Literary Analysis: 'The Art of Racing in the Rain' by Garth Stein
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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is a philosophical novel told from the point of view of a dog. Through the absurdist persona assumed by the author, the author attempts to shed light on the larger human condition. The book is told from the point of view of Enzo, a supremely intelligent animal. Enzo dreams of becoming a human race car driver like his owner, Denny Smith, in his next lifetime. "The race is long. It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the other than it is to drive too hard and crash" (Stein 291). However, although Enzo regrets the fact that he has been born a dog and longs to be reborn in his next life into human form, the novel suggests that the mute wisdom of dogs is often more compassionate and intelligent than the supposed civilized conduct of humans. Enzo is a great student of life even though he has only learned about life from watching television and watching his master. His favorite television programs are racing programs, but he also loves the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. Enzo has opinions on everything: from what is the best form of car racing to the fact that he is suspicious of evolutionary theory because it regards monkeys as a more highly evolved species than dogs (Stein 18). Through watching others and not being able to speak, he gains an objective perspective upon the intelligence of others.
The book is told in retrospective. It