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Word Count: 535
From the first chapter to the last word Ernest Hemingways Farewell to Arms is saturated with rain and other images of water In the story rain is typically the omen of death The usage is significant since rain is typically employed to symbolize fertility and life Despite the foreboding associated with rain Hemingway uses other forms of water to symbolize positive events Rain has been used in literature since classical times to symbolize fertility and life Rain has a primary symbolism as a fertilizing agent It represents a descent of the heavenly influences and symbolizes penetration both as fertility and spiritual revelation homehtml Hemingways use of rain as a prominent symbol of death is ironic rain is not employed to create and nourish but rather to destroy and ruin In the first chapter Frederic Henry describes life in an Italian village he lives in during the summer It is World War I and troops and cars with officers frequently go by on the road - dusty at first then wet during autumn - to fight in the nearby mountains When the winter begins it rains incessantly and brings with it cholera and 7000 men in the army die of it The image of the winter rain is particularly significant as it connects rain with an adverse type of fertility that bears death and destruction In Chapter 28 the Italian frontline breaks and the Army is forced to retreat from the advancing Germans and Austrians Henry marches through the wet weather and evacuates the wounded along the way The rain establishes a dark mood and signifies the misery associated with the shame of retreat and foreshadows the death to come during the retreat In Chapter 41 it is again raining and Henrys pregnant fiance Catherine Barkley begins to go into labor again foreshadowing death and tragedy Catherine gives birth to a still born child and eventually she hemorrhages to death
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