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Free Study Guide-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 40: CATCH-22

Summary

Korn tells Yossarian that he has worked out a deal in order to send Yossarian home. He is willing to send Yossarian home as a decorated war hero as long as Yossarian speaks well of Korn when he gets back to America. Yossarian accepts the deal. The two colonels and Yossarian begin to act very friendly toward each other, even calling each other by pet names. Yossarian leaves Cathcart’s office in a buoyant mood. Outside the office, he is saluted by a private in green fatigues who turns into Nately’s girlfriend and tries to kill Yossarian. He is saved by Cathcart and Korn who rush out of the office in time to frighten her away.


Notes

Yossarian’s refusal to fly more missions has become a problem for his commanding officers. They cannot allow Yossarian’s insubordination to continue as it has had a demoralizing effect on the men. They make Yossarian an offer: it is a seemingly reasonable offer but it has a catch to it. Yossarian must pretend that he likes the two colonels and their styles, although he despises them both. But, Yossarian doesn’t want to play the role of martyr. He knows that the alternative is a court-martial. Therefore he accept the offer. The appearance of Nately’s girlfriend may be Yossarian’s consciousness. Yossarian is guilty of betraying the memory of his friend, Nately, by accepting the offer from the two colonels.

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