Chapters Read: 9. Major Major Major Major, 10. Wintergreen
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Status Report: So far I have compared Heller’s writing style to Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, A. A. Milne, and Abbot and Costello. And yet, the whole time, I have had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that there was some other author to whom he could be more justifiably compared. Someone who also wrote sentences that would gently lead you down an alley and then suddenly turn to hit you over the head with a sap.
I couldn’t remember who the other writer was, though, until I read this passage, about Major Major’s farming father:
He specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn't earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce ... He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county.
Ohhhh yeah. I know who this reminds me of. My Grandpa.
We are very busy farming. We have three cows, but we are going to sell one because we can't milk him. Eggs are a good price. That's the reason why they are so high. I sure hope we can get a lot of them. We just bought 2 roosters and one old hen. Some of the ground is so poor that you can't raise an umbrella on it, but we have a fine crop of corn. I think it will make about five gallons an ache. Some worms got into our corn last year but we just fished them out and drank it anyway. Our romance started with a gallon of corn and ended with a full crib ...
Every time John gets sick he gets to feeling bad. The doctor gave him some medicine and said if he gets better it might help him and if he didn't get any worse he would stay about the same.
Catch-22 was published in 1962. Is this how everyone talked back in the sixties? Because of all the drugs? Or did people take the drugs to cope with other people talking like this?
As for these chapters, “Major Major Major Major” is like an extended LOST flashback, and Wintergreen is only mentioned five times in his own chapter. Weird.
[Yosarian says:] "I don't want to be in the war any more."
"Would you like to see our country lose?" Major Major asked.
"We won't lose. We've got more men, more money and more material. There are ten million men in uniform who could replace me. Some people are getting killed and a lot more are making money and having fun. Let somebody else get killed."
"But suppose everybody on our side felt that way."
"Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?
Words Looked Up:
- Moil (“Rain splashed from a moiling sky …”): To churn about continuously.
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