How Does the Quest for Perfection Influence the Characters in Maestro?

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Peter Goldsworthy’s “coming of age’’ novel “Maestro” shows how Paul changes to be a much wiser man ten years later at Keller’s deathbed. In Paul’s teenage years, he was arrogant and proud of his intelligence in music. He ignores Keller’s advice of changing career. Therefore, he thinks he can reach his dream in his own way---seeking perfection. However, Paul comes to understand that he could never be a pianist after Keller passed away. Young Paul is such an arrogant boy who thinks Keller lacks ability to teach him. Paul’s first impression of Keller is terrible according to Keller’s alcoholism. Because of his intelligence in music, Paul feels patronised by Keller’s first lesson. Paul thinks he deserves a better teacher instead of a “boozer” who only tells him weird stories about fingers. When Keller throws Paul’s music into the bin and asks him to play The Children Bach, Paul’s complacence means that he’s insulted. At that stage of his life, Paul is too young to understand that Keller is trying to bring him back to basic and undo his bad habits. All Paul wants is to practise a higher level of music to improve his skills, because he aspires to be a concert pianist so much. The first-narrative person doesn’t accept Keller’s advice of changing career. Unlike Paul’s parents, Keller doesn’t spoil or praise him. On the contrary, Keller is always critical of Paul and describes his music as “an excellent forgery”. In addition, Keller can see Paul’s limitation in playing the piano due to his expertise in music. Keller advises Paul honestly not pursue a career as a concert pianist for Paul’s own good, “a small hurt avoid a wasted life”. But Paul is so conceit that he chooses not to listen to Keller. He reckons he can find his own way to reach his dream. However, no matter how hard Paul practises, he can never win the first prize in any competitions. When Paul meets Henisch, a friend of Keller, in Europe. He fails to convince that Keller is still alive from the holocaust, as...
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