Study Guide

The Art of Racing in the Rain Food

By Garth Stein


Those of you who have a dog already know that food is, like, maybe the number one thing on a dog's mind at all times. In The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo doesn't just think about food a lot; he also thinks about the way others relate to food. It turns out that you can learn a lot about a person by paying attention to what that person eats. You are what you eat, after all, right?

Questions About Food

  1. Why does Eve get so upset when Zoë won't eat her chicken nuggets? What does the fact that the chicken nuggets were bad say about Eve's health and state of mind at that moment?
  2. Maxwell and Trish are often seen drinking, and their food includes variety, like spicy peppers and chicken with cream sauce. What does this say about their social status, or about how child-friendly their home is?
  3. What does it say about Denny that he pays so much attention to Zoë's meals and the things he feeds her? How does this compare to how her grandparents feed her?

Chew on This

Enzo's distrust of Maxwell and Trish stems from that bad pepper that Maxwell gave him early in their relationship. Enzo even takes this as a sign that he should never trust anyone who tries to offer him strange food. This scene foreshadows the type of people Maxwell and Trish become, and their lack of regard for other people's—and dogs'—needs.

While Maxwell and Trish think that Denny is a bad parent, the fact that he pays attention to Zoë's food needs says otherwise.