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by Joseph Heller
Catch-22 Chapter 30 Summary
The men bomb the village, but Dunbar drops his bombs far from the village itself so that they don't harm anyone. After this, Dunbar "wastes away." We discover that the chaplain's visit to Wintergreen has proven futile. Yossarian channels his frustration into thoughts about taking a machine gun and killing all his oppressors – the Germans, Havermeyer, and Appleby. We learn that Orr crash-landed in the water because Havermeyer and Appleby insisted on flying straight to the target with no evasive action. Yossarian replays the first Avignon mission in his mind. We learn that when Yossarian treated Snowden, he cared for the wrong wound. Thanks to the disastrous Avignon mission, Yossarian feels safer flying with McWatt than Dobbs or Huple, even though McWatt has a love of flying dangerously. Basically nothing is safe anywhere. When training the replacement crew (to replace Orr), McWatt flies dangerously close to the ground, hugging every hill and valley with his plane. Yossarian, scared out in mind, gets McWatt in a chokehold and threatens very seriously to kill him if he doesn't bring the plane to a safer altitude. McWatt complies. Yossarian feels guilty for threatening McWatt. But McWatt seems OK with it. And it hasn't stopped him from flying over the beach where Yossarian and the men relax. One day, Yossarian is on the beach with Nurse Duckett. Apparently they are dating now. He is constantly affectionate with her. Nurse Duckett flirts with all the men and thrives on male attention. Nurse Cramer shadows her, silent and disapproving of Yossarian. Yossarian likes Nurse Duckett because she knows how to keep quiet. He stares at the sea thinking of his friends who have died in it – Clevinger and Orr. One day, McWatt buzzes the beach and Kid Sampson jumps up from his raft to touch the oncoming plane. McWatt's plane, flying too low, slices Kid Sampson in half with its propellers. Everyone on the beach panics. They retreat and watch McWatt's plane climb higher and higher in slow spirals. Sergeant Knight remarks that several other men, including Doc Daneeka, are in the plane with McWatt – he worries for them. But Doc Daneeka is right there on the ground, watching the plane with everyone else. Everyone wonders why McWatt doesn't come down. But Yossarian suddenly realizes why. He runs and shouts hysterically. After all the other men (except Knight's imaginary Doc Daneeka) have jumped out with parachutes, McWatt flies his plane straight into a mountain, committing suicide. Colonel Cathcart, upset by McWatt's death, increases the number of missions to sixty-five.
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