Catch-22 Chapters 39-42 Summary

Yossarian and Milo have flown to Rome to look for Nately's girlfriend's little sister. The problem is Yossarian does not have permission to go to Rome. Being AWOL is a sticking point for Yossarian in his search, he cannot ask for help from the police or military police because they might arrest him. Milo instead is the one asking the police chief for help. That is until the police chief mentions illegal tobacco, then Milo completely forgets about the twelve year old girl Yossarian is trying to find.

Yossarian returns to the apartment Natley's girlfriend and her kid sister had lived in. The only one in the apartment building is the old lady, she has little information. All she tells him is the men who had white helmets and clubs, smashed everything and threw the girls out into the street. The men told them they were doing this to them because of Catch-22. The old lady supposed this meant, that because no one could stop them then they could do as they wanted.

Yossarian left the apartment to look for the girl. He witnessed atrocity after atrocity, people starving, being beaten and being taken by the police. He finally winds up at the officers' apartment, there he finds out that Aarfy has raped the maid and then threw her out the window to her death. Yossarian is incensed at Aarfy who is in denial that he could possibly be in trouble for this act.

The MPs show up but it is to arrest Yossarian for being absent without leave. They take him back to Pianosa to face Colonels Korn and Cathcart, who tell him he is being sent home.

In Colonel Cathcart's office, Yossarian learns the price he must pay in order to be sent home. He must praise Colonels Korn and Cathcart, become the colonels' friend, be promoted to major, and continue working for the war effort back home. He will continue working for the war effort by selling war bonds and helping to raise morale for the war. He agrees to all this, but he is wary of their true intentions. He is jubilant at the thought of going home. As he leaves he salutes a private who turns out to be Nately's prostitute girlfriend who stabs him in the side with a kitchen knife. She was about to finish him off when the two colonels arrive and see what is happening. She runs away frightened at the possibility of being caught.

Yossarian is taken to the hospital for treatment, he awakens to the voices of two doctors trying to decide whether or not he needs surgery. Meanwhile, the same colonel who interrogated the chaplain, appears and wants to question Yossarian. Yossarian cuts this short by pretending to faint. In the end he is operated on, he wakes up to a strange man telling him, "We've got your pal, buddy. We've got your pal." Yossarian has no idea what he is talking about.

Colonels Korn and Cathcart put out a report making Yossarian a hero for saving them from a Nazi assassin. The chaplain told Yossarian this, Yossarian told the chaplain the truth of what had happened. The chaplain also told him Hungry Joe had died in his sleep; he was smothered by his cat. Yossarian is upset by the news. He wakes again later to be told again by another sinister man that they have his pal. Yossarian is still confused and wonders who this pal is. He lays awake in fear of what is going to happen to him, as he lays there he starts thinking about the day Snowden died.

He recalls all the gory details of finding the bomber bleeding from his groin, repeating over and over again of how cold he is. He relives the details of how he bound the wound, only to discover the greater injury which had laid Snowden's internal organs out of his body. He recalled how he became sick and then recovering his composure, tried to comfort the man in his last moments.

Major Danby visits Yossarian in the hospital to make sure the deal is still on. Colonels Korn and Cathcart are anxious to be rid of Yossarian. Yossarian has decided he is no longer interested in the deal. Instead he is going to go up against them because he feels they cannot possibly court-martial him. Danby shows him the error in his logic, not only can they make up any charge they want, they can also make up any official report they need to back up those charges. Danby tries to persuade Yossarian to take the deal. He tells him that Milo has made agreements with anyone who could have helped him. He almost succeeds but in the end Yossarian decides that if there is no hope for him, then he might as well run away.

Just as all seems lost the chaplain appears with exciting news, Orr has been found in Sweden. It all becomes clear to Yossarian, the crash landings were Orr's way of preparing to escape to Sweden. Yossarian is galvanized into action, he is going to Rome and retrieve the kid sister of Nately's girlfiend. Then they are going to Sweden to make a better life for themselves. The chaplain is suddenly infused with faith and the courage to take a stand against his superiors. Danby promises not to speak of Yossarian's plans and give him a chance to leave. At the last moment Yossarian has to dodge Nately's girlfriend as she jumps out from the hospital door in a last attempt to stab Yossarian.

Yossarian's need to help Nately's girlfriend's kid sister almost becomes his undoing, he went AWOL. He goes through a crisis, of which, in the end the news of Orr's survival clears up. Heller ends the book on a note of hope. By having Yossarian flee the base and implement his plan to save the kid and live in Sweden.

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Catch-22 Chapters 1-6 Summary
Catch-22 Chapters 7-11 Summary
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