"Maestro": Peter Goldsworthy, Superficial Impressions

Essay by nguyentechHigh School, 10th grade August 2004

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In Peter Goldsworthy's "Maestro", the characterization of each individual can be further analysed as the theme of superficial misleading impressions. Throughout the novel, Paul Crabbe encounters different characters. It is through these relationships that we see the irony within each beginning and ending impressions Paul has with every personality he meets.

Paul Crabbe and Keller share a special bond that almost beckons to be ruined from the onset of the novel. Their relationship begins adversely, Paul is self-centred and has acclimatised to constant praise and admiration, it is due to this that Paul shows discontentment to Keller's teachings: "He immediately began to explain, in language I thought simple and patronising". Keller restrains himself by staying remote and removed from others and not displaying certain feelings such as love and praise; however as Paul and Keller's relationship progresses, Paul finds something from the originally rigid, unhappy character he came to love.

In return, Keller looks past Paul's arrogance and finds himself able to share intimate details with Paul. Goldsworthy denotes from this strong friendship that first perceptions do not always reveal the true personality of the character.

The reversal of roles between Megan and Rosie shows Goldsworthy's deliberate attempt to exhibit the contrast between love and mere lust. In dealing with this issue, Goldsworthy examines how one can face a change of heart over a particular person due to certain circumstances. Paul begins by idolising Megan, the girl of his dreams, his desire for her is merely physical: "perhaps it was her back that I first loved: the furred nape of her neck, her smooth bare shoulders, the thick cumulus of pale hair". Paul finds himself unable to look past Megan's conniving and shallow personality except after meeting Rosie. In contrast to Megan, Rosie is unpopular and plump. Paul is...