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Catch-22 | Study Guide

Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 | Chapter 32 : Yo-Yo's Roomies | Summary



When winter comes, Orr's stove keeps Yossarian's tent perfectly warm. Unfortunately, Yossarian can't appreciate the comfort because he has been assigned four much younger roommates. Sergeant Towser offers to put him in with Nately, but Yossarian can't bear to leave his memories of Orr alone with the four boors now living in the tent.

Yossarian knows it's not the boys' fault that they're still confident and cheerful and decides "to be patient with them until one or two were killed and the rest wounded, and then it would all turn out okay." But when the boys dump the late Mudd's effects into the bushes, Yossarian retreats to Rome with Nately before his roommates can dump him too.


Yossarian is grieving for Orr, and not because Orr's disappearance has reminded Yossarian that death is lurking nearby. He simply misses his friend and wishes to preserve Orr's memory with the belief that "to abandon Orr's tent would be to abandon Orr."

This is the first time the reader gets the sense of a new crop of airmen moving up in the ranks. Yossarian feels not only crowded but crowded out: there's no room for him with all this bumptious happiness and optimism bubbling around. He "could not make them understand that he was a crotchety old fogey of twenty-eight."

For Yossarian, this is progress. He now spends so much time hating his roommates that he can't focus on death as well as he used to. And as he grumbles to himself about this pesky new generation, Yossarian's self-perception changes. He's still too young to die, but he can't help feeling more mature.

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