Maestro Key Notes Essay

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Maestro
–
Study
Notes
 The
setting
 Darwin,
1967.
The
setting
of
this
book
represents
many
things.
Firstly,
Darwin
in
 1967
is
a
place
of
isolation
–
far
away
from
the
‘civilisation’
of
southern
 Australia.
People
who
came
here
“sought
forgetfulness,
not
remembrance…A
 town
populated
by
men
who
had
run
as
far
as
they
could
flee”.
It’s
a
place
 populated
by,
“All
the
drifters,
the
misfits.”
These
things,
of
course,
apply
very
 obviously
to
Keller,
a
man
fleeing
from
the
memory
of
the
death
of
his
Jewish
 wife
at
the
hands
of
the
Nazis,
but
fleeing
also
from
the
role
he
had
in
her
death.
 But
these
things
are
also
true
of
other
characters.
Paul,
for
example,
very
much
 sees
himself
as
a
‘misfit’
–
(“All
of
which
left
me
–
their
crossbreed,
their
mulatto
 –
where?”).
Then
there
is
Paul’s
father
–
“Medicine
increasingly
bored
him.
He
 felt
burnt
out,
needed
to
recharge
the
emotional
reservoirs.
Each
evening
he
sat
 over
his
evening
meal
imagining
some
hilltop
dream
plantation…”
–
a
character
 wanting
to
be
something
other
than
what
he
is.
There
are
also
other
minor
 characters,
like
Rick
Whiteley
–
“Various
rumours
held
that
he
had
fled
North
for
 various
unspeakable
reasons.”
What’s
similar
about
all
these
characters?
They’re
 all
men,
and
this
is
very
much
a
novel
about
masculine
identity.
 
 However,
the
setting
of
Darwin
is
not
just
important
because
of
its
isolation.
It’s
 tropical
environment
is
also
important
in
understanding
the
characters
and
their
 inner
lives.
“I
wanted
to
be
out
in
the
warm
rain,
pushing
through
the
wet
 vegetation,
physically
part
of
it…I
closed
my
eyes
and
listened
to
the
sounds
of
 the
night,
to
the
wet
earth
smearing
itself
with
greenness,”
Paul
says.
For
him,
 the
lush
green
of
the
tropics
represents
his
sexual
awakening
and
his
 relationship
with
Rosie.
“Each
day
my
eyes
seemed
to
be
opened
just
a
little
 wider,
and
more
of

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