Study Guide

The Art of Racing in the Rain What's Up With the Epigraph?

By Garth Stein

What's Up With the Epigraph?

With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
— Ayrton Senna

What's Up With the Epigraph?

We could be snappy and point out that this is a quote from a famous racer and leave it at that, but that's not how we roll.

It's true that Ayrton Senna was a famous racer—one Enzo mentions by name—but there's more to it than that. The quote applies to racing, true, but it also applies to Denny's racing career, his life, and to Enzo's aspirations to achieve human-hood.

Think about it. Denny, as a racecar driver, knows that the race is never won on luck alone. It takes strategy, skill, planning, and knowing your opponents. These key factors, and the fact that Denny studies what he does for a living, makes him a good racer, and ultimately a Formula One champion.

These facets of his personality—his tenacity, his focus, his ability to see the road ahead and play the long game—also keep him, for the most part, from buckling under the pressure of those long, miserable three years while his court case is under way. And in the moments when he does almost buckle, he has Enzo by his side to support him and remind him of what's important.

Speaking of Enzo, the epigraph also applies to him. His whole life's goal is to prepare himself to become a man in his next life, to prove to himself that he can be a good person—and to prove to himself that he is ready. This preparation also takes focus, an understanding of the way the human world works, and a great deal of patience.