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by Joseph Heller

The Chaplain Timeline and Summary

  • The chaplain arrives at the hospital to talk to every patient. He meets and likes (!) Yossarian and Dunbar.
  • Colonel Cathcart meets with the chaplain and asks him to start a prayer group before every mission in the hopes of getting himself into the newspapers. However, the chaplain's discussion with him convinces him that it's not a good idea. Rather a bad idea, in fact.
  • The chaplain brings up the subject of the number of rising missions, but Cathcart shuts him up quickly.
  • The chaplain leaves with a plum tomato, a gift from the Colonel.
  • When the chaplain gets home, Corporal Whitcomb gives him a hard time. He basically accuses the chaplain of forging a different name on the censored letters and reports him to a C.I.D. man.
  • During Snowden's funeral, the chaplain looks up and sees a naked man in a tree. It is a strange moment, and the chaplain considers it a vision.
  • The chaplain thinks he has met Yossarian somewhere before and told him he couldn't help him.
  • The chaplain was invited and then kicked out of the officers' club by Colonel Cathcart. Yossarian defends the chaplain in the officers' club.
  • The morning after his conversation with Cathcart, the chaplain decides firmly to see Major Major about the missions.
  • He misses him three times and then learns that Major Major told Yossarian there was nothing he could do about the missions. The chaplain is disappointed.
  • On his way home, the chaplain runs into a ragged Captain Flume, who prophesies that he will return when Chief White Halfoat dies of pneumonia.
  • When he gets home, Whitcomb has been promoted to Sergeant, and Cathcart berates the chaplain for thinking Whitcomb's ideas for form letters were bad.
  • The chaplain tries to talk to Doc Daneeka. This fails.
  • The chaplain tries to talk to Wintergreen. This also fails.
  • After Yossarian punches Nately in the nose, the chaplain lies for the first time. He tells the doctors Yossarian has a nonexistent disease.
  • Just as he is about to mourn Nately's death, the chaplain is spirited off for an interrogation by some unknown staff.
  • They take him to a dingy cellar and accuse him of forgery, not being Baptist, stealing a plum tomato from Cathcart, not believing in God, and disapproving of Whitcomb's letters.
  • They let the chaplain go as they decide his punishment.
  • The chaplain runs into Colonel Korn and tries to talk to him about the missions. When shut down, he asks permission to see General Dreedle. Korn agrees, but there is a catch. General Dreedle has been replaced by Peckem. The chaplain doesn't even know Peckem.
  • The chaplain comes bursting into a conversation with Yossarian and Danby and tells them that Orr has survived and apparently washed up on a beach in Sweden. He considers it a miracle.
  • It inspires him to stand up against his oppressors and even to threaten them with violence. Rah-rah.