Course Hero. "Catch-22 Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 13 May 2021. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/>.
Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Catch-22 Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Catch-22 Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/.
Course Hero, "Catch-22 Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed May 13, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/.
Like Chapter 2, this one opens with Yossarian's post-hospital return to the squadron; but this time the perspective is different. He comes back to find that "the dead man in Yossarian's tent" that he shares with Orr is still there. The dead man's identity is not explained at this point.
Yossarian also finds Orr in the tent, working on one of his endless "home" improvements. In rapid succession, several more characters are introduced. Among them are:
Chapter 3 is loosely structured. Heller devotes more space to introducing new characters than to advancing the plot. It can be hard for readers this early in the book to fish important details out of the chaos. Still, Heller hints at several key themes that will be expanded later.
Colonel Cathcart is responsible for continuously increasing the number of missions the airmen must fly before they can go home.
Milo Minderbinder's name crops up again, this time in an offhand reference to the time he bombed the squadron. Bombed the squadron? Without elaborating, Heller slips this information into a nightmarish description of the camp's appearance the following morning just before dawn, "when tongueless dead men peopled the night hours like living ghosts." Something very wrong is hovering just out of focus.
Heller's abrupt shifts in tone may seem to come out of nowhere; zany sections butt up against important plot points. One minute Orr is rambling on about why he stuffed crab apples into his cheeks as a boy; then the scene shifts to Rome, where he's being beaten over the head by a whore. More space is given to the crab apples than to the beating. Which story matters more is still an open question.
Another tonal shift takes place in this book whenever Heller describes combat missions. The narrative voice always veers from comedy to tense urgency. Heller's battle accounts are marvels of compact detail. Although the world his characters inhabit may be absurd, he never jokes about the work they do.