The Art of Racing in the Rain Themes

The Art of Racing in the Rain Themes


The major theme in the novel is love. The first type of love explored is between Denny and Enzo and it appears before Denny meet Eve. The relationship between Eve and Denny is special because Denny gets so attached to Enzo that he considers his furry fiend as being a human being. The other type of love explored is the ones between Eve and Denny and it is a romantic type of relationship. Their love is affected however by Eve’s illness and by Denny’s frequent trips to other countries to race. The last type of love explored is the one between Denny and Zoe and Denny’s love for his daughter is clear from the way Denny fights to win the custody of Zoe.


Illness is another theme in the novel and it affects two important characters, namely Enzo and Eve. The novel begins by presenting Enzo in his old age, unable to walk and take care of himself, forced to lie in a pool of his own urine while waiting for Denny to run home. Then, as the novel progresses, the way Enzo got sick and how his health declined are also analyzed. Eve is another important character who gets sick and who eventually dies because of her sickness. Denny thus is left alone to deal with his wife’s death and he also finds himself suddenly in the position to have to fight for the custody of his own daughter. While the characters affected by illness have no problem in accepting their fate, the one who can’t accept the idea of losing a loved one is Denny. He denies it over and over again and tries to lie to himself that everything will be ok. For him, it seems that he can accept death only after the person affected dies and Denny has no other choice but to deal with the aftermath.


Another major theme in the novel is the idea of communication and namely how sometimes people fail to communicate properly with those around them. Enzo is unable to fully transmit his feelings and communicate with Denny because he is a dog and he doesn’t have the possibility to do it but that doesn’t mean than Enzo doesn’t think how to transmit his ideas his feeling and how to behave in a way the others can understand him. Other characters who have problems communicating with one another are Enzo and Eve and the reason why they fail at it is because they are not willing to open up to the other person. Instead, they guard themselves and do their best to keep the other person in the dark as a way of protecting them from painful experiences.

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