Eduard Keller Character Development-
Misleading, of course. As always. But unforgettable; the red glow of his face - a boozer's incandescent glow. The pitted, sun-coarsened skin - a cheap, ruined leather. And the eyes: an old man's moist, wobbling jellies. But then…the suit: white linen, freshly pressed. And - absurdly in that climate - the stiff collar and tie. 'Herr Keller?'
The introductory paragraph of the novel is of great significance and whilst the reader doesn’t realise this at the time, already Goldsworthy is in our heads making us wonder about this character, the Maestro, Eduard Keller. Goldsworthy uses may facets of Keller as a point of intrigue in this novel, straight away Keller is abnormal, he doesn’t belong in Darwin, which is described as a “city of booze, blow, and blasphemy.” (p.9) by Dr Crabbe. Early in the novel, Keller and Paul simply do not get along, and through Paul’s narrating, we (the reader) think of the Maestro in a negative manner as well. Paul’s arrogance blinds him to Keller’s painful history. Paul’s self-absorption is emphasised by categorising Keller as a ‘Nazi’, despite knowing ‘almost nothing about him’. This is the older Paul’s greatest regret, as it inhibited young Paul’s relationship with Keller. On hearing Keller’s accent, Paul immediately characterises Keller as a Nazi– a judgement made easy by Keller’s authoritarian teaching regime. Goldsworthy uses the development of Keller to great effect as his development really shapes the novel and entices the reader. Keller is an isolated figure, we only hear of his interaction with the Crabbe’s, eventually Paul himself starts to wonder what lies beyond the white suit, the missing finger, the collection of newspaper articles, the solitude and this is when the story really starts to turn. Goldsworthy drops hints throughout that novel which can be fully appreciated when re-reading it. Paul asks questions about Vienna due to his...
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