The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Stepping out of the narrative, Enzo tells the reader that in Mongolia, when a dog dies, they bury him high in the hills so nobody can walk on his grave. The master whispers to the dog that he wishes for the dog to return to life as a man, and then the dog's tail is cut off and put beneath his head. A piece of fat is put in the dog's mouth to sustain him, and until the dog is reincarnated, he can run as long as he'd like to. Enzo says he learned this from a program on the National Geographic Channel, and he believes it is true. He says that not all dogs return as men, just the ones who are ready. Enzo says that he is ready.
Television again appears here to educate Enzo on how the world works, before and after death. Further, we see the roots of Enzo's desire to be human, and the strength of Enzo's belief that he wants to take this path. The occurrence of this segment in the middle of the narrative serves to remind the reader of the outside framing device of the story, where we know Enzo is old and about to die.
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
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