Chapter 16 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 500


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Yossarian finds Luciana, a “tall, earthy, exuberant girl with long hair and a pretty face, a buxom, delightful, flirtations girl,” in an officers’ night club. She allows Yossarian to buy her dinner; after she eats heartily, Yossarian assumes he will be able to sleep with her. Instead, she tells him she has to go home to her mother but will come to his room early in the morning before she goes to work.

After escorting Luciana to her ride home, Yossarian rushes back to the club, hoping the “coarse, vulgar, amoral” girl who was with Aarfy (but would have been perfect for him) could offer him an aunt, friend, sister, or mother for the night. She and everyone else is gone when he reaches the club, so Yossarian walks wistfully home, thinking of all the women with whom he is in love, including the lovely countess and her daughter who live above the soldiers’ apartments but will not let him touch them.

He arrives at the apartments and is surprised to see Aarfy is there and the girl is gone. Aarfy explains that he was unwilling to take advantage of a drunken girl (though all she talked about was having sex with anyone who was willing) and took her home. Yossarian and the others are furious at this wasted opportunity.

At dawn, the maid wakes Yossarian to announce a visitor. Yossarian is shocked that Luciana keeps her word and jumps out of bed to grab her. Luciana is dressed for work and slaps him, calling him a pig. She begins tidying the room as he runs to the bathroom to clean himself up a bit. When he returns, the room is neat and Luciana is nearly undressed. Afterward, Luciana rues the fact that no one will marry her because she is not a virgin, which makes Yossarian love her. He says he will marry her and she...

(The entire section contains 500 words.)

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