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A Farewell to Arms | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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A Farewell to Arms | Book 2, Chapter 24 | Summary



It is raining when Henry and Catherine say good-bye at the train station. Henry had sent the porter ahead to save him a seat on the crowded train, but when he boards a captain demands the seat. Henry relents and sleeps on the floor.


The chapter is short and unsentimental, in keeping with Hemingway's trademark stoic style. With Henry's departure for the front, the escapist fantasy he shared with Catherine ends. The continuation of the rain leaves no doubt that the story will end unhappily. Being forced to give up his train seat to a captain reinforces the absurdity of war's rules. Henry's sleeping on the floor of the train serves as another reminder that there is no glory in war.

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