Towards the end of Catch-22, we see Yossarian confront his friend Aarfy in a room where the latter confesses to raping and murdering a girl by throwing her out of the window.

Who is the dead girl? The two men talk as if she's not a stranger (and also not a prostitute).


According to the Wikipedia entry on the book on which the movie is based, she is the maid, Michaela, and she represents innocence:

Toward the end of the novel, Aarfy rapes and murders a maid, Michaela, while on leave in Rome. This inadvertently forms the emotional center of the novel. When an aghast Yossarian tells him that he will be arrested and possibly executed, Aarfy laughs dismissively that no one would do that to "good old Aarfy": "But I only raped her once!" he explained. Yossarian was aghast. "But you killed her, Aarfy! You killed her!" "Oh, I had to do that after I had raped her," Aarfy replied in his most condescending manner. "I couldn't very well let her go around saying bad things about us, could I?" "But why did you have to touch her at all, you dumb bastard?" Yossarian shouted. "Why couldn't you get yourself a girl off the street if you wanted one? The city is full of prostitutes." "Oh, no, not me," Aarfy bragged. "I never paid for it in my life."

  • Thank you. But does she appear in the movie before that moment? – coleopterist Dec 25 '12 at 3:37
  • I don't think she does. In the book she is seen waking Yossarian when Luciana comes to visit, she keeps the officers' apartments clean, and is described as "the skinny maid with the merry disposition and the homely sallow face" whom the officers make fun of, but because she cannot understand them, she laughs. The actress is not given any film credit for the role, so I suspect these parts are not shown in the film. I have skimmed through on YouTube video of the film and cannot see her at all, but I would have to watch the whole thing to be sure. – MJ6 Dec 25 '12 at 18:37

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