Yossarian Character Analysis

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Physical Description: “Orr, who was a grinning pygmy with pilot’s wings and thick, wavy brown hair parted in the middle” (17)
“Orr had buck teeth and bulging eyes to go with his big cheeks and was even smaller than Huple” (25)
“Orr was one of the homliest freaks Yossarian had ever encountered, and one of the most attractive.” (229)
“He had a raw bulgy face, with hazel eyes squeezing from their sockets like matching brown halves of marbles and thick, wavy particolored hair sloping up to a peak on the top of his head like a pomaded pup tent.” (229)
“So small and ugly” (312)

Relationship to Yossarian: Orr is Yossarian’s roommate and likes to fix things, which can be annoying to Yossarian. But despite this annoyance, Yossarian cannot help but feel close to Orr. Orr is one of Yossarian’s closest friends, which explains why he feels sorry for him. This is shown by Yossarian wondering “who would protect [Orr] if he lived” (312). Because he is a “warm-hearted, simple minded gnome” (312), Yossarian feels protective of him. This explains why he was so affected when he thought Orr was dead. In Yossarian’s eyes, Orr is so innocent and childlike and should not be fighting in this war because nobody would “shield him
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Through his humorous stories, like wanting “apple cheeks” (23), and crash landing his plane on purpose, his purpose in the story is shown. At first, Orr crashing his planes just seemed like freakish accidents because he was “knocked down into the water or had an engine shot out almost every time he went up,” (229). This, however, is later revealed to have a purpose. He crash landed his planes to practice for his real mission, to escape and make it to Sweden. This shows one of the main themes of the book: one must go to extremes to escape the war. Unlike Yossarian, however, Orr was actually able to succeed and this seemingly incompetent pilot is shown to be smarter than them
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