Ninety-Two in the Shade Summary
Thomas McGuane

Everything you need to understand or teach Ninety-Two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane.

  • Ninety-Two in the Shade Summary & Study Guide

Ninety-Two in the Shade Summary

Given the total failure of the culture's promises toward sustenance and meaning, McGuane's novel turns instead to the question of the individual, and to the alternatives possible for that individual in the face of social forces bent on his invalidation. But Skelton's desire to become a sport fishing guide in the Keys — a decision made solely because it's what he is "good at" — garners immediate opposition from a rival guide, Nichol Dance. Dance plays an elaborate practical joke on Skelton, who retaliates by burning Dance's boat to the water; Dance then forbids Skelton to guide on pain of death, a promise he ultimately keeps. The point that finally emerges here is that the agon between Skelton and Dance revolves around the delicate question of necessity: While unjustifiable in terms of conventional morality, it moves forward with the inevitable tread of Greek tragedy.

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