Tuesday, April 3, 2012
One of my favorite moments in the books is when Yossarian is asked by a doctor to pretend he is a dying soldier for a family that has come to visit their son, Giuseppe. The son has already died, but the doctor does not want to disappoint them. He therefore tells Yossarian to fill in. Yossarian insists on being called by his name and not Giuseppe. Despite this, the family treats him like their son and brother. The critical question is: does it really matter who they see? After all, "he's dying" just like everyone else. Their son is already dead - would they rather see his remains? Giuseppe's mother eventually says "What difference does it make?"