Notes on Objects & Places from Catch-22

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Catch-22 Objects/Places

Atabrine tablets: An anti-malarial drug. Yossarian upsets Appleby by refusing to take them.

Avignon: A city in South East France near the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. Snowden is killed on the Avignon mission.

B-25s: The North American B-25 Mitchell. A dull-green, twin-engined WWII bomber with wide wings that accommodates a four to six-man crew. Their single fault, in Yossarian’s opinion, is the tight crawlway separating the bombardier’s compartment in the Plexiglas nose from the nearest escape hatch.

Bologna: A commune in North Italy of Emilia-Romagna at the foot of the Apennines. The missions to Bologna are especially dangerous and Yossarian dreads them.

Bombardier: A bomber-crew member in the nose of the plane who uses the bombsight (a sighting device for aiming) and releases the bombs.

Catch-22: A bogus army regulation. Its twisted logic makes it impossible to avoid combat, to exercise independence, or to disobey superior officers.

Cigarette holder: Colonel Cathcart purchased an ornate cigarette holder the day before arriving in Pianosa. He twirls it around everywhere because he thinks it makes him look sophisticated.

Egyptian cotton: Milo purchases the whole crop in Cairo for his syndicate and cannot get rid of it. The syndicate is threatened and Milo tries to feed the cotton to the men by covering it with chocolate.

Eye-patch: Doc Daneeka fashions a clear eye-patch for Major ---- de Coverly when the old man pokes his eye out.

Flak: Anti-aircraft guns or the bursting shells fired from them. Derived from the German word fliegerabwehrkanonen: flieger (flyer) + abwehr (defense) + kanonen (cannons).

Huple’s cat: The fifteen-year old pilot’s kitty which sits on Hungry Joe’s face at night and suffocates him.

Liver disease: Yossarian checks himself into the hospital and tricks doctors by frequently faking liver disease.

Milk run: An easy mission without threat. Often a supply run or a mission over enemy territory without resistance.

Milo’s syndicate, M & M ENTERPRISES: An international trade organization created by the enterprising Milo and supported by the squadron. Everyone has a share in it.

Orr’s stove: The handiwork of Orr which keeps Yossarian’s tent warm throughout the winter.

Parades: Scheisskopf’s obsession. The marching competitions originated at training camp in California. Scheisskopf reinstates them in Pianosa when he is shipped overseas.

Pianosa: A small Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba. Joseph Heller writes in the foreword that it is very small and obviously could not accommodate all of the actions described.

Plum tomato: Given to the chaplain by Colonel Cathcart from a barrel in his office. The chaplain is accused of stealing it.

Red rose: The old man uses this flower to poke Major ---- de Coverly in the eye during his procession through Rome.

Skeet: A trapshooting sport in which clay targets are thrown up to simulate flying birds. General Dreedle requires his men to play because he thinks it is good practice.

The Saturday Evening Post: A prestigious newspaper. Colonel Cathcart desperately wants his picture and his squadron to appear in it.

V mail: Letters from officers and enlisted men that are censored.

Ferrara: A commune in Northern Italy in Emilia-Romagna northeast of Bologna, near the river Po. Kraft is killed when Yossarian makes a second pass at the bridge over the river.

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