The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Enzo begins, saying the car goes where your eyes go. The family goes to Denny Creek for a hike, and Enzo is let off leash. He says the smell would've given him an erection if he still had testicles, but it was fantastic nonetheless. He lets himself go like a crazy dog, chasing animals and rolling in the earth.
Beginning with this racing-ism, which is another form of "that which you manifest is before you," creates tension and forces the reader to wonder where the proverbial eyes are going.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
They arrive at the Slippery Slabs, a series of flat slick rocks in the creek. Denny, Eve, and Zoë strip to their swimsuits, and since Zoë is old enough to navigate parts of the creek herself, Eve stands upstream and Denny stands downstream and they slide Zoë down the rocks as she splashes and laughs. Enzo says that people and dogs love repetition because even though each incident is similar, it's so very different from the last. They keep sliding Zoë down the rocks.
Enzo occasionally mentions these moments where dogs and humans are so very alike, this time with repetition. Keep in mind, though, the racing truth from the beginning of the chapter, as we're presented with the repetition, but are still left to wonder where exactly it's leading the story.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Then, Eve dips Zoë into the river and rather than splashing, Zoë pulls her feet out of the water and upsets Eve's balance. Eve manages to release Zoë onto a dry rock, but isn't able to recover her own balance. She slips on the slick rock and falls, her head bouncing on the rock twice. Eve is still and Zoë sits, not knowing what to do. Denny runs to them. They make it to the hospital by early evening.
We finally see the one very different instance of repetition, and it has devastating consequences. The reader knows that there's something wrong with Eve's head, thanks to Enzo's narration, and now she has no choice but to seek medical attention.
Themes
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
On the drive Eve keeps saying she’s okay, but she obviously isn't. Her words slur and she keeps nodding off, and Denny keeps waking her up. Eve, Denny, and Zoë go into the hospital and leave Enzo in the car with the windows cracked. He curls up and sleeps.
Notice how much Eve resists going to the hospital even now. This illustrates just how strong her fear and distrust of hospitals and medicine is.
Themes
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Get the entire Racing in the Rain LitChart as a printable PDF.
The art of racing in the rain.pdf.medium