Humorous Quotes from
By Joseph Heller
- The captain was a good chess player, and
the games were always interesting. Yossarian had stopped playing chess with
him because the games were so interesting they were foolish.
- The Texan turned out to be good-natured,
generous and likable. In three days no one could stand him.
- Yossarian was sorry to hear that they had
a mutual friend. It seemed there was a basis to their conversation after
- Nately had a bad start. He came from a
- The colonel had really been investigated.
There was not an organ of his body that had not been drugged and derogated,
dusted and dredged, fingered and photographed, removed, plundered and
- She was the epitome of stately sorrow
each time she smiled.
- Outside the hospital the war was still
going on. Men went mad and were rewarded with medals.
- There were many officers' clubs that
Yossarian had not helped to build, but he was proudest of the one on Pinosa.
- But Yossarian knew he was right, because,
to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong.
- He was a spry, suave and very precise
general who knew the circumference of the equator and always wrote 'enhanced' when he meant 'increased.'
- He had decided to live forever or die in
- You're inches away from death every time
you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age ?
- I've got these rubber models in my office
with all the reproductive organs of both sexes that I keep locked up in separate
cabinets to avoid a scandal.
- Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is. It's a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal
Indian like a nigger, kike wop or spic.
- 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.
- How can he see he's got flies in his eyes
if he's got flies in his eyes ?
- There was no established procedure for
evasive action. All you needed was fear and Yossarian had plenty of that.
- He had lived innocuously for a little
while and then had gone down in a flame over Ferrara on the seventh day,
while God was resting.
- Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant
Scheisskopf had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at
- He advocated thrift and hard work and
disapproved of loose women who turned him down.
- He had observed that people who did lie
were, on the whole, more resourceful and ambitious and successful than
people who did not lie.
- What could you do with a man who looked
you squarely in the eye and said he would rather die than be killed in combat...
- It doesn't make a damned bit of
difference who wins the war to someone who's dead.
- The enemy, is anybody who's going to get
you killed, no matter which side he's on... And don't you forget that,
because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live.
- Her allure stemmed from her
accessibility; like Mt. Everest, she was there, and the men climbed on top
of her each time they felt the urge.
- When he contemplated the many diseases
and potential accidents threatening him, he was positively astounded that he
had managed to survive in good health for as long as he had.
- Yossarian owed his good health to
exercise, fresh air, teamwork and good sportsmanship; it was to get away
from them all that he had first discovered the hospital..
- How much reverence can you have for a
Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of
- Yossarian - the very sight of the name made him shudder.
There were so many esses in it. It just had to be subversive. It was like
the word subversive itself. It was like seditious and insidious too, and
like socialist, suspicious, fascist and Communist.
- The colonel was
certainly not going to waste his time and energy making love to beautiful
women unless there was something in it for him.
- The frog is almost
five hundred million years old. Could you really say with much certainly
that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man
that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is the highest
in the world, will last as long as. . .the frog?
- Anything worth dying for, is certainly worth living for.
- It's better to live on one's feet than to die on one's knees.
- Fellow officers invariably
welcomed him with excessive cordiality when he approached and waited
uncomfortably for him to go away.
- My only fault is that I have no faults.
- Of course they had a right (to lie to you). Don't be such an
ass, Scheisskopf. People have a right to do anything that's not forbidden by
law, and there's no law against lying to you.
- General Peckem liked
listening to himself talk, liked most of all listening to himself talk about
- They were the most depressing group of people Yossarian had
ever been with. They were always in high spirits. They laughed at
- When you consider the opportunity and
power He had to really do a job, and then look at the stupid, ugly little
mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering.
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