Chapter 5: Chief White Halfoat Notes from Catch-22

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Catch-22 Chapter 5: Chief White Halfoat

Chief White Halfoat, Doc Daneeka's despised American-Indian roommate, confides in Yossarian how drilling crews constantly struck oil on his family's land and repeatedly forced them to relocate. Yossarian asks that Doc Daneeka declare him mentally unfit to fly further missions. Clevinger and the rest of the gang all believe Yossarian is nuts, so it makes sense that the mad bombardier should be taken off sky-duty. Doc Daneeka replies that Yossarian's plea is useless because, according to Catch-22, insane men who ask to be grounded are in fact sane, and thus able to fly. Truly crazy people are those who agree to fly more missions.

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle." Chapter 5, pg. 55

Yossarian is stuck. He must continue to fly missions with Aarfy, his navigator, and McWatt, his pilot. However, Yossarian disregards his targets and thinks only of the B-25's narrow escape hatch.

Topic Tracking: Insanity 4
Topic Tracking: Hatred 2
Topic Tracking: Catch-22 2

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