Literapedia Book Notes for

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


  • Yossarian (ch 1) — Protagonist and captain of the fighting 256th squadron. Despises the war he fights in.
  • Nurse Duckett (ch 1) — Nurse at the military hospital.
  • Dunbar (ch 1) — Yossarian's friend.
  • The Chaplain (ch 1) — Real name A.T.Tappman. Laments his inability to help.
  • The Texan (ch 1) — Military hospital patient. Incessant talker.
  • Soldier in White (ch 1) — Military hospital patient. Can't use arms or legs and dies quickly.
  • Clevinger (ch 2) — Officer. Patriotic and supportive of the war.
  • Orr (ch 2) — Yossarian's roommate and friend.
  • Milo Minderbinder (ch 2) — Black market trader whose syndicate grows enormously.
  • Doc Daneeka (ch 2) — Resentful medical officer. Had a prosperous business back in America.
  • Colonel Cathcart (ch 2) — Yossarian's superior. Raises bar for discharge continually and volunteers his men to try to get a promotion.
  • Huple (ch 3) — Young pilot and Hungry Joe's roommate.
  • Hungry Joe (ch 3) — Pilot. Former photographer for Life and very perverted.
  • P.P. Peckem (ch 3) — Overly neat general aspiring to take over Yossarian's squadron.
  • General Dreedle (ch 3) — General in command of Yossarian.
  • Colonel Cargill (ch 3) — Peckem's troubleshooter. Incompetent and able to "run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground."
  • Havermeyer (ch 3) — Lead bombardier. Known for fearlessness.
  • McWatt (ch 3) — Cheery pilot of Yossarian's plane. Labeled crazy by Yossarian.
  • Sergeant Knight (ch 3) — Sita in the back of Yossarian's plane.
  • Captain Aardvark (ch 3) — Navigator in Yossarian's plane.
  • Gus (ch 4) — Enlisted medical man with Wes. Amazingly efficient.
  • Wes (ch 4) — Enlisted medical man with Gus. Amazingly efficient.
  • Captian Black (ch 4) — Intelligence officer. Wears eyeglasses and uses big words.
  • Lt. Colonel Korn (ch 4) — Served und Cathcart. Assigned to prevent headquarters receiving questions and uses a Catch-22 to do it.
  • Appleby (ch 4) — Fit squadron member. Amazing at Ping-Pong.
  • Colonel Moodus (ch 4) — Son-in-law of Dreedle, Dreedle's aide, and subject of Dreedle's hate.
  • Wintergreen (ch 4) — Ex-P.F.C. good at manipulating official documents.
  • Nurse Cramer (ch 5) — Another hospital nurse.
  • Chief White Halfoat (ch 5) — Oklahoma Indian. Back home, had a knack for making residence on land with oil and tracked by oil companies for this reason.
  • Dobbs (ch 5) — Copilot with McWatt in Yossarian's plane.
  • Snowden (ch 5) — Soldier that died on an earlier mission. His death enlightens Yossarian about war.
  • Sergeant Towser (ch 6) — Handles the orders received from headquarters. Scapegoat when expected discharges do not come.
  • Captain Flume (ch 6) — Quiet public-relations officer. Work-obsessed and paranoid.
  • Major Major Major Major (ch 6) — Friendless officer promoted to Major on his first day in the army by computer error. Father had a unique brand of humor.
  • Major Duluth (ch 6) — Killed over Perugia.
  • Major Danby (ch 6) — Operations officer once a college professor.
  • Corporal Snark (ch 7) — Milo's former chef that poisoned Milo's squadron with GI soap.
  • Lieutenant Scheisskopf (ch 8) — Power-obsessed ROTC graduate.
  • Scheisskopf's Wife (ch 8) — Promiscous wife of Scheisskopf who has been intimate with everyone under Scheisskopf's command.
  • Dori Duz (ch 8) — Young friend of Scheisskopf's wife, daring and equally promiscuous.
  • Lieutenant Engle (ch 8) — Discusses Scheisskopf with Travers.
  • Lieutenant Travers (ch 8) — Discusses Scheisskopf with Engle.
  • Lieutenant Bemis (ch 8) — Lieutenant referenced by Engle and Travers.
  • Major Metcalf (ch 8) — Member of Action Board overly concerned with protocol.
  • Major -- de Coverley (ch 9) — Fearsome enough to prevent people for asking for his first name.
  • Mudd (ch 10) — Soldier that died beore reporting for duty.
  • Dr. Stubbs (ch 10) — Cynical medical officer.
  • Corporal Kolodny (ch 11) — Informs Captain Black of information.
  • Nately (ch 12) — Young boy from upper-class home that falls in love with a whore.
  • Kraft (ch 13) — Pilot in Yossarian's plane, killed when Yossarian needlessly flew over a target twice.
  • Kid Sampson (ch 14) — Yossarian's pilot for Bologna.
  • Captain Piltchard (ch 15) — One of the men that rakes Yossarian for turning back at Bologna.
  • Captain Wren (ch 15) — One of the men that rakes Yossarian for turning back at Bologna.
  • Luciana (ch 16) — Italian girl Yossarian falls in love with.
  • The soldier who saw everything twice (ch 18) — Hospitalized soldier Yossarian imitates.
  • Giuseppe (ch 18) — A dead soldier Yossarian is ordered to imitate when the family visits.
  • Corporal Whitcomb (ch 20) — Atheistic assistant to the chaplain.
  • Nately's Whore (ch 23) — Roman whore that Nately pursues. Eventually falls in love with Nately shortly before his death.
  • Nately's Whore's Sister (ch 23) — Twelve years old. Constantly interrupts Nately's trysts with her sister.
  • A. Fortiori (ch 26) — Soldier accidentally sent home as a result of Yossarian being declared insane and his identity switching.
  • Major Sanderson (ch 27) — Psychiatrist at the hospital. More interested in his own problems.
  • Yossarian's Roommates (ch 32) — Unnamed, naive people assigned to room with Yossarian after Orr's disappearance.
  • Lou (ch 33) — One of the officers who keeps Nately's Whore.
  • Ned (ch 33) — One of the officers who keeps Nately's Whore.
  • Bill (ch 33) — One of the officers who keeps Nately's Whore.
  • Filpo (ch 33) — One of the officers who keeps Nately's Whore.

Chapter Summaries

  1. The Texan - Yossarian and his comrades fake illnesses to get out of the war effort until the annoyances of the Texan make them all "get better."
  2. Clevinger - Out of the hospital, Yossarian reflects on the idiocy of the war and learns that Colonel Cathcart has raised the mission quota for discharge.
  3. Havermeyer: Doc Daneeka advises Yossarian to be a fearless pilot like Havermeyer, advice that Yossarian refuses.
  4. Doc Daneeka: Doc Daneeka talks about his business back home. Wintergreen causes a panic among some high officers by telephoning the name T.S.Eliot.
  5. Chief White Halfoat: Yossarian begs Doc Daneeka to keep him out of service and gets an explanation of Catch-22 back.
  6. Hungry Joe: Hungry Joe's current pretend and past actual role as a Life photographer are described. Halfoat breaks Moodus's nose, and Dreedle wishes to see this repeated.
  7. McWatt: Yossarian reflects on McWatt's cheeriness, concluding that he is crazy. Milo gives Yossarian a taste of his hopes and economic ideas, with McWatt's blanket a casualty.
  8. Lieutenant Scheisskopf: Clevinger muses about how Lieutenant Scheisskopf, along with many other superiors, hate him, and can't figure out why.
  9. Major Major Major Major: Major Major's past and unimpressive nature is described. He is the instigator of the Washington Irving signatures and begins wearing bad disguises when the C.I.D. men come.
  10. Wintergreen: Clevinger's plane disappears. Yossarian reflects on Mudd whose belongings he still has.
  11. Captain Black: Captain Black is excited to hear Cathcart has taken a new mission for his men, bringing him out of a depression spawned by jealousy of Major Major.
  12. Bologna: Yossarian makes sure Snark poisons the food again. Everyone gets diarrhea and does not fly.
  13. Major -- de Coverley: Yossarian tricks Major -- de Coverley into moving into Bologna, an enemy area. de Coverley is now missing.
  14. Kid Sampson: Yossarian decides not to fly over the target and has the plane go back. Bologna is bombed perfectly by the rest due to good weather.
  15. Piltchard & Wren: Yossarian must fly Bologna again. There is return fire this time. Yossarian does not die but others do, and he gets rest leave to Rome.
  16. Luciana: Yossarian buys Luciana dinner and dances with her, then fornicates with her. Luciana responds to Yossarian's proposal by telling that he's crazy to try to wed a girl that's not a virgin.
  17. The Soldier in White: Cathcart raises the mission number again. Yossarian goes back to the hospital and reflects on Snowden.
  18. The Soldier Who Saw Everything Twice: Yossarian reflects on his first time in the hospital.
  19. Colonel Cathcart: The chaplain and Cathcart argue about things. Cathcart ignores the chaplain when he mentions complaints about the mission requirements being raised.
  20. Corporal Whitcomb: The chaplain bemoans his inability to help anyone.
  21. General Dreedle: Cathcart has a vendetta on Yossarian and wonders if his name is a subversive reference to socialism, with all of the S's.
  22. Milo the Mayor: Snowden's death is explained. Milo's incredible black market influence is revealed as M & M Enterprises.
  23. Nately's Old Man: Nately argues with his whore about their relationship, and later and with an old man about whether Italy or America are doing better in the war.
  24. Milo: Milo's enterprises are huge. The guns that shot down Mudd are Milo's. The camp is bombed by Milo's planes.
  25. The Chaplain: The chaplain is confused about his inability to do anything good, and starts to doubt God.
  26. Aarfy: Yossarian is wounded by flak on a flight. At the hospital, he and Dunbar order lower-ranked soldiers to switch beds and thus identites before being caught by nurses.
  27. Nurse Duckett: Yossarian and Dunbar sexually abuse Nurse Duckett. Yossarian is sent to Major Sanderson, the psychiatrist.
  28. Dobbs: Dobbs decides not to kill Cathcart and suggests Orr instead. After Orr and Yossarian discuss things, Orr vanishes on his next mission.
  29. Peckem: A bombing mission of an undefended village is done to get good publicity photographs, as ordered by Peckem.
  30. Dunbar: McWatt accidentally slices Kid Sampson in half, and immediately pilots the plane into a mountain, killing himself.
  31. Mrs. Daneeka: Altered records make Doc Daneeka improperly reported dead due to the crash of yesterday. He loses contact with his wife and no longer has a job as a result.
  32. Yo-Yo's Roomies: With Orr missing, Yossarian finds himself with new roommates. They eventually cause Yossarian to run to Rome with Hungry Joe.
  33. Nately's Whore: Yossarian and Nately get Nately's whore away from some officers that are keeping her. Nately has delusions of turning his whore into a nice girl; she resists.
  34. Thanksgiving: Yossarian breaks Nately's nose and learns the doctors are to "disappear" Dunbar.
  35. Milo the Militant: Milo tricks Cathcart into giving him no more missions. A particularly deadly mission is assigned. Dobbs and Nately die.
  36. The Cellar: The chaplain is convicted of unnamed crimes due to the letter Yossarian wrote at the book's beginning. Peckem has replaced Dreedle.
  37. General Scheisskopf: Peckem learns Scheisskopf is now his superior. Parades are now mandatory.
  38. Kid Sister: Yossarian refuses to fly more missions. He tells Nately's whore that Nately has died, and she responds by repeatedly attempting to stab him to death.
  39. The Eternal City: Rome is in ruins. Yossarian discusses Catch-22 with the old woman that lived in the whores' apartment. He is arrested for not having a leave pass.
  40. Catch-22: Cathcart and Korn decide to send Yossarian home, stipulating that Yossarian must like them and support them. Yossarian agrees; Nately's Whore stabs him again.
  41. Snowden: Yossarian learns his last friend, Hungry Joe, died in his sleep. Yossarian remembers how he tried to heal Snowden, but only spilled his entrails.
  42. Yossarian: Yossarian decides to go back on his deal with the colonels, deciding he can't betray his friends. He decides to go to Sweden and escape the war.

Book Note Creator

Palmer Mebane, '08