The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 27 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On the first of May, Denny and Enzo are invited to Trish and Maxwell's for dinner. Eve is absent, and Enzo finds it awkward, so he wanders into Zoë's room and finds her playing. He tries to engage her in a game, but she tells him seriously that “Enno-Fetch” is a baby game and she has to be a grown-up now. Disappointed, Enzo turns to leave the room, and Zoë says to herself that sometimes bad things happen, sometimes things change, and we have to change too. Enzo thinks that these words are someone else's, and he thinks that Zoë probably doesn't believe or understand them.
It's clear that Zoë is growing up now that she can read, but in this scene we see the very difficult situation she's in. At a very young age, she's being asked to deal with the untimely death of her mother while being fed words of questionable wisdom by her grandparents that she doesn't understand. Enzo sees through Zoë's words and sees that they're likely a way that Trish and Maxwell are manifesting the future they're hoping for.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Returning to the living room, Enzo waits with Denny until Eve comes out of the bathroom, assisted by a nurse. Eve is radiant, dressed in a beautiful dress, her makeup and hair done. She tells the room that today is the first day she's not dead, and they're having a party. In an aside, Enzo tells the reader that he'd like to live life as though it were stolen from death, as Eve was living on this day. The party is festive and everyone, whether truly happy or not, pretends to be happy, even Zoë. When it's time for Denny and Enzo to leave, Denny kisses Eve and tells her he wishes she could come home. Eve replies that she will.
Finally, both Eve and Denny share Denny's sense of hope and optimism, and to some degree, the rest of the partygoers do as well. Enzo admires Eve for this sense of optimism and defiance, and it also adds more suspense—might Eve recover after all?
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
Eve sits on the sofa while Denny gets Zoë ready for bed. Eve calls Enzo to her and scratches his ears. She tells him that she knows everyone is disappointed, but that it, whatever it is, is bigger than she is. She tells him that she regrets not insisting on going home, and then asks Enzo to take care of Denny and Zoë for her. Finally, she tells Enzo that she's not afraid of it anymore, because it's not the end. She laughs, and says finally that she knows Enzo knew that because he knows everything.
Any hopeful expectations the reader might have had disappear as we see that Eve has accepted her fate. She again charges Enzo with taking care of Zoë and Denny, like she did after Zoë's birth. Her final words to Enzo are spoken candidly, indicating that their relationship will end positively.
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
Enzo says he doesn't know everything, but he knew that Eve was right about the doctors and the course of her illness, and that once she and everyone around her accepted her diagnosis, there was no way to stop it from coming true. Denny and Enzo leave, and rather than sleep in the car, Enzo watches Seattle go by through the window. He tells the reader that if he ever finds himself in front of a firing squad, he'll think of Eve and what she said. In his dream that night, Enzo sees Eve die and let go of her needs and her body and continue her soul's journey.
We see the truth of "that which you manifest is before you": Enzo sees that everyone around Eve saw her death, and she in turn had no choice but to see and manifest it as a result. Enzo's dream of Eve dying acts as a sort of prophecy, although note that in his dream her dying is a positive act, freeing her from her earthly troubles without consideration of those left behind.
Themes
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
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