The Art of Racing in the Rain

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The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 44 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Enzo addresses the reader and says that Mark Fein suggested to Denny that if he quit his claim to Zoë, the criminal charges would disappear. Mark said that Annika's family only wants Denny to be registered as a sex offender, and sex offenders don't get custody of their daughters. Mark points out that should he accept, Zoë would get a stable, comfortable childhood and a quality education, and Denny would be able to participate in racing series and accept more jobs out of state. Mark assured Denny that he'd work out a liberal visitation schedule. Enzo shares that he wasn't convinced that this path was appropriate, because he sees that Denny is capable of having both a racing career and his daughter.
Despite Mark Fein's earlier confidence that he could win Denny's case, the reader wonders if his confidence is shaken when he makes this suggestion to Denny. This creates a sense of tension and drama, even as Enzo steps in to allay the reader's fears by stating his belief that Denny can both parent Zoë and drive professionally at the same time.
Themes
 What It Means to Be Human  Theme Icon
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
Enzo relates an experience watching one of Denny's races long ago, where, on the second to last lap, Denny was in third, but as he came around for the final lap, was driving alone and won. Returning to the present, Enzo says that Denny tells Mark that it's never too late and that things change. As if to prove it, Denny sells their house to pay Mark and moves to a small apartment across the city, with carpet that smells of chemicals and no cable TV. Enzo says he tries to make the best of it and squeezes himself into the corner by the window, where he can see the Space Needle and watch its elevators go up and down.
By invoking one of Denny's own success stories, Enzo further paints Denny as a dedicated champion who won't give up, and Denny follows through and makes Enzo's description come true. However, it comes at a cost, as Enzo's education via television is now over. Enzo again shows how deeply he cares for his family by stating that he tried to make the best of it. He once again tries to not make himself a problem.
Themes
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon