Summary and Analysis Book Four: Chapter XXXVI



The barman appears at Frederic Henry's hotel room late at night to tell him that he will be arrested as a deserter in the morning. Henry and Catherine Barkley quickly prepare for their escape into Switzerland.


Notice again the decency of the common man; not only does the barman inform Frederic Henry of his impending arrest, he also all but gives him his fishing boat, presumably endangering his own safety in the process.

Now the rain symbolism and Catherine Barkley (or at least her expected baby) seem on a direct collision course. Notice the following juxtaposition: "She was beginning to be a little big with the child and she did not want me to see her. I dressed hearing the rain on the windows." The author does hold out hope, however, telling us that although the wind across the lake is cold and wet, "it was snowing in the mountains." Remember that snow is the novel's symbol of tranquility and that the mountains stand not just for purity but for safety, as well.


quay a wharf, usually of concrete or stone, used for loading and unloading ships.

Luino, Cannero, Cannobio, Tranzano . . . Brissago . . . Monte Tamara towns and villages along the shore of Lake Maggiore.

Isola Madre an island in Lake Maggiore.

Pallanza a town on the shore of Lake Maggiore.

Mattarone Italian name for the Matterhorn, a mountain in the Pennine Alps, on the Swiss-Italian border.