In tossed it into the bin… I was
In life success can be seen as many things, success can be small or success large. Success is the achievement of something desired an accomplishment of anything that will allow for someone or something to move forward. In the novel Keller would have been successful if he hadn’t have been so arrogant with the passing of his son and especially his wife. Success for Paul would have been truly knowing and accepting a great man, Keller while he was alive and also bettering his music. However these characters allowed for their pride and arrogance to block their ability to succeed.
Peter Goldsworthy’s reflective memoir ‘Maestro’, demonstrates how being too proud and conceited can stop one from achieving. Paul struggles to improve his music to the highest standard possible, due to his belief that no one can teach him any more than what he already knows. In the novel Goldsworthy creates a young, talented musician in Paul that has been trained from a young age. Paul is well aware of his talent due to the praise and applauds his parents and people surrounding him during his growth have given to him.
It is fair to say that Paul was above the standard most would be at the age of 15, however, due to the praise given to him he struggles to grow his music. At 15 Paul is presented with an opportunity to have one of the best as a teacher, the Maestro. However, because of the praise given as a developing musician Pauls mind is made to believe that the Maestro has nothing to teach that he doesn’t already know. “I crumpled the letter into a tight ball, and tossed it into the bin… I was the only pianist I had time to listen to”.Ultimately, Paul is stopped from improving his music due to his arrogance towards criticisms and the inability to listen to and take on challenges set by the Maestro. Paul also lets his pride and arrogance get in the way when he is presented with a chance to engage with a great man.
The Maestro was a man with a huge life story and many life lessons to teach. Paul is offered a prime opportunity to be able to get to know the man and share in his knowledge. Due to Paul’s selfish and arrogant ways he loses this privilege.
Only now can I recognise the scene for what it truly was: a confessional, a privilege that I, through selfishness and sensual addiction failed to accept. ” Goldsworthy cleverly creates the novel to show Pauls deep regret and loss of possible success. Goldsworthy shows how Paul’s ways as the arrogant teen impacted on his life when we see grown Paul looking back on the scene of realisation. Paul’s loss of not getting to know the Maestro clearly demonstrates the barricade arrogance can have on success. Keller demonstrates how a single arrogant decision can impact on a life.
In the novel Keller lives each day with regret fuelling every thought, regret of the loss of his son and the loss of his wife. “Who would harm the wife of Eduard Keller? ” Keller chose to go to Berlin to play for Hitler. It was his decision to leave and due to this, he lives his life suffering for the guilt he feels for the death of his wife and son. Goldsworthy uses the deaths to highlight the Maestro’s arrogance.
As much as the death may not have been his fault, Goldsworthy uses the inability of him to move on to demonstrate how his arrogance is getting in the way of success. Success for the Maestro would be moving on.