There are many different ways that the importance of respect and valuing people is shown by Paul, the main character in Maestro, by Peter Goldsworthy, with each relating to a different aspect of the novel. Paul explores his emotional understanding, his view of family and his values, and also where he stands in relation to the world. He starts out as a young teenager, not knowing much yet naive adolescent and develops to become a mature, respectful and humbled individual, over time realizing that it is more vital to develop and sustain relations than it is to accomplish success. Although music is an integral part of Maestro, the novel is essentially a story about a boy’s journey into adulthood. Maestro shows us that maturity is gained only through suffering as the novel focuses on the coming of age of Paul Crabbe, who is led on a journey of personal discovery. In the beginning of the novel Paul is corrupted by pride and the idea that he is great, he might even think he is almost perfect. This self-satisfaction does wonders to boost his ego, as he predicts instant fame and fortune will come to him. When he first meets Keller, he acts as if he knows everything, but Keller mocks him constantly with such comments as, “you know so much for your age…and so little”, and won’t give in to his superficial ideals. Paul is at the crossroads between childhood and adulthood and draws on his experiences, relationships and interactions with other characters to teach him invaluable lessons. Paul particularly draws on his music teacher Herr Eduard Keller, his parents and their musical influence, and also his peers to determine his direction in life. Paul learns about love in all its forms. Through his relationships with his parents, his girlfriend then wife Rosie and his piano teacher ‘maestro’ Edward Keller, Paul learns what love is. During his life journey because of his relationships, he learns how to give love, receive love and how love and all of its attachments shape lives. One of the ways Paul learns about love in all its forms is through his relationships with his parents and their relationship with each other. Paul’s parents, Nancy and John, shared a common thread of music but that was where there similarities ended ‘apart from music they had little in common. ’ Paul’s parents were very diverse in some aspects, and yet how happy they always seemed, in spite, or perhaps because of it. ’ Paul’s parents loved him unconditionally, Even though at times they would push him and make him feel like he was under a lot of pressure to be a successful musician. Emotionally, Paul has had a hard time changing from adolescence into maturity. He travels from being an indulged boy with no real understanding of his emotions, to a state in which he recognizes the need for the emotional part of himself. Realizing along the way the importance of respect and therefore having the burden of regrets on his back. Paul had regrets because his relationships with different people around him weren’t as good as he would’ve liked them to be, therefore wishing he had sacrificed some of his success back then to be able to develop and sustain healthy relationships with the ones he loved.
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