A Farewell to Arms

Catherine Barkley Character Analysis

An English nurse in Italy, she bears the spiritual scars of having lost her fiancé in the Battle of the Somme. When she meets Henry, she is ready to throw herself into a new relationship in order to escape the loss of the old one, enlisting Henry to pretend that they are deeply in love almost as soon as they meet. Emotionally damaged, she can never bring herself to marry Henry, but wants to be with him in an idealized union apart from the rest of the world. Through the constant understatements and deprecating humor in her dialogue, even at moments of extreme danger such as the labor that goes wrong, she reveals herself to be a stoic match for Henry, the female side of the Hemingway hero, who does much and says little.

Catherine Barkley Quotes in A Farewell to Arms

The A Farewell to Arms quotes below are all either spoken by Catherine Barkley or refer to Catherine Barkley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of A Farewell to Arms published in 2014.
Chapter 6 Quotes
"You don't have to pretend you love me. That's over for the evening. Is there anything you'd like to talk about?"
"But I do love you."
"Please let's not lie when we don't have to."
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley (speaker)
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes
God knows I had not wanted to fall in love with her. I had not wanted to fall in love with any one. But God knows I had.
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes
"There, darling. Now you're all clean inside and out. Tell me. How many people have you ever loved?"
"Nobody."
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley (speaker)
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes
"You're my religion. You're all I've got."
Related Characters: Catherine Barkley (speaker), Lieutenant Frederic Henry
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes
"I'm afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it."
Related Characters: Catherine Barkley (speaker)
Related Symbols: Rain
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 40 Quotes
We knew the baby was very close now and it gave us both a feeling as though something were hurrying us and we could not lose any time together.
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 41 Quotes
God please make her not die. I'll do anything you say if you don't let her die. You took the baby but don't let her die. That was all right but don't let her die. Please, please, dear God, don't let her die.
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

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But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the lights it wasn't any good. It was like saying good-by to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.
Related Characters: Lieutenant Frederic Henry (speaker), Catherine Barkley
Related Symbols: Rain
Page Number: 320
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Catherine Barkley Character Timeline in A Farewell to Arms

The timeline below shows where the character Catherine Barkley appears in A Farewell to Arms. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
...Henry loans him fifty lire (Italian money) so that Rinaldi can impress one of them: Catherine Barkley. (full context)
Chapter 4
War Theme Icon
Love and Loss Theme Icon
That afternoon, Rinaldi invites Henry to accompany him to the British hospital to meet Catherine Barkley. Catherine is beautiful, with long blonde hair, and she and Henry begin flirting as... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Henry goes to pay a visit on Catherine the next day. At the hospital, he speaks with the head nurse, who asks why... (full context)
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When Henry returns that night, Catherine is in the garden with Helen Ferguson, another English nurse. After Helen departs, they talk... (full context)
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Catherine eventually relents and lets Henry kiss her. Afterward, she cries on his shoulder and asks... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Henry can't find time to visit Catherine for two days. When he does visit, Catherine tells him how much she has missed... (full context)
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After they kiss for a while, Catherine surprises Henry by acknowledging that they are playing "a rotten game." They continue to kiss,... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Manhood Theme Icon
...major. Midway through a mug of wine, Henry remembers he was supposed to go see Catherine. By the time he gets there, she has gone to bed. He feels lonely and... (full context)
Chapter 8
War Theme Icon
Love and Loss Theme Icon
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...Hospital, Henry forces the driver of his car to stop. He runs in to see Catherine, and tells her that he will be in "a show" and that she shouldn't worry.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
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...that he did nothing at all heroic during the battle. Rinaldi leaves, promising to send Catherine to visit Henry. (full context)
Chapter 12
War Theme Icon
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
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Manhood Theme Icon
...the U.S. will soon declare war on Austria as well, while Rinaldi informs Henry that Catherine is also being sent Milan to work at the hospital there. (full context)
Chapter 14
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Manhood Theme Icon
...had told her so that they could have shared a drink. Then she tells him Catherine Barkley has arrived, and that she doesn't like her. Henry promises her that she will... (full context)
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A bit later, Catherine appears in Henry's room. He knows that he is in love with her the moment... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Catherine spends that night in Henry's room, making love and watching searchlights roam the sky. In... (full context)
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Catherine then asks Henry how many other women he has loved. He says "None." Next, she... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Henry feels very sick after the operation, and Catherine doesn't visit him for a while. While he recovers, three new American soldiers appear in... (full context)
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Henry also comes to like Catherine's friend, Helen Ferguson, who has started working at the hospital and passes his notes along... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Henry recovers enough to walk on crutches. He and Catherine share an idyllic summer together in Milan, taking romantic carriage rides and eating at fine... (full context)
Chapter 19
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When apart from Catherine, Henry spends time with a number of people, including a man named Meyers and his... (full context)
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At the hospital that night, Catherine tells Henry that she dislikes Moretti, and prefers quieter heroes. It soon begins to rain,... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Manhood Theme Icon
A few days later, Henry goes to the horse races with Catherine, Helen Ferguson, Crowell Rodgers (the boy who had been wounded by the shrapnel shell), and... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Henry notices that Catherine seems upset, and after a little pressuring he gets her to tell him what's wrong:... (full context)
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Henry comments that Catherine is too brave for anything bad to happen to them, though Catherine counters that even... (full context)
Chapter 23
War Theme Icon
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Self vs. Duty Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
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...Henry reserves a seat on the train and goes to a wine shop to meet Catherine. They stroll down the street. When they pass a soldier kissing a girl against the... (full context)
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...Henry buys a pistol and ammunition to bring to the front. Then he suggests to Catherine that they go some place where they can be alone. They go to a hotel... (full context)
Reality vs. Fantasy Theme Icon
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...at my back I always hear / Time's winged chariot hurrying near." Henry worries about Catherine being alone when she has the baby, but she tells him not to worry. (full context)
Chapter 24
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Henry and Catherine say their goodbyes in front of the train station in the rain. (full context)
Chapter 25
War Theme Icon
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Manhood Theme Icon
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...heavily than ever. Rinaldi notes that Henry seems like a "married man," then asks whether Catherine is good in bed. Henry refuses to tell him. Rinaldi notes with surprise that this... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...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 to find that... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...he hides, Henry tries to avoid thinking about how hungry he is by thinking about Catherine, but thinking about her without being able to see her makes him feel as if... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...Emilio directs Henry to the hotel where "two English nurses" are staying. When Henry arrives, Catherine is thrilled to see him, but Helen Ferguson angrily accuses Henry of ruining Catherine's life.... (full context)
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After Henry and Catherine make love in Henry's hotel room, Henry lies awake and thinks about how he never... (full context)
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...the morning, Henry doesn't read the newspaper while they eat breakfast. He promises to tell Catherine about his experiences once he himself understands them, and she jokes that he shouldn't feel... (full context)
Chapter 35
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While Catherine goes to visit Helen Ferguson, Henry reads the papers and learns that the Austrian advance... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...the morning. He advises Henry to use his boat to escape to Switzerland. Henry wakes Catherine up. They hurry out into the rain and down to the dock. Emilio gives Henry... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Henry and Catherine are elated when they step ashore in Switzerland. Immediately, they go to eat breakfast, leaving... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Henry still wants to get married. Catherine is less interested in marriage, but agrees to marry once the baby is born so... (full context)
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As Christmas approaches, Catherine asks Henry if he is restless. He does sometimes think of Rinaldi, the priest, and... (full context)
Chapter 40
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March and spring arrive, and Henry and Catherine move to the town of Lausanne to get closer to the hospital. Henry reads in... (full context)
Chapter 41
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One night, at three in the morning, Catherine goes into labor. Henry takes her to the hospital, as she talks in a jovial... (full context)
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When Henry returns from breakfast, Catherine has been brought to the delivery room and is strapped to an operating table and... (full context)
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The doctors decide that a Caesarean section is the best option to save both Catherine and the baby. They wheel Catherine away. Soon, the doctor emerges with a baby boy.... (full context)
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...the paper about some success on the British front. When he returns, he learns that Catherine has had a hemorrhage. Henry begs God not to let her die, but when he... (full context)
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...back to his hotel, but he refuses. Instead he goes in to say goodbye to Catherine's lifeless body. But, "it was like saying goodbye to a statue." He leaves the hospital... (full context)