Character map Introduction Tips for writing essays Essay 1: ‘Neither Keller nor Paul are wholly admirable characters.’ Do you agree? Essay 2: ‘First impressions? Misleading of course. As always.’ How far is this quote true of the characters in Maestro? Essay 3: ‘Maestro illustrates the impossibility of escaping the past.’ To what extent do you agree? Essay 4: ‘Maestro’s protagonists are too deeply flawed to be sympathetic.’ Discuss. Essay 5: ‘All of the characters in Maestro experience loneliness and displacement.’ Discuss. Essay 6: ‘The reader, in the end, sees Paul and Keller both as egotists and as equally unattractive characters.’ Do you agree? Essay 7: ‘Keller was bad for me, the worst possible teacher: revealing perfection to me, and at the same time snatching it away.’ Is Paul’s assessment of Keller correct? Essay 8: ‘Paul’s rite of passage from childhood through adolescence to maturity is dominated by the influence of Eduard Keller.’ Discuss. Essay 9: ‘Keller advises Paul: “Don’t trust the beautiful”.’ In what ways does Maestro show that appearances cannot always be relied upon? Essay 10: ‘What Keller could not teach Paul might have been what Paul most needed to learn.’ Discuss. Practice topics 2 3 12
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Sample essays on texts
John & Nancy Crabbe
Paul’s parents; good amateur musicians; support Paul’s music studies and ambitions.
Scotty Mitchell Jimmy Papas, Reggie Lim
Initially bully Paul but come to respect him.
Middle-aged DJ; befriends members of Rough Stuff.
love and support
form the rock band Rough Stuff
The ‘maestro’; former concert pianist in 1930s Vienna; piano teacher in Darwin.
comes to respect and love Narrator/protagonist; talented pianist; hopes to become a concert pianist; becomes an academic. initially adores and dreams about