Study Guide

Catch-22 Chapter 22

By Joseph Heller

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Chapter 22

  • Yossarian loses his nerve during the Avignon mission because the co-pilot Dobbs doesn't trust Huple, the fifteen-year-old pilot, to steer. How the heck did a fifteen-year-old get into the Air Force?
  • When flak starts flying, Dobbs wrests the controls from Huple and sends the plane into a nose-dive.
  • Yossarian is plastered to the ceiling.
  • When Huple gets the controls back and levels them out, there is a hole in the Plexiglas nose of the plane where Yossarian is. He gets a face full of glass.
  • Dobbs cries for someone to help the bombardier, but Yossarian is the bombardier and calls back that he is okay. So Dobbs yells for someone to help the radio-gunner, Snowden. Over the intercom, Snowden complains that he is cold.
  • When Yossarian goes back to help Snowden, he finds him wounded and dying in the rear section of the plane.
  • We learn that Dobbs is a bad pilot and, worse, that he wants Yossarian to help him murder Colonel Cathcart.
  • When Dobbs asks Yossarian to help kill Cathcart, he refuses, saying he cannot kill a man in cold blood.
  • But Dobbs tries to convince Yossarian, revealing his plan. Yossarian listens carefully but cannot discern where he comes into the picture. Dobbs then says that all he wants from Yossarian is a go-ahead for him to kill Cathcart.
  • Again, Yossarian refuses.
  • Changing topics, we learn about a rest leave during which Yossarian and Orr hung out with Milo in Cairo.
  • Milo keeps telling Yossarian to "remember your mission." What's the mission? Keeping Orr from learning where Milo buys his eggs, even though Orr is a member of Milo's syndicate and owns a share. Milo takes the guys from Pianosa to Sicily to Palermo. At each stop, he keeps promising Yossarian and Orr a nice hotel room with prostitutes where they can relax. They never get these hotel rooms because Milo keeps abandoning them for new projects.
  • Upon arrival in Palermo, we learn that Milo is mayor there; he's treated like a celebrity.
  • His barber tells him of an upcoming artichoke auction and Milo leaves to buy himself some artichokes.
  • The rest of the trip is similarly frustrating. Milo is some sort of official in every city they stop in and everywhere they stop, he goes off to buy or sell something. All his profits, he claims, go towards the syndicate, though his methods for making profits are dubious.
  • They fly from Palermo to Naples to Malta to Oran to Cairo. Here Milo buys Egyptian cotton and green red bananas.
  • At last they head back to Pianosa. Neither Yossarian nor Orr has found their rest leave the least bit relaxing. And this is in comparison to war.

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