The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Zoë's Zebra, the Demon Symbol Analysis

Zoë's Zebra, the Demon Symbol Icon

The zebra is Zoë's favorite stuffed animal, a toy Enzo never liked because it was his biggest rival for Zoë's love and attention. However, when Enzo is left at home without food for three days and begins hallucinating, the zebra comes to life in a living representation of the devil and evil. After this experience, the zebra returns when Enzo experiences fear or senses fear or evil in someone else. For much of the novel, Enzo believes that the zebra, or a corresponding demon, is truly alive, like he experienced during his hallucination. He believes it brings fear and mayhem with it, and is something to protect against. However, Enzo as well as the reader comes to realize that the zebra is actually symbolic of an evil and destructive force within individuals. Taken in this way, the zebra allows Enzo to flesh out a more nuanced conception of humanity, as he begins to understand that humans are not just pure good or evil. He comes to believe that there is a bit of the zebra in all of us, which gives humans something to work at and overcome.

Zoë's Zebra, the Demon Quotes in The Art of Racing in the Rain

The The Art of Racing in the Rain quotes below all refer to the symbol of Zoë's Zebra, the Demon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain published in 2009.
Chapter 12 Quotes

Demon. Gremlin. Poltergeist. Ghost. Phantom. Spirit. Shadow. Ghoul. Devil. People are afraid of them so they relegate their existence to stories, volumes of books that can be closed and put on the shelf or left behind at a bed and breakfast; they clench their eyes shut so they will see no evil. But trust me when I tell you that the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker)
Related Symbols: Zoë's Zebra, the Demon
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
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Zoë's Zebra, the Demon Symbol Timeline in The Art of Racing in the Rain

The timeline below shows where the symbol Zoë's Zebra, the Demon appears in The Art of Racing in the Rain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...hears a noise coming from Zoë's bedroom and when he goes to investigate, Zoë's stuffed zebra is moving on its own. Enzo is surprised to see the zebra, since it's one... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
Seeing Enzo, the zebra begins to dance and then starts sexually assaulting one of Zoë's Barbie dolls. Enzo growls,... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...room. Enzo doesn't follow, as he doesn't want to be anywhere near where the evil zebra had been. Suddenly, Enzo hears loud footsteps and Denny calls Enzo stupid, grabbing him by... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...Denny didn't actually hit him, even though he can feel the pain—Denny had hit the zebra and believed the evil demon was inside Enzo. Enzo believes he was framed by the... (full context)
Chapter 12
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...on shelves and left behind. Enzo implores the reader, then, to trust him that the zebra is real, and somewhere, it is dancing. (full context)
Chapter 14
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...her and fears that it will return when Denny is gone. Enzo thinks of the zebra. He vows to be steadfast in Denny's absence, and Denny finally leaves. Eve collects herself... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...then Eve bursts into tears, apologizing for being mean. Enzo thinks to himself that the zebra hides everywhere. Zoë starts crying as well, and Denny joins in. (full context)
Chapter 19
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...he hides it for several reasons. Mostly, he's afraid of the virus that possessed the zebra. He retrieves his dog and they get back in the car to go to Mike's... (full context)
Chapter 23
Love and Family Theme Icon
Illness and Death Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...through the night. Enzo promises and stays awake all night, guarding Eve from the demon (zebra). In the morning, Enzo relinquishes his guard duties to Trish and Maxwell, and Eve quietly... (full context)
Chapter 25
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...Annika tries to shoo Enzo, but Enzo is angry. He doesn't attack, but says the zebra keeps dancing. Annika returns her attention to Denny. (full context)
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...without Denny's consent. Finally, thinking of how he failed to protect Zoë's toys from the zebra, Enzo barks and Denny wakes up, sees Annika, and leaps away. Enzo continues to bark... (full context)
Chapter 39
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...stirs and notices that on top of the pile, staring at him, is the replacement zebra, its eyes glinting. Enzo tries to stay awake to keep an eye on it, but... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...pungent diarrhea. When he's finished, he runs happily to Zoë's room and growls at the zebra. Enzo says the zebra understood, and the demon knew not to mess with him that... (full context)
Chapter 49
What It Means to Be Human Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Destiny and Spirituality Theme Icon
...Woodland Park Zoo. He then notices that the sliding figure in the pen is a zebra. Suddenly, he realizes that the zebra isn't something external—it's inside all of us and is... (full context)