Maestro Speech

Maestro Speech

  • Submitted By: gusstuff
  • Date Submitted: 08/07/2014 7:08 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 641
  • Page: 3
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Discuss the ways that the experiences of characters are portrayed through the use of distinctively visual elements.

Peter Goldsworthy’s use of distinctively visual elements in his 1979 novel, Maestro, help to portray the experiences of Eduard Keller and Paul Crabbe. These particularly include Keller’s experience of trauma in which he confides Paul and the delusions Paul confronts due to his pride and ego.

The composer conveys the deep rooted trauma that Keller is haunted by through his disclosures of his past with Paul and how this past trauma leads to a strong sense of guilt. His guilt is expressed when Paul asks what happened to his finger, to which he replies, “it offended me”. Keller’s removal of his finger is distinctively visual evidence of his heavy conscience, stemming from his refusal to flee Vienna and as Henisch bitterly reflects, “he had played for Hitler, [who] would harm [them]?” His finger and the offence they cause, therefore are symbolic of his perceived mistake and its mutilation is a poignant representation of his guilt. Keller’s trauma is further emphasised through his statement that he “had signed [the Nazi’s] concert programs.” The concert programs are symbolic of his assumed acceptance with the Nazis and the imagery of the mundane act of signing, emphasises this by humanising the “murderers”. Keller’s act of sewing a “yellow star to his clothing” after he finds his wife and child have been taken, exemplifies his desire to punish himself for his mistake, the imagery of the star illustrating that he felt he needed to undergo the same pain his wife and child had suffered. Keller’s outburst at the concert, triggered by the performance of Wagner, adds to the idea that he is still haunted by his guilt. The imagery of how “his face had frozen, his eyes were unblinking”, highlighting the shock he is experiencing as he recalls his past mistake. Ultimately, Keller is a shadow of his former self, conveyed when Paul realises that “perhaps they...

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