Study Guide

Catch-22 Chapter 28

By Joseph Heller

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Chapter 28

  • There are rumors that Cathcart has volunteered his men for another mission in Bologna.
  • Yossarian, desperate, agrees to help Dobbs kill Cathcart. But now Dobbs doesn't want to do it. He has fulfilled his sixty missions and is packing to go home. Though Yossarian tries to convince him Cathcart will simply raise the number of missions, Dobbs will not listen. He suggests Yossarian ask Orr for help.
  • Orr recently crash-landed into the sea near Marseilles. When the men went for their life vests, they found that the carbon dioxide needed to inflate them had been stolen by Milo for his ice cream machines. He left apology notes in the life vests.
  • Orr saved every man in his crew using his handyman skills and resourcefulness. But the crew mocks him still.
  • Yossarian has a running plan to make an escape to Switzerland if he ever has a mission in northern Italy.
  • Orr tinkers with the stove again, knowing it gets on Yossarian's nerves. But this time, it is slightly different. He tells Yossarian how well the stove is going to work and how Yossarian can use it to keep himself warm and cook. He makes it sound like he is leaving.
  • Yossarian asks where he is going and Orr answers that he doesn't know. He adds a weird laugh.
  • Yossarian asks why he doesn't stop flying. Orr has terrible luck and crash-lands in the sea on every mission he flies. He only has eighteen missions.
  • Orr tells Yossarian he should fly with him. But Yossarian, who knows about Orr's luck, refuses politely.
  • We discover that Yossarian has a surprising amount of affection for Orr and wants to protect him from the administration.
  • Orr and Yossarian joke about their girls (Orr's girl is the prostitute who beat him over the head with a shoe), but Orr suddenly changes the subject and asks Yossarian why he never flies with him.
  • Yossarian is embarrassed. Orr already knows why. After the first Avignon mission, Yossarian went to Captains Piltchard and Wren and requested never to fly with Orr. Yossarian tells him the truth: he doesn't want to end up dead in the sea.
  • Orr ends up crash landing in the sea again on the third mission to Bologna. Though all his men survive, Orr barely escapes and the last anyone sees of him is his raft floating away.
  • Yossarian is really worried about Orr but he tries to make light of it. He sits in front of the stove Orr fixed and keeps reminding himself that Orr is perfectly capable of taking care of himself.
  • Orr never comes back.

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