Maestro Essay

‘First impressions? Misleading, of course’
How does Paul’s view of Keller influence the reader’s understanding of Keller?

In the novel Maestro, the author, Peter Goldsworthy, portrays the story through a narrative form. Readers picture and understand the novel from Paul’s point of view. In particular, readers’ views on Keller depend greatly on how Paul depicts him. Throughout the novel, Paul’s view on Keller progresses and changes constantly, thus influencing the reader’s thoughts on Keller as well. Initially, Paul’s hatred towards Keller depicts him as an unpleasant person towards the readers. However, as the story unfolds and as Paul matures up, his gradual change of attitude towards Keller results in a different understanding on the readers. Finally, Paul as an adult realizes the true Keller and by showing his affection for Keller, readers are influenced to think of him as the complete opposite of the person they thought he was initially.
Paul’s initial dislike of Keller influences the reader’s view upon Keller that he is a harsh and critical person. The first impressions of Keller on readers are exactly the same as how Paul describes him during his first encounter with Keller. Paul’s remarks on his face as “an incandescent, boozer’s glow” and his hand “a pianist’s hands? Impossible” makes Keller seems as an irresponsible person and an unqualified teacher with no exceptional musical abilities. Furthermore, the attitude Keller shows towards Paul during their first few lessons strengthens the reader’s negative views of him. The harsh critiques and remarks given by Keller influences readers to picture him as a strict and unnerving individual. Paul’s childish and arrogant retort of Keller by describing “him as a Nazi” and “Adolf Keller” tells readers that Keller indeed is a cruel and insensitive teacher. However, the word “misleading” gives readers another glimpse of Keller that he is not who he seems to be.
After a few more lessons and meetings between the...