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WMG / Catch-22

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Catch-22 narrative follows Yossarian's perception of chronological order.
Catch-22 is notorious for not following a chronological timeline, but instead jumping around haphazardly in time. In fact, the novel doesn't jump around at all; it is in perfectly chronological order as Yossarian perceives it. You see, Yossarian, like everyone else in the novel, is crazy. Crazy people perceive the world differently from normal people. So, when Yossarian wakes up in the hospital after being attacked by Nately's whore, what he perceived as the most recent event was actually the one that loomed largest in his memory (the incident with Snowden). Meanwhile, meeting the Chaplain was perceived as the earliest event because the Chaplain is Yossarian's oldest friend in his mind.
  • What about the chapters that feature different POV characters? Is Yossarian just imagining being them?

Aarfy didn't actually murder that girl (not that it makes him any less insufferable).
Yossarian was pretty messed up at that point in the story, walking the streets in Italy in a foggy haze. Whatever the story tells us Yossarian saw might not have actually happened.
  • To be fair Aarfy bragged about gang-raping a girl in his frat days earlier in the book.

Orr started IKEA.
Orr ran away to Sweden, the country IKEA came from, in 1943, the year IKEA was founded. IKEA is famous for its hard-to-assemble and cleverly-designed furniture, which Orr had had experience in. Further more, Orr was short and IKEA furniture is famous for being space-saving.
  • 1943? I thought the book took place at the very end of the European Theater in 1945. Sure the Normandy Landings didn't even happen until 1944.
    • Wikipedia says “The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944.”.


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