Gene's words from Chapter 1 of A Separate Peace are both literal and figurative. This line directly follows Gene's reversal of the old French proverb that the more things change the more they remain the same; instead, Gene observes for himself that the "more things remain the same, the more they change after all," indicating that he understands that his perception of the school, the tree, and himself must "come in out of the rain," the obscuring of the truth about his actions and feelings while he was at Devon. The figurative act of coming in out of the rain means that Gene has moved from the world of his youthful perception to reality. For, in the final chapter Gene declares,
I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a unifrm; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there.
Gene's journey to Devon is also a journey of the soul, a clearing of the fogs of his youthful deception.