Paul Is Arrogant

1040 Words5 Pages
Topic 2 Many male teenagers have a sense of invincibility. They believe they are better than everybody else; they are inherently self-absorbed and selfish. It has been suggested that the protagonist of Dr Peter Goldsworthy’s novel, “Maestro,” a pianist named Paul Crabbe is such a person. Throughout a large portion of the novel, this is reflected in his relationship with his piano teacher, Herr Eduard Keller, and the treatment of his peers. However, his egocentric, conceited attitude is largely due to the treatment he receives from his parents, and a result of puberty. Furthermore, “Maestro” is a bildungsroman. Through his retrospective narration about his younger self, we can see how Paul comes to regret many of his past actions. Thus, while Paul is arrogant and selfish at first, he recognises the error of his ways, and changes. Paul’s self-absorption and selfish demeanour is most apparent in his relationship with Keller. At first, it seemed that music, perhaps the only thing they had in common, would ensure a quick, smooth relationship between mentor and pupil. However, it is the cause of their differences. Paul, being arrogant in nature, rejects Keller’s authoritarian teaching methods, and doubts his unique take on several composers. After one lesson, after a bout of Keller’s trenchant criticism, Paul “ran away, tears streaking from his eyes,” leading Paul to call him a Nazi. Paul also feels insulted when Keller has him play “Children’s Bach,” a piece he believed he mastered as a child. On their parting as student and teacher, Keller finally opens up to Paul, telling him of his past mistakes, however, Paul opted to leave Keller, to go on a date with Rosie. Finally, when Paul began to tour as a pianist in Adelaide, and sent Keller a tape of one of his performances, he is furious when Keller sends back a “book of notes” critiquing his performance. Clearly,
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