The Overall Theme in the Art of Racing in the Rain

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The Overall Theme in The Art of Racing in the Rain

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The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, is a fictional novel that takes place in Seattle. The overall theme of this story is love. There is so much love in this story, everywhere you look. Enzo, Denny, Zoë, Eve, all of them are filled to the brim with love. Enzo’s pledge to protect Eve and Zoë no matter what is one example. Another example is how Denny did everything in his power to be able to have custody of Zoë. And yet another example is how Denny and Enzo stayed by Eve’s side throughout all of her illness.

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‘To Zoë, I said to myself. Whom I will always protect.’ (Stein, 20) Enzo was in Eve’s room when Zoë was born. Denny was driving in the Daytona, and even though Eve had insisted upon him going, she was distraught when she realized that Denny wasn’t there for her and Zoë. She asked Enzo to always protect Zoë. It’s made clear in the story that he tried his hardest to keep that promise. He mentioned his love for Zoë and Eve many times throughout the story, like when he first realized Eve was sick. “…but no one had been assigned to protect Eve. And there was nothing I could do to help her.” (Stein, 23)

‘“No, I will not sleep on it,” Denny said, rising from the chair. “You can’t have custody of my daughter. Final answer.”’ (Stein, 82) That was Denny’s response to Maxwell and Trish’s request to take care of Zoë. When they sued Denny to try to have custody of Zoë, he never gave up. When Annika and her family had Denny arrested for supposedly raping her, he never gave up. He almost did give up, though, when he almost signed the paper with the zebra pen. Enzo noticed the zebra, the evil, and made sure that Denny did not sign the page. ‘The very next day, Mr. Lawrence informed Denny that the Evil Twins had dropped their custody suit. Zoë was his.’ (Stein, 140)

‘I knew what was wrong, but I had no way to tell her, so I pushed at her thigh with my muzzle. I nosed in and buried my face between her legs. And I waited there, afraid.’ (Stein, 27) This was right before Eve left with Zoë, leaving Enzo alone in the house. Enzo mentions many times in the text that he wished he could of done something to help her. Had he been a human, he thinks, he would have been able to warn Denny of Eve’s illness. But that’s beside the point.

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