Course Hero. "Catch-22 Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 29 May 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/>.
Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Catch-22 Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Catch-22 Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/.
Course Hero, "Catch-22 Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed May 29, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Catch-22/.
Next up in Catch-22's parade of characters is Doc Daneeka, "whose idea of a good time was to sulk." He continuously worries about his own health and does almost nothing for the airmen who come to the medical tent. Also, he hates to fly. Yossarian persuades McWatt to enter Doc's name into the flight log so Doc can collect his flight pay.
Group Headquarters, worrying that the men lack the proper enthusiasm for their mission, conducts meaningless "educational sessions" in the intelligence tent. At one of these sessions, Yossarian asks: "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?" (This is the first time Snowden has been mentioned in the book; from here on, readers should be alert for his name.) The men at Group Headquarters are alarmed by the question, which raises issues they would prefer to leave alone. Colonel Korn makes the rule that "the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did"—another catch-22.
At this point in the book, it's becoming clear that what may seem like random references are rarely so. For instance, although Dunbar was introduced in the first chapter, it's only now that Heller begins to develop his characterization. Catch-22's plotting is not traditionally linear; Heller continuously loops the narrative back to earlier points in the story. Each time this happens, we learn a little more about the characters and their histories.
Heller allots considerable space to describing Doc Daneeka's character. Why? It's partly because Daneeka is the only person with the authority to ground Yossarian from flying. Because being grounded is Yossarian's main goal, the two men are going to be talking a lot, and the reader needs to know Doc Daneeka fairly well to understand what motivates him.
And what motivates him is almost always pure selfishness. It's hard to imagine someone less suited to be a doctor than Doc Daneeka. Yet the reader can't help feeling sympathy for him. Doc Daneeka isn't faking it. He's genuinely miserable.
In this, of course, he's not that different from Yossarian—but Yossarian does Daneeka the favor of having his name entered into the logs of flights he hasn't made, while Daneeka does nothing in return. The faked flight logs will come up again later in the book.
The first mention of Snowden is another detail to keep in mind. When Yossarian suddenly asks, "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?" the reader is wrenched away from a lighthearted passage to be confronted with an unknown horror.