American Literature books summary

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Chapters 17-21

Things are better at the hospital, Yossarian decides, than they are on a bomb run with Snowden dying in the back whispering "I'm cold." At the hospital, Death is orderly and polite, and there is no inexplicable violence. Dunbar is in the hospital with Yossarian, and they are both perplexed by the soldier in white, a man completely covered in plaster bandages. The men in the hospital discuss the injustice of mortality--some men are killed and some aren't, some men get sick and some don't, with no reference to who deserves what. Some time earlier Clevinger saw justice in it, but Yossarian was too busy keeping track of all the forces trying to kill him to listen. Later, he and Hungry Joe collect lists of fatal diseases with which they worry Doc Daneeka, who is the only person who can ground Yossarian, according to Major Major. Doc Daneeka tells Yossarian to fly his fifty-five missions, and he'll think about helping him.

The first time Yossarian ever goes to the hospital, he is still a private. He feigns an abdominal pain, then mimics the mysterious ailment of the soldier who saw everything twice. He spends Thanksgiving in the hospital, and vows to spend all future Thanksgivings there; but he spends the next Thanksgiving in bed with Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife, arguing about God. Once Yossarian is "cured" of seeing everything twice, he is asked to pretend to be a dying soldier for a mother and father who have traveled to see their son, who died that morning. Yossarian allows them to bandage his face, and pretends to be the soldier.

The ambitious Colonel Cathcart browbeats the chaplain, demanding prayer before each bombing run, then abandons the idea when he realizes that the Saturday Evening Post, where he got the idea, probably wouldn't give him any publicity for it. The chaplain timidly mentions that some of the men have complained about Colonel Cathcart's habit of raising the number of missions required every few weeks, but Colonel Cathcart ignores him. On his way home, the chaplain meets Colonel Korn, Colonel Cathcart's wily, cynical sidekick, who mocks Colonel Cathcart in front of the chaplain and is highly suspicious of the plum tomato Colonel Cathcart gave the chaplain. At his tent in the woods, the chaplain encounters the hostile Corporal Whitcomb, his atheist assistant, who resents him deeply for holding back his career. Corporal Whitcomb tells the chaplain that a C.I.D. man suspects him of signing Washington Irving's name to official papers, and of stealing plum tomatoes. The poor chaplain is very unhappy, helpless to improve anyone's life.

Colonel Cathcart is preoccupied with the problem of Yossarian, who has become a real black eye for him, most recently by complaining about the number of missions, but previously by appearing naked at his own medal ceremony shortly after Snowden's death. Colonel Cathcart wishes he knew how to solve the problem and impress General Dreedle, his commanding officer. General Dreedle doesn't care what his men do, as long as they remain reliable military quantities. He travels everywhere with a buxom nurse, and worries mostly about Colonel Moodus, his despised son in law, whom he occasionally asks Chief White Halfoat to punch in the nose. Once Colonel Korn tried to undercut Colonel Cathcart by giving a flamboyant briefing to impress General Dreedle; General Dreedle told Colonel Cathcart that Colonel Korn made him sick.

Chapters 22-26

Yossarian loses his nerve on the mission that follows Colonel Korn's extravagant briefing, the mission where Snowden is killed and spattered all over Yossarian's uniform when Dobbs goes crazy and seizes the plane's controls from Huple. As he dies, Snowden pleads with Yossarian to help him; he says he is cold. Dobbs is a terrible pilot and a wreck of a man, and he later tells Yossarian he plans to kill Colonel Cathcart before he raises the mission total again; he asks Yossarian to give him the go-ahead, but Yossarian is unable to do so, so Dobbs abandons his plan. Yossarian thinks that Dobbs is almost as bad as Orr, with whom Yossarian and Milo recently took a trip to stock up on supplies. As they travel, Orr and Yossarian gradually realize the extent of Milo's control over the black market and vast international influence: he is the mayor of Palermo, the Assistant Governor-General of Malta, the Vice-Shah of Oran, the Caliph of Baghdad, the Imam of Damascus, the Sheik of Araby, and is worshipped as a god in parts of Africa. Each region has embraced him because he revitalized their economy with his syndicate, in which everybody has a share. Nevertheless, throughout their trip, Orr and Yossarian are forced to sleep in the plane while Milo enjoys lavish palaces, and they are finally awakened in the middle of the night so that Milo can rush his shipment of red bananas to their next stop.

Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007