Study Guide

Catch-22 Chapter 2

By Joseph Heller

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Chapter 2

  • We learn that a lot of people think Yossarian is crazy for saying there is a war going on. Especially this holier-than-thou guy named Clevinger.
  • Yossarian thinks that everyone is trying to kill him. Clevinger counters, saying this is crazy because everyone is trying to kill everyone else. There's a war going on.
  • Yossarian doesn't see the difference. Neither do we.
  • Clevinger is a very passionate man who grows inarticulate when arguing about his beliefs. So talking to Yossarian often makes him sputter.
  • Orr is Yossarian's roommate and a mechanical genius. Thanks to him, Yossarian's tent is luxurious and comfortable.
  • Havermeyer lives in the tent next door by himself. He likes eating peanut brittle and shooting at mice. Not at the same time though, we hope.
  • McWatt shares a tent with Nately. McWatt is considered crazy because he enjoys buzzing – or flying his plane near the ground and scaring his peers away.
  • Yossarian is proud of an officers' club, which he got out of helping to build. He and his friends often eat meals here.
  • Here, we meet Appleby – the typical good American – handsome, God-fearing, and overachieving. Everyone likes him except Yossarian, who apparently doesn't like anybody.
  • The last time Clevinger called Yossarian crazy was at this officers' club right before Yossarian was admitted to the hospital. Yossarian was trying to convince everyone that people were trying to poison his food. Again, Clevinger doesn't believe him.
  • Clevinger accuses Yossarian of being like Raskolnikov (from Crime and Punishment) who killed an old woman and felt justified in doing it.
  • After being released from the hospital, Yossarian enjoys a good meal at the mess hall. We learn that a man named Milo supplies the food there and that it's really good. Like, really good.
  • Yossarian goes to the flight surgeon, Doc Daneeka, and requests to be taken off duty so he can go home. Doc Daneeka refuses. He tends to do this a lot.
  • He reminds Yossarian that a soldier needs to complete fifty missions before he can be discharged, as ordered by Colonel Cathcart.
  • Yossarian only has forty-four missions.

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