Everything you need to understand or teach Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
The main action of Water Music is Mungo Park's search for the source of the Niger River. In developing this simple plot line, Boyle makes so many references to so many other authors that Park's search for the source of the Niger becomes a metaphor for Boyle's search for the essence of literature.
Neither Park nor Boyle completes his respective quest; but as Ned Rise plays a clarinet along the Niger after Park's death, there is a suggestion that music is necessary to the fulfillment of both the protagonist's and the author's quests.
The novel's title reinforces these correlations between music and water, and between music and literature. The first correlation is obvious in the title Water Music; and the second becomes apparent when the reader recognizes that the novel's title is also the title of a piece of music by Handel, thus making Boyle's title... View more of the Water Music Summary