Captain John Yossarian, the novel's protagonist, is a bombardier in the 256th Squadron of the Army Air Forces during World War II, stationed on Pianosa, a fictionalized island in the Mediterranean between mainland Italy and Corsica. The squadron's assignment is to bomb enemy positions in Italy and eastern France. It is the summer of 1944, but events of the novel are not told in chronological order; sometimes time changes without warning. Most of the action takes place from spring through December of 1944, but there are flashbacks to 1942, when Yossarian was in basic training at Lowery Field in Colorado, and to 1943 when he was in cadet training at Santa Ana, California. The satirical novel is episodic and relies on character as much as it does on plot or theme.We meet several key characters in the opening chapters. When the novel opens, Yossarian is in the
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