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Chapter 1: The Texan Notes from Catch-22

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Catch-22 Chapter 1: The Texan

American World War II bombardier Captain Yossarian is laid up in the hospital on the island of Pianosa with a pretend case of liver disease. The faker prolongs his hospital stay because the quiet, untroubled ward is safer and more comfortable than the hazardous B-25 bombing missions he must otherwise fly. Army regulation requires hospitalized officers to censor outgoing mail written by lower-ranking patients. Yossarian invents games (like crossing out all adjectives or deleting addresses) to spice up the monotonous task. Censoring officers must also sign their handiwork, but Yossarian instead writes versions of "Washington Irving" on the letters he inspects. This tampering makes officials suspicious, and a C.I.D. man arrives to investigate. Dunbar, in a bed across from Yossarian, stares blankly at the ceiling because he believes boredom increases his life span by lengthening time. An excessively good-natured Texan, a chess-playing fighter pilot, and the soldier in white (a dying man in a full-body cast) are Yossarian's fellow patients. Yossarian develops a crush on visiting chaplain A. T. Tappman, and he warns the self-conscious clergyman that the world outside this ward is full of insane people. When the irritating Texan becomes unbearable, Yossarian, Dunbar, and the rest of the patients abandon the ward and resume their duties.

Topic Tracking: Insanity 1

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