American Literature books summary

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Not even Clevinger understands that, but though he is a dope, he usually understands everything, except why Yossarian insists that so many people are trying to kill him. Yossarian remembers training in America with Clevinger under Lieutenant Scheisskopf, who was obsessed with parades, and whose wife, along with her friend Dori Duz, used to sleep with all the men under her husband's command. Lieutenant Scheisskopf hated Clevinger, and finally got him sent to trial under a belligerant colonel. Clevinger is stunned when he realizes that Lieutenant Scheisskopf and the colonel truly hate him, in a way that no enemy soldier ever could.

Given a horrible name at birth because of his father's horrible sense of humor, Major Major Major was chagrined when, the day he joined the army, he was promoted to Major by an IBM machine with an equally horrible sense of humor, making him Major Major Major Major. Major Major Major Major also looks vaguely like Henry Fonda, and did so well in school that he was suspected of being a Communist and monitored by the FBI. His sudden promotion stunned his drill sergeant, who had to train a man who was suddenly his superior officer. Luckily, Major Major applied for aviation cadet training, and was sent to Lieutenant Scheisskopf. Not long after arriving in Pianosa, he was made squadron commander by an irate Colonel Cathcart, after which he lost all his new friends. Major Major has always been a drab, mediocre sort of person, and had never had friends before; he lapses into an awkward depression and refuses to be seen in his office except when he isn't there. To make himself feel better, Major Major forges Washington Irving's name to official documents. He is confused about everything, including his official relationship to Major ----- de Coverley, his executive officer: He doesn't know whether he is Major ----- de Coverlay's subordinate, or vice versa. A C.I.D. man comes to investigate the Washington Irving scandal, but Major Major denies knowledge, and the incompetent C.I.D. man believes him--as does another C.I.D. man who arrives shortly thereafter, then leaves to investigate the first C.I.D. man. Major Major takes to wearing dark glasses and a false mustache when forging Washington Irving's name. One day Major Major is tackled by Yossarian, who demands to be grounded. Sadly, Major Major tells Yossarian that there is nothing he can do.

Clevinger's plane disappeared in a cloud off the coast of Elba, and he is presumed dead. Yossarian finds the disappearance as stunning as that of a whole squadron of sixty-four men who all deserted in one day. Then he tells ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen the news, but ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen isn't impressed with the disappearance. Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen continually goes AWOL, then is required to dig holes and fill them up again--work he seems to enjoy. One day ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen nicked a water pipe, and water sprayed everywhere, leading to mass confusion much like that of the night seven months later when Milo bombed the camp. Word spread that the water was oil, and Chief White Halfoat was kicked off the base. Around this time, Appleby tried to turn Yossarian in for not taking his Atabrine tablets, but the only time he was allowed to go into Major Major's office was when Major Major wasn't there. Yossarian remembers Mudd, a soldier who died immediately after arriving at the camp, and whose belongings are still in Yossarian's tent. The belongings are contaminated with death in the same way that the whole camp was contaminated before the deadly mission of the Great Big Siege of Bologna, for which Colonel Cathcart bravely volunteered his men. During this time even sick men were not allowed to be grounded by doctors. Dr. Stubbs is overwhelmed with cynicism, and asks what the point is of saving lives when everyone dies anyway. Dunbar says that the point is to live as long as you can and forget about the fact that you will eventually die.

Chapters 11-16

Captain Black is pleased to hear the news that Colonel Cathcart has volunteered the men for the lethally dangerous mission of bombing Bologna. Captain Black thinks the men are bastards, and gloats about their terrifying, violent task. Captain Black is extremely ambitious, and hoped to be promoted to squadron commander; when Major Major was picked over him, he lapsed into a deep depression, which the Bologna mission lifts him out of. Captain Black first tried to get revenge on Major Major by initiating the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade, when he forced all the men to swear elaborate oaths of loyalty before doing basic things like eating meals. He refused to let Major Major sign a loyalty oath, and hoped thereby to make him appear disloyal. The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a major event in the camp, until the fearsome Major ----- de Coverley put a stop to it by hollering "Give me eat!" in the mess hall without signing an oath.

Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007