by Joseph Heller
Catch-22 Chapter 41 Summary
- Yossarian wakes up in the hospital, just as two incompetent surgeons are about to start cutting into him.
- After he argues with them, they knock him out with anesthesia.
- Yossarian wakes up to find a strange man with a mean face telling him cryptically, "We've got your pal, buddy. We've got your pal." Yossarian doesn't know what this means or who is pal is. Creepy.
- The chaplain suggests that maybe he's Yossarian's pal.
- The chaplain is proud that Yossarian saved Cathcart and Korn from a Nazi assassin. Yossarian realizes this is how the administration is painting the attack from Nately's prostitute.
- He tells the chaplain the truth and then decides to break off the deal with Cathcart and Korn.
- We discover that Hungry Joe has died. He suffocated from Huple's cat sitting on his face in his sleep.
- Then, the strange man with the mean face comes back and repeats his message: "We've got your pal, buddy." Yossarian, scared, tries to strangle him, but the man escapes.
- Yossarian is afraid.
- He remembers a time he felt similarly scared and helpless, in the plane above Avignon, as he helped Snowden dress his wounds.
- Yossarian remembers this painful incident:
- The morphine has been taken by Milo. All Yossarian has to offer as painkillers are aspirin. Snowden refuses them.
- Yossarian cuts off Snowden's trouser leg and dresses the wound in his thigh. He gains confidence as he works. He bandages the thigh wound well.
- Snowden keeps complaining that he is cold and all Yossarian can say to comfort him is "there, there."
- Then Snowden indicates there is another wound inside his flak suit. Yossarian sees a stain just below Snowden's armpit. He rips the flak suit open to dress it.
- Then, Snowden's slimy, bloody insides come gushing out. Yossarian freaks out.
- He considers this to be Snowden's terrible secret – that man is matter. Man is mortal. It is a horrifying epiphany for him. And another hugely important passage.
- Snowden says he is cold as he dies. Mechanically, Yossarian answers, "there, there."
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