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Facing possible court-martial, Yossarian is offered a deal by Korn and Cathcart.They will promote him to major and send him home if he pretends to be friends with the two officers and shows support for their policies.
While there he and airman Dunbar take on the identities of other patients.
After putting his hand up Nurse Duckett’s skirt, Yossarian is sent to the hospital psychiatrist, who concludes that he is crazy and should go home.
The mess officer, Milo Minderbinder, gradually turns his mission to acquire food into an international black-market syndicate in which he eventually enlists the enemy Germans, at one point even having German planes (bearing the logo of his syndicate) bomb his own base (resulting in Mudd’s death).
Other characters include the flight surgeon Doc Daneeka and Hungry Joe, who suffers screaming nightmares except when he has missions to fly.
The term exhibits a bewildering chronology, with its beginning taking place more than halfway through the events described, and it proceeds in a series of looping flashbacks.
Most of the novel takes place on the Mediterranean island of Pianosa in 1944, where Yossarian is a bombardier serving under the indecisive and ambitious Colonel Cathcart, who continually raises the number of missions the men are required to fly before their tours of duty are completed.However, because the psychiatrist thought he was examining A. After returning to his tent, Yossarian declines Orr’s request to fly with him, and on his next mission Orr crashes into the Mediterranean and does not return.Cathcart then orders an attack on an undefended village in order to produce pleasing photographs for General Peckem.Yossarian is promoted to captain after a mission in Ferrara, Italy, in which, after missing a bridge, he flies back a second time and successfully destroys it, though a squadron member is killed.Yossarian shares a tent with Orr, who crashes his plane on every mission but always survives, and with the belongings of Mudd, who was killed in action two hours after his arrival on base but before being officially checked in.Later Mc Watt playfully buzzes the beach in his plane and accidentally slices Kid Sampson in half; he then deliberately crashes his plane into a mountain.Because Doc Daneeka was falsely listed on Mc Watt’s manifest, it is assumed that he also died, and he is thereafter unable to convince anyone, including his wife, that he remains alive.His grisly death has a profound effect on Yossarian, who appears naked at the next formation and at Snowden’s funeral.From that point on, Yossarian, acutely aware of his mortality, strives to avoid death at all costs.Captain John Yossarian, an American bombardier stationed on a Mediterranean island during World War II, and chronicles his desperate attempts to stay alive.Yossarian interprets the entire war as a personal attack and becomes convinced that the military is deliberately trying to send him to an untimely death.