Catch-22

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Catch-22 Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Nately is upset, on rest leave in Rome, that his prostitute doesn’t return his affections. In fact, she returns his money after a while, saying she no longer wishes even to be in the same room as him. Nately reports this, sadly, to Aarfy and Yossarian, and Aarfy replies, “good riddance.” Nately grows angry and asks that his fellow soldiers not refer to her as a prostitute.
Nately does appear truly to love this woman, and though his fellow soldiers tell him not to bestow his affections on someone he is paying for attention, Nately nevertheless wants to do right by her, to date her and eventually marry her. What his wealthy American family would think of this is anyone’s guess.
Themes
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Gallows Humor Theme Icon
Self-interest, Altruism, and Morality Theme Icon
Nately believes he will one day marry the prostitute, and Aarfy finds this ridiculous. But he wishes to remain on Nately’s good side, since he knows Nately’s father is wealthy and well-connected in business, and Aarfy hopes to have a job with him after the war.
Aarfy is intelligent enough to know which soldier’s families might have the “right connections” in the business world after the war.
Themes
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Gallows Humor Theme Icon
Self-interest, Altruism, and Morality Theme Icon
Aarfy is the navigator on Yossarian’s plane, but has a terrible sense of direction—he is always getting lost. The narrative jumps to a supposed “milk run” over Parma, in which Aarfy is unable to navigate, and the plan flies into enemy flak. Yossarian attempts to communicate with Aarfy, telling him he needs to get out of the small glass bomb-bay, but Aarfy pretends not to hear. Yossarian gets hit with flak in the thigh—a deep wound.
Another irony: Aarfy, the man who is supposed to direct the plane during combat missions, cannot even walk around Rome without getting lost. Here Yossarian is actually wounded for the first time in the novel. It even appears, at first, that the wound might be severe—but the flak narrowly misses an artery.
Themes
Paradox and Impossibility Theme Icon
War and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Gallows Humor Theme Icon
McWatt tends to the injured Yossarian and gives him morphine, and is relieved to recognize that Yossarian will survive the wound. Yossarian next wakes up in the hospital, where Dunbar is next to him, having taken the place of another wounded patient named A. Fortiori. Dunbar and Yossarian move around the ward, taking the beds of other patients in order to lie next to one another.
This scene, where McWatt gives Yossarian morphine, will end up echoing the Snowden Incident, when the latter is described in more detail. There, Yossarian attempts to give Snowden morphine, but finds that all the morphine on the plane has been traded by Milo for other goods.
Themes
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Self-interest, Altruism, and Morality Theme Icon
Get the entire Catch-22 LitChart as a printable PDF.
Catch 22.pdf.medium
Nurse Cramer gets upset that Yossarian is walking on his wounded leg, and tells him to lie back down in his real bed. Nurse Duckett ends up dragging Yossarian back by his ear, forcing him to rest.
Nurses Cramer and Duckett are often “voices of reason” in the novel. They spend much of their days keeping the soldiers, whom they are trying to help, in line.
Themes
Paradox and Impossibility Theme Icon
War and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Gallows Humor Theme Icon