Study Guide

Catch-22 Chapter 34

By Joseph Heller

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Chapter 34

  • After a rowdy Thanksgiving celebration, Yossarian is awoken by the sound of machine gun fire and freaks out because he thinks Milo is attacking the base again.
  • It turns out that the fire is a practical joke of some drunkards celebrating an early new year.
  • Yossarian works himself into a rage and grabs his .45 (a gun, in layman's terms), meaning to go out and kill the offenders for scaring him so.
  • Nately tries to stop him. Yossarian punches him in the nose.
  • Yossarian runs into Dunbar.
  • Dunbar wants to kill the shooters, too.
  • But by now the shooters have fled and Yossarian wants to check on Nately. He feels bad for hitting his friend.
  • When he visits Nately, he finds him with a cast-up nose and two black eyes. He is sheepish when Yossarian tries to apologize to him. In short, Nately forgives Yossarian.
  • We discover that Nurse Duckett has broken up with Yossarian and plans to marry a doctor.
  • Then the chaplain enters spouting some nonsense about Wisconsin shingles. It turns out he has lied to the doctors for the first time, telling them he had a nonexistent disease called the Wisconsin shingles.
  • The friends, including Nately, go out to see a Hollywood film, but when they come back, the soldier in white is back.
  • Panic spreads throughout the whole hospital.
  • There is a brief respite when they recognize the soldier in white as the "same one," but panic ensues again when Dunbar suggests that there's nobody inside.
  • While everyone is examining the motionless bandaged soldier to determine if anyone is inside, Nurse Duckett pulls Yossarian aside. He thinks he's going to get some action.
  • No such luck. In a closet, she tells the amorous Yossarian that she heard some people saying they are going to "disappear" Dunbar.
  • Yossarian doesn't know what that means but he hurries away to warn Dunbar.

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