Study Guide

Catch-22 Chapter 40

By Joseph Heller

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Chapter 40

  • There is, however, a catch. A Catch-22, of course.
  • Colonels Cathcart and Korn blame Yossarian for the men's decreasing morale. Yossarian's refusal to fly is stirring up controversy within the ranks.
  • So the Colonels have come up with a despicable little deal to send Yossarian home without causing too much of an outrage with the men.
  • Yossarian asks what it is, but the Colonels keep avoiding the question.
  • Eventually, they tell him. All Yossarian has to do is be "like us." Which is a bad thing.
  • He must say good things about the administration back in the States.
  • Colonels Cathcart and Korn want to be promoted and don't want General Peckem or Scheisskopf to catch wind of any tension between them. So they want Yossarian to stop being a thorn in their sides and become their pal.
  • If Yossarian refuses, they say, he'll be hit with a court martial.
  • Yossarian says, "OK."
  • The Colonels rejoice. Colonel Korn tells Yossarian to call him "Blackie" and to call Colonel Cathcart "Chuck." They begin calling Yossarian "Yo-Yo." They're all chummy now.
  • As Yossarian leaves, elated, Nately's prostitute ambushes him. She is dressed as a private in green fatigues.
  • Yossarian faints from fear.
  • He is saved only when Cathcart and Korn run out and scare her away.

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