The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At first, Enzo resents how Eve changes his and Denny's lives, particularly the attention Denny pays to her body. She is everything Enzo isn't—human, well-groomed (she keeps her hair colored, while Enzo goes weeks without a bath), and she keeps her nails a very certain shape and size. Her attention to detail extends to her personality as well. She is organized and always making lists, especially honey-do lists for Denny and Enzo. Their weekends are spent at Home Depot or at the recycling center, or at home fixing and washing things. Enzo doesn't like this, but Denny apparently does, since the longer the list, the more quickly he works to complete it and collect his reward. Enzo notes that the reward often means a lot of nuzzling and stroking.
Again we see here that Enzo associates physical traits with humanity in his comparison of himself to Eve. Language also comes into play here with Eve's lists. The lists evidently hold some degree of power, as they dictate Denny and Enzo's weekend plans. These lists begin Enzo's exploration of the power of words and stories, which he continues throughout the novel.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Not long after Eve moves in with Denny and Enzo, she and Denny are married in a small ceremony that Enzo gets to attend. Eve's immediate family comes, while Denny's doesn't, but Denny says simply that they don't travel well.
This is the first mention of Denny's family, or the absence thereof. Their absence at their son's wedding creates a slight tension in the story.
Themes
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
After the family returns from the wedding, Enzo notices that Eve is much bolder in her moving and replacing of household things. Enzo, while unhappy with her for the change she’s brought about, is unable to experience real anger. He believes this was because she is pregnant. He says there is something about how she'd exert so much effort to take off her shirt and bra to lay down and rest, and that her breasts remind Enzo of his own mother.
Enzo resents Eve's permanence and the change she's bringing to his family. However, he can't resent her for being pregnant. Notice that, while physical traits are often used to separate humans from dogs, here they're used to draw similarities between the two.
Themes
Love and Family Theme Icon
Enzo resents the attention Eve pays to the unborn baby, but in retrospect, he realizes that he never gave her a reason to treat him the way she treated the baby. Enzo muses that maybe this is his one regret, that he loved how Eve was when she was pregnant, but knew he couldn't be the source of her affection because he couldn't be her child.
An overarching idea throughout the novel is that every character is motivated by love. Enzo here wants to love and be loved by Eve, but his love for Denny first keeps him from doing so.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
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Enzo describes how Eve interacts with the baby before it is born, touching it through her skin, dancing to the stereo. She drinks orange juice to feel the baby kick. Once she asks Enzo if he wants to feel, and holds his face against her belly to feel the kick. Enzo knows that Eve and Denny made what was inside of her, and at the time, Enzo wished the baby would look like him.
Enzo's dogness is obvious here in his wish that the baby will look like him, as his understanding of the differences between himself and his human family is limited. However, this wish also shows just how connected he feels to Denny.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
On the day the baby arrives, Enzo is two years old. Denny is in Daytona for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race. Enzo explains that endurance racing consists of four drivers each spending six hours driving, and this particular race is broadcast on television. The coincidence that Denny got this opportunity the same year he became a father changes depending on who's doing the interpreting. Eve is put off by the unfortunate timing, while Denny believes he's getting everything he could ever want.
Words and their different interpretations will be a recurring idea throughout the novel. Denny, the optimist, is able to see this timing as fortuitous, while Eve feels the opposite. Note the mention that this race is going to be on television. This elevates the importance of the race, particularly for Enzo, who loves television.
Themes
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
Regardless, the timing is wrong according to Enzo. On race day, a week before she is due, Eve feels contractions and calls her midwives. They assume Denny is driving and winning as Eve gives birth. Her midwives help her into bed and give her the baby, who begins to nurse. Eve asks for a minute alone, and the midwives move to take Enzo out of the room with them. Eve stops them and says that Enzo can stay. He watches the baby nurse, and after a few minutes notices that Eve is crying. He wonders why.
Enzo understands the significance of being not just allowed but invited to stay with Eve and the baby without Denny there to act as a buffer. This is the first time that Eve opens herself up to Enzo, which sets up the opportunity for their relationship to continue to improve in the future.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Eve puts a hand down and lets it dangle. Enzo doesn't want to assume she is calling him, but catches her eye and knows she is. Sobbing, Eve says to Enzo that she knows she told Denny to go, but she wishes he were here with her. Eve asks Enzo if he'll promise to always protect the baby. Enzo knows that she's actually asking the question of Denny, and that he's only a surrogate for Denny in this situation. Enzo says that he did, however, feel the obligation, and realizes that although he can't interact with humans the way he really wants to, he can comfort Eve and protect the baby.
This is the moment when Enzo truly finds his place within his family. He can't be what he truly wants to be (human), but he sees the baby as his entryway into Denny and Eve's relationship as the guardian of their offspring. By speaking candidly to Enzo, Eve essentially allows him to feel more human, which is one way that Enzo feels loved and appreciated by those around him.
Themes
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Denny returns from Daytona the next day, unhappy. His mood changes when he holds the baby, whom they name Zoë after Eve's grandmother. Denny asks Enzo if he sees his little angel, to which Enzo mentally replies that he practically birthed Zoë.
Again Enzo's mindset regarding his place in the family has shifted. Rather than seeing himself in opposition to Eve, he aligns himself with her and Zoë.
Themes
Love and Family Theme Icon
Eve's parents, Trish and Maxwell, had been in the apartment since Zoë's birth to care for her and Eve. Enzo begins calling them “the Twins” because they dress exactly the same and both smell of chemicals. Since their arrival, they'd been giving Eve a hard time for having Zoë at home, as they believe that it's irresponsible to give birth outside of a hospital. However, once Denny returns home, they shift their negative attention to him. Maxwell gloats, saying that it's a lot of bad luck, and Trish only wants to know if Denny will get any of his money back.
The reader only knows as much as Enzo does, so it's unclear at this point why Denny is unhappy and Trish is asking about getting money back. Notice though that Trish and Maxwell's concern is rooted in wanting the best for Eve and Zoë, despite their concern being misplaced. Maxwell's comment about bad luck foreshadows what's to come.
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Love and Family Theme Icon
Enzo isn't sure what's going on. Denny is distraught, and later when Mike comes over for a beer, Enzo learns why. Denny was supposed to take the third stint in the car. Everything was going well, the team was in second, but just before Denny was set to take over the second driver ran the car into the wall. The driver was unhurt, but Denny's opportunity of a lifetime disappeared. When Mike confirms that Denny doesn't get any money back, Denny says he doesn't care; he should've been home. Mike counters that you can't predict when babies are going to come early, and toasts Zoë. Denny joins, and Enzo toasts mentally and vows to always protect Zoë.
As Enzo discusses driving strategy more, we'll learn that Denny needs to rely on his ability to predict when and how things will happen, which accounts for how upset he is at this instance where his predicting was incorrect. Enzo is further settling himself within his growing family as Zoë's protector.
Themes
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon