.

While there, Nately engages the old man who runs the brothel in conversation. The old man enjoys telling Nately of how America will lose the war. He also explains how he is always on the side of whoever is occupying the city, this way he preserves his way of life. Nately dislikes the old man, because on some level he reminds him of his father, only his father is more refined and moral. Nately comes from a very well to do family and is not experienced in dealing with people like the old man. Nately also finds out that the old man is responsible for an eye injury Major _______de Coverley suffered in Rome.

Milo Minderbinder's syndicate not only gets goods for American soldiers, but also supplies food and goods for other nations. He has even spread out to include warfare in his dealings. The way it works is if a nation wants him to provide bombers for a mission, he would do it for the cost of the operation plus six percent. He even went so far as to work for both the Americans and the Germans on the same bombing mission. He did not see anything wrong with it. He rationalized that both sides were going to complete the mission with or without him, so he might as well make a profit. This greed also led him to strafe the air base he was stationed at with planes he had confiscated for his syndicate use. He had bought the entire Egyptian cotton crop, only to find out there was no market for it, so to make up for his loses he agreed to bomb and strafe his own air base for the Germans. Yossarian did not forgive him for that, nor did anyone else, and he was in a lot of trouble. But Milo pointed out the advantages of the bombing from a business point of view and all was forgiven.

Yossarian had a hard time dealing with Snowden's death. He died during the Avignon mission. Yossarian insisted in walking around naked all the time. He said that he would never again wear a uniform. He also refused to help Milo with his cotton difficulties.

In chapter twenty-five Chaplain Albert Tappman has a crisis of faith. He does not know what he believes in. He thinks he saw a naked man in a cemetery, but now he is not sure. He doesn't know what is and what isn't real. He does know that he does not belong among the men of his squadron. They seem to tolerate him, but have no desire to befriend him, except for Yossarian and Dunbar. They were the only two men with whom he felt comfortable. He feels alone and misses his wife and children. He also feels that no matter how he tries, he cannot please Corporal Whitcomb.

Corporal Whitcomb has gone over Chaplain Tappman's head. He told Colonel Cathcart about his idea of sending letters to the families of men who are wounded, missing or dead. The Colonel feels this might be a way to have himself interviewed by The Saturday Evening Post, so he orders the chaplain to allow Whitcomb to send out the letters. To increase the number of letters to be sent, Colonel Cathcart volunteers the men to bomb Avignon again.

Chaplain Tappman also has trouble with General Dreedle. At first the general orders him to be at the officers' club every night, then he changes his mind. He decides to bar the chaplain from the officers' club.

Chapter twenty-six begins with the story of how Nately met the woman he loves. He met her in the enlisted men's apartment one night as the men were playing poker. He fell in love with her. Aarfy, who is the lead navigator, told him not to get involved with a whore, but Nately had his mind made up.

Aarfy was a very bad navigator; on a mission he led the squadron into flak. This resulted with Yossarian being hit in the leg. Yossarian is terrorized by the thought of dying and asks Aarfy for help. Aarfy refuses to help him and instead just pretends he does not hear him. Yossarian survived the injury, but did not take well to being hospitalized.

These chapters take the reader through Yossarian's traumas of losing Snowden and being injured. It also highlights the crisis of faith Chaplain Tappman suffers and his desire to be liked by the others in his squadron. In these chapters, Heller makes the reader aware of the different types of suffering endured by the men of the squadron.

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