NovelGuide: Catch 22: Novel Summary: Chapter 35 - 38

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Chapter 35 - 38

Nately finishes the seventy missions required to be sent home. He chooses to remain and keep flying missions so he can be near the prostitute he loves, but even if he did not want to, it would not matter, because Colonel Cathcart raises the number of missions to eighty. Cathcart does this so that other men will fly Milo's missions so that Milo can keep running the syndicate and cheating the men out of their money. Nately is killed on his next mission.
 
Chaplain Tappman wants to console Yossarian, but he is dragged away by government officials who want to interrogate him. They try to intimidate him into admitting to crimes that they do not even specify. They assume he is guilty and ask ridiculous questions, refusing to listen to his answers. They declare him guilty and then send him away, informing him that they will beat him senseless sometime when he does not expect it.
 
This incident plus Nately's death give the chaplain courage to confront Colonel Korn about the number of missions the men have to fly. Unfortunately, now Scheisskopf is a general and in charge, and all he cares about is parades. Yossarian simply refuses to fly any more missions. The officials do not know what to do. They cannot court-martial him because he has a medal, but they cannot let him refuse to fly because then the other men would refuse, too.
 
Meanwhile, Nately's prostitute tries to kill Yossarian because he brought the news about Nately's death. She keeps popping up out of nowhere with knives. Then, she stops showing up, and Yossarian is worried something has happened to her. When Captain Black tells him that the whole brothel has been cleared out in Rome, Yossarian is concerned.
 
Analysis
The chaplain suddenly gets courage, but it does not matter because the armed forces are run by immoral people who just want to protect their own interests. Simply trying to change the system from within will not accomplish anything. The chaplain is still playing by the rules and trying to complain up the chain of command, but it is clear that the rules are designed to accomplish whatever those in power want. This is clear by the outrageous interrogation they put him through.
 
Yossarian's method of fighting back is simply to stop acknowledging the rules. He just will not fly. He may be court-martialed or not, but he just refuses to go along with the rule that the men in his group have to fly many more missions than anyone else. This is a more passive resistance, but it is more effective because it confuses the people in charge. They cannot use the rules to their advantage because Yossarian simply ignores the rules.

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