Catch 22: Novel Summary: Chapter 39 - 40

Average Overall Rating: 5
Total Votes: 142

Chapter 39 - 40

Yossarian goes to Rome without permission to look for the prostitute's little sister. He wants to help her, but as he roams the streets of Rome he gets depressed. He sees all sorts of helpless, victimized people that neither he nor anyone else tries to help. When he gets to the officers' apartment, he finds that Aarfy has raped a maid and then thrown her out the window. The Military Police arrive, but they arrest Yossarian for being in Rome without a pass, rather than arresting Aarfy for rape and murder.
 
When he is returned to the base at Pianosa, Colonels Cathcart and Korn inform him that they are sending him home. There is, of course, a catch: Catch-22. They are sending him home but he has to pretend to like them. This way, the other men will not rebel like he did, because he will pretend that he is being sent home by some great commanding officers. This will make them look good on the base and in the United States. Yossarian agrees. As he leaves the office, Nately's prostitute attacks him again and stabs him.
 
Analysis
In chapter 39, Yossarian seems very aware of social injustice. He notices the poor all around him and worries about them. Yet, he does not try to help the child, the dog, or the women he sees being victimized. Yossarian's concern with others is ineffective, because he does not help them.
 
When he is offered a way to get out of the army, he takes it. He is aware that his friendliness to those in power may convince his fellow soldiers to keep flying missions without complaint. Yet, he agrees to do it to help himself. Perhaps he is no more moral than Milo or Colonel Cathcart, simply doing what is required to help himself.

Quotes: Search by Author

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z