Books and Movies Reviews

Maestro (Goldsworthy, P.)

Maestro shows us that maturity is gained only through suffering. Discuss.

Peter Goldsworthy's Maestro focuses on the coming of age of Paul Crabbe, who slowly leaves his childhood innocence behind to enter the new world of adulthood. His pathway to maturity is described through a series of experiences, particularly with an old Viennese music teacher, Eduard Keller, or the'Maestro'. Near the end of the novel, where Paul is in his mid-twenties, he looks back on his transformation from a spoiled, self-indulged adolescent, to a more compassionate and more knowledgeable adult. He realises, through his own suffering and Keller's influence, that his talents are not good enough to earn him a career as a concert pianist.

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Paul's personality changes throughout the text. At the start Paul is corrupted by pride and the idea that he is great, almost perfect even. This self-satisfaction does wonders to boost his ego, as he predicts instant fame and fortune will fall at his feet. When hefirst meets Keller, he acts as if he knows everything, but Keller mocks him constantly with such comments as, "you know so much for your age…and so little", and won't give in to his superficial ideals. Paul does not appreciate it when the old man honestly points out his true arrogant nature, but eventually awakens to his truth.

With truth comes suffering, and suffering does play an integral part to Paul's maturity. For years, Keller has been trying to teach Paul not to expect too much. He offers words of insight and once asks him, "what is the difference between good and great pianists?". He answers himself with, "Not much, just a little". Obviously that'little' is just enough to make Paul fall short of his dreams – he misses that final step that would take him to the top, simply because of his pride. In the end he fails to achieve musical success.

But it doesn't com…

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