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.
Rain Quotes in A Farewell to Arms
The A Farewell to Arms quotes below all refer to the symbol of Rain. 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: 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 1 Quotes
At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera. But it was checked and in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army.
Chapter 19 Quotes
Chapter 41 Quotes
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.
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.