A Farewell to Arms

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Rain Symbol Icon
Rain is a recurring symbol of death in A Farewell to Arms. From the first chapter, when rain is associated with the cholera that kills 7,000 soldiers, to the last sentence, where it is raining outside the hospital where Catherine has died, the reader is reminded that during wartime, tragedy can fall as randomly and unstoppably as rain. Whenever Henry makes a significant nighttime transition from one place to another—the night that he leaves Milan to return to the front, the night of the large-scale Italian retreat, and the night that he and Catherine row across the lake from Italy to Switzerland—it is pouring rain. The presence of the rain shows that no matter how hard Henry tries to escape death, he can never outrun it.
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Rain Symbol Timeline in A Farewell to Arms

The timeline below shows where the symbol Rain appears in A Farewell to Arms. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
...Catherine tells Henry that she dislikes Moretti, and prefers quieter heroes. It soon begins to rain, and as they lie in bed, Catherine cries and tells Henry that she has always... (full context)
Chapter 28
War Theme Icon
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
Self vs. Duty Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
...girls, who are frightened of the vulgar soldiers around them. Henry looks up at the rain and wishes Catherine good night, promising not to leave her, and falls asleep. He wakes... (full context)
Chapter 36
War Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
Self vs. Duty Theme Icon
...his boat to escape to Switzerland. Henry wakes Catherine up. They hurry out into the rain and down to the dock. Emilio gives Henry and Catherine some sandwiches and brandy, and... (full context)
Chapter 41
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
...to a statue." He leaves the hospital and walks back to his hotel in the rain. (full context)