Discuss Goldsworthy's Use Of Contrast To Explore The Central Issues Of Maestro

803 words - 4 pages

Discuss Goldsworthy’s use of contrast to explore the central issues of Maestro.

‘Peter Goldsworthy’s novel, ‘Maestro’, is a ‘rights of passage’ story. ‘Maestro’ tells of the life experiences of the protagonist, Paul Crabbe, in this ficticious ‘memoir’. Goldsworthy has used a life heavy with contrasts to accelerate Paul’s learning experiences. Through Paul’s interactions with various characters and settings, Paul is able to learn the difference between love and lust, and about both life and music. Through Keller, Paul is able to learn the gulf between genius and the ‘second rate’. Goldsworthy has used contrast to enable Paul to reflect his success and failings and continue life ...view middle of the document...

Through Paul’s sexual experience with Megan, he finds what ‘true love’ really is. Also Paul learns what Keller has been trying to teach him, that facade can be misleading. ‘I loved Rosie – which at a time in my life when most of my love was wasted on myself was no small achievement’. These experiences also lead Paul into leaving his future to his parents, too involved with his ‘senses’ – ‘As I listened – the future became the present – unchallenged, and all to soon the regretted past’.
There is a heavy contrast between the worlds of music in which Paul finds himself entwined – the rock band ‘Rough Stuff’ and his classical ambitions. Through this experience, Paul learns of the superficial emptiness that lies behind the fame and fortune of rock music. When Paul realises this, he has learnt that Keller is more insightful than he first appeared. Paul is slowly maturing through his life experiences. This encounter with the bullies, parallels Keller’s playing for the Nazis. Although, the contrast here is that Paul’s arrogance, although very real, was not fatal, as was Keller’s. The contrasting characters of Paul’s parent’s ‘polarities. Thin and thick, light and dark’ lead Paul to learn that they are able to survive together despite their differences. This in a sense, teaches Paul tolerance, and later allows him to accept his ‘wasted...

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