The Art of Racing in the Rain

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The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 58 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The morning of Zoë's arrival, Enzo hears Denny in the kitchen making breakfast. Enzo thinks about death, and thinks that while many think death is dark and frightening, it's not frightening for him. He pulls himself up and thinks that growing old is pathetic, but tells the reader he thinks that it's something we've chosen to do, and someday a mutant child will be born and refuse to age, and this child will live for hundreds of years and humans will cease to grow old and die.
Notice that Enzo conceptualizes death as an act that humans (and dogs) have chosen to participate in, giving one final layer to Enzo's idea of manifesting and destiny. Enzo himself chose to not accept his own diagnosis when he received it; potentially, he began the work of refusing to age.
Themes
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
When Enzo reaches the kitchen Denny asks him how he's feeling, and Enzo silently replies that he feels like shit. Denny hands Enzo a pancake, his favorite food, but Enzo can't taste it. It falls to the floor. Enzo thinks that he doesn't want Denny to worry, and he doesn't want to force Denny into taking him to the vet. Enzo muses that euthanasia has merit, but it's too emotional, and he'd prefer assisted suicide because there's nothing passive about it. He tells the reader that when he returns as a human, he'll invent the suicide machine for dogs, and will shake hands with men and teach people everything he knows, and help everyone he can.
Enzo again wants control of his destiny and his death, hence his desire for assisted suicide over euthanasia. He wants to make the decision himself rather than force Denny to make it, even though we know from Enzo's urine stunt the night before that Denny has essentially already made the decision. Enzo's belief in reincarnation is as strong as ever as he faces his death, and we see him manifesting a positive next life for himself.
Themes
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
Enzo goes to Denny and Denny scratches Enzo's ears. Enzo's legs buckle and he falls. Denny turns off the stove and sits down with Enzo. Enzo thinks of Denny's future, that he and Zoë are going to Italy and Denny will experience success on the track and become a Formula One driver like Ayrton Senna. Enzo says he'd like to see this happen, but his soul has learned what it came to learn. Denny cradles Enzo and comforts him.
Denny is compared one final time to Ayrton Senna, and given Enzo's previous success with manifesting Denny's future, it indicates that Denny will indeed experience this success. In this emotional moment, Denny provides for Enzo what Enzo has previously provided Denny: comfort and understanding.
Themes
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
Enzo tells the reader that he knows that racing in the rain is about balance, anticipation, and patience—it's about the mind, and believing you are everything and everything is you. He says that to be a champion, a driver must have no ego at all.
This is what Enzo's soul needed to learn before it could move on to the next life. Overcoming adversity is about being patient and immersing oneself in the struggle.
Themes
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
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Enzo says he saw a documentary on Mongolia, which said that a dog will be reincarnated as a man. Enzo says he's ready, but Denny will be very sad. Denny tells Enzo that if he needs to go, he can go. Enzo turns his head and sees his world and the fields of Spangle, where he was born. Enzo starts again that he saw a documentary, but feels Denny's breath on his neck and says the fields look like they go on forever. He remembers the documentary said that a dog will be reincarnated as a man, and Enzo says that when he comes back as a man, he'll find Denny, shake his hand, and tell him that Enzo says hello.
In his dying moments, Enzo manifests what he desires for his soul's future as he faces once again his beginning (the fields of Spangle). This further reinforces the idea of the cyclical nature of life and of Enzo's beliefs. As his soul contemplates these fields, which are Enzo's version of the afterlife he learned about in the documentary on Mongolia, he repeats his final desires, manifesting until the end.
Themes
 What It Means to Be Human  Theme Icon
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
Denny tells Enzo he loves him, and Enzo takes a few steps into the field. He starts running, still hearing Denny. He barks twice and doesn't turn back. He keeps barking twice to tell Denny "faster," and says that what he wants now is all he's ever wanted: One more lap, faster.
After receiving verbal proof of Denny's love, Enzo is able to step into the spirit land where all of his beliefs coalesce: racing, love, destiny, the documentary on Mongolia. These beliefs accompany him to his death.
Themes
 What It Means to Be Human  Theme Icon
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Love and Family  Theme Icon
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon