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by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. (1.13)

Despite the Texan's seeming patriotism, his beliefs turn out to be class biased. He seeks to suppress the voice of those less wealthy than the average, middle-class American.

Quote #2

Dunbar sat up like a shot. "That's it," he cried excitedly. "There was something missing – and now I know what it is." He banged his first down into his palm. "No patriotism," he declared.

"You're right," Yossarian shouted back. "You're right, you're right, you're right. The hot dog, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mom's apple pie. That's what everyone's fighting for. But who's fighting for the decent folk? Who's fighting for more votes for the decent folk? There's no patriotism, that's what it is. And no matriotism, either. (1.15-16)

Yossarian and Dunbar mock the Texan for his jingoism. The American lifestyle, which includes hotdogs, Brooklyn Dodgers and apple pie, is exactly what they are fighting to preserve. They demonstrate that it is greedy and illogical for them to fight for more material wealth on behalf of those who already have votes.

Quote #3

The colonel dwelt in a vortex of specialists who were still specializing in trying to determine what was troubling him. They hurled lights in his eyes to see if he could see, rammed needles into nerves to hear if he could feel. There was a urologist for his urine, a lymphologist for his lymph, an endocrinologist for his endocrines, a psychologist for his psyche, a dermatologist for his derma; there was a pathologist for his pathos, a cystologist for his cysts […]

The colonel had really been investigated. There was not an organ of his body that had not been drugged and derogated, dusted and dredged, fingered and photographed, removed, plundered, and replaced. (1.100-101)

Despite all the specialists investigating the colonel, nobody can figure out what is wrong with him. This points out the hospital's ineptitude.

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