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The Art of Racing In The Rain

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Emma Grace Crumbley

on 18 August 2014

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Transcript of The Art of Racing In The Rain


Summary

The Art of Racing In The Rain, written by Garth Stein, is an inspiring tale of the journey of a race car driver, written through the eyes of his dog. Enzo, the lab-terrier mix, helps his owner by not only being a reliable canine, but by loving and caring for Denny after the loss of his beloved wife Eve. Throughout this novel, readers will connect deeply with the characters, the messages, and the morals.
When In Doubt, It's From Shakespeare...
Shakespeare helped to...
It's More Than Rain or Snow
Weather is used to...
In The Art of Racing In The Rain
Throughout Garth Stein's
The Art of Racing In The Rain
, there is a common theme understood throughout the novel that in order to succeed in life, you have to overcome the obstacles thrown at you. In Shakespeare's
Hamlet
, Hamlet himself questions his own existence in his "To be or not to be" soliloquy as he describe the insufferable tortures and barriers that mankind is constantly bothered with.

Shakespeare is also famously noted for his "All the world is a stage" quote. In this quote, Shakespeare describes the world as a theatre, and that each person has a set role that they are cast to play. In
The Art of Racing In The Rain
, Enzo, the dog, is constantly mentioning that he is only able to communicate through gestures, much like a mime communicating to an audience. Though he can never clearly express his thoughts through words, Enzo's part in Denny's life is proven crucial through his support as a loyal companion and a loving friend.
It's Greek to Me
Greek Mythology is used to...
The Art of Racing In The Rain
“The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles - preferably of his own making - in order to triumph.”

This quote relates directly to Denny and Achilles: they are both flawed but must attempt to succeed despite their flaw. Achilles is close to immortal and con only be killed by a wound to his heel. Likewise, Denny is mentally and emotionally strong but will falter on behalf of his family who are his Achilles' heel. He cries at the death of his beloved wife and is greatly stressed throughout the legal battle over his daughter.
The Art of Racing In The Rain
Chapters
By Garth Stein
Chapter 5: When in Doubt, It's From Shakespeare
Chapter 8: It's Greek To Me
Chapter 9: It's More Than Just Rain or Snow
set the basis for most stories
provide a source of texts for other writers to rebound off of
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts..."
-Shakespeare

"To be or not to be, that is the question
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles..."
-Hamlet Act III, scene i
convey messages based on stories of heroes and gods because,
"myth is a body of story that matters" (Foster 60).
Achilles' Heel
Orpheus
Achilles was the strongest warrior in the Trojan War. He had incredible strength and invincibility due to the gift of the river Styx. His only weakness was his heel, which when hit would bring him death
Orpheus was a gifted musician who uses his talents to charm people. He attempted to save his wife from the underworld and was able to return successfully (albeit without his wife) to the upper world using his skills as a musician. His death is ultimately at the hands of those who could not hear his music.
While Denny represents Achilles, his story has more parallels to that of Orpheus, the legendary Greek musician. Denny is well-liked and respected for his skills on the track. When facing the custody charges over his daughter imposed on him by the Twins, Denny calls on his friends in the racing community to support him. Though he does not die, Denny's suffering is brought upon him by Maxwell who discredits Denny's career and capabilities as a father and husband.
convey more than just a forecast
to help foreshadow events
to help set a general mood or theme
In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, many characters' names and personalities have their origins Greek mythology. The name Hermione comes from the name of the Greek messenger god Hermes (technically from Shakespeare's a Winter Tale, but he got it from the greeks). This god is noted to be quick and cunning and is the protector and patron of travelers and thieves. Hermione excels academically and plays a vital role in Harry's journeys where he goes to various places to permanently borrow various things. Also, the daughter of King Menaleus and Helen was named Hermione

"Draco" originates from the Greek name, "Drakon," which means dragon or serpent. Draco Malfoy is often seen with snake-related images around him: Slytherin, Death Eaters, etc.
Other characters include: Narcissa (Malfoy), Penelope (Clearwater), Andromeda (Tonks), Argus (Filch), and Zacharias (Smith).
For example, Rain can be restorative, isolating, cleansing, or even the "misery factor "
The Art of Racing In The Rain
It was drizzling as Denny and Enzo take a very long walk, alone, to Eve's funeral. Denny is alone at first, in his misery, as Enzo does not realize where they are going at first and is just happy to be out running, in the rain. Once they get there, the "misery factor" affects Enzo too, and the isolation becomes much clearer and more literal. When they arrive at the funeral, even as she is requesting he leave, his mother in law Trish, says " I"m sorry. You must be so alone." Denny and Enzo watch the funeral from under a tree, mourn and cry, all alone without anyone to see them.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout wakes to find it snowing ,is terrified, and believes the world is ending. The snow in this chapter is used as a device to highlight Scout's innocence, and how it is lost in the following chapters due to her father's involvement in the Tom Robinson case.
Orpheus
- a gifted musician who uses his talents to charm people
- tries to save his wife from the underworld
- dies at the hands of those who cannot hear his music
Orpheus vs. Denny
Denny
- a respected and well-liked racer in the racing community
- tries to save his daughter from the Twins' house
- suffers at the hands of Maxwell who does not respect Denny's career or fathering abilities

Rain represents obstacles in life; the tiny ones are easy to accomplish, and sometimes it feels good to accept these challenges in life, but others are like a blizzard that are massive to defeat are not easy to overcome. Rain does not disappear and it falls on everyone.


The title of this book is claimed as The Art of Racing in the Rain because in order to drive expeditiously, swiftly, and precisely in the rain, one must drive discreetly, holding the steering wheel loosely, always look towards, the future and not letting anyone else pass without a good reason. (Stein 121)
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