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The metaphor of “racing”–The Art of Racing in the Rain

book introduction:

Told by a dog Enzo, the book tells a story of a man, love, family, and the strong emotional connection between a dog and all of the above.

book recommendation:

This book makes you laugh. The reading experience was absolutely enjoyable and pleasant, and the story was uplifting and moving. It is very easy to read and understand. The book is a stress reliever, and it will boost your moods and lift your souls!

rating: 4.6/5

Image result for the art of racing in the rain"
book cover

The Metaphor of Racing

–book review of The Art of Racing in the Rain

There are countless books that are written from a dog’s perspective, and all of them humanize the animals and establish an enjoyable reading atmosphere for the audience within the use of humorous language. The Art of Racing in the Rain is among the list of books and is brought to live by the narrative of Enzo, a dog with a human soul. What makes the book even more valuable is the metaphor of “racing in the rain” throughout the book, which adds a philosophical layer to the storylines and narrative of a dog.

       The protagonist of the novel is a racer, and the author Stein intelligently connects the occupation as a metaphor to the broader attitudes toward life: he strikes the importance of patience, perseverance, and direction, all of which are present in the “art of racing in the rain” and the art of living our lives.

       One philosophy of racing is to be patient: after all, we are all racing against ourselves, not our opponents, and it is important that we are patient with ourselves and finish our own races. Enzo, the philosophical dog, realizes that “[T]he race is long – to finish first, first you must finish.”; under the dog’s narrative, it is revealed that ” It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the other than it is to drive too hard and crash.” Because of the great length of the race, people need to learn to be patient, just like Denny waiting and working hard to win the custody over his daughter back over the course of the book.

       The connotation of the race extends to our days, our challenges, and the lives of ours. As the most famous line of the novel goes, “I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience… [it is also] about the mind!” To win a race, it requires not only strong physical attributes, but also strong mentality, patience, and determination. The metaphor of the race and the art of racing can be deciphered as being persistent and strong in life: in races and in real life, Denny knows never to give up hope and always keep believing.

       In the book, the author uses the recurring metaphor of racing to teach the audience to embrace failures. Enzo and Denny understand the prevalence of setbacks in lives, but they also know that one of the arts of racing, especially racing in the rain, where obstacles are present, is to accept failures and grow from them. Enzo reflects, ” there is no dishonor in losing the race…There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” The dog holds the conviction that we are the creators of our own destiny and that”our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” The protagonists are optimistic, believing that we are in charge of what happens to us. In fact, according to the author, the rule of the racing is that “no race has ever been won in the first corner; many have been lost there.” The evident metaphor reveals the author’s attitude toward failures in life: they are very normal, and we can fix them for the better.

       A good vision is also important (the vision to see clearly and well). As the philosophical dog learns, “In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.” Looking into the analogy of “your car goes where your eyes go”, we cannot focus our the closest goals (the wall) but have to set our visions high and far so that we do not crash the vehicle (get crashed in life).

       The metaphor of “racing in the rain” is open to interpretations, but most people would associate the metaphor with positive messages Stein sends us from writing the book. The uplifting, funny, and touching book does not only entertain us by telling us what a dog thinks of the world, but also tells great stories about how we should race, and specifically how to race in the rain.

Date: 11/17/19

information: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


Published by Sunny

I am a high school rising sophomore and I love to read and write.

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