Catch22 Extract Questions and Answers.

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The passage printed below is an extract from ‘Catch-22’ in which the author, Joseph Heller, wrote about the madness of war. The main character, Yossarian, is an officer in the American air force in World War 2.

1.Yossarian was determined to stay in the hospital forever rather than fly one more mission. He could relax in the hospital, since no one there expected him to do anything. All he was expected to do in the hospital was die or get better, and since he was perfectly all right, getting better was easy.

Being in the hospital was better than being shot at over Italy or France.

There were usually not nearly as many sick people inside the hospital as Yossarian saw outside the hospital. There was a much lower death rate inside the hospital than outside the hospital. Few people died unnecessarily. People knew a lot more about dying inside the hospital and made a neater, more orderly job of it. They couldn’t dominate Death inside the hospital but they certainly made her behave. They had taught her manners. There was none of that crude, ugly dying that was so common outside the hospital. They did not blow up in mid-air like Kraft, or freeze to death the way Snowden had frozen to death in the back of the plane. They didn’t drown or get struck by lightning. They didn’t get shot or stabbed. There were no famines or floods. Nobody choked to death. People bled to death like gentlemen in an operating room or expired without comment in an oxygen tent. There was none of that ‘now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t’ business which was so much fashion outside the hospital.

15.All things considered, Yossarian often preferred the hospital, even though it had its faults. The staff tended to be bossy and the rules were restrictive. Since sick people were apt to be present, he could not always depend on a lively young crowd in the same ward as him, and the entertainment was not always good. He was forced to admit that the hospitals had altered for the worse as the war continued. The decline in the quality of the guests was most marked in the combat zone where the effects of war were likely to make themselves conspicuous immediately. People got sicker and sicker the deeper he moved into combat, until finally in the hospital that last time there had been the soldier in white, who could not have been any sicker without being dead, and he soon was.

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The soldier in white was constructed entirely of gauze, plaster and a thermometer, and the thermometer was merely an adornment left balanced in the empty dark hole in the bandages over his mouth each morning and afternoon by Nurse Cramer, right up to the afternoon Nurse Cramer read the thermometer and discovered he was dead. Now that Yossarian looked back, it seemed that Nurse Cramer had murdered the soldier in white. If she had not read the thermometer and reported what she had found, the soldier in white might still be lying there alive exactly as he had been lying ...

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