1977 From Peter Goldsworthy's novel Maestro

"Through her fog of clumsy assurances and euphemisms - he was In No Pain; he was Suffering a Long Illness - the truth quickly became clear..."

  • Use of capitalisation - draws emphasis and importance to key components of the quotation. Goldsworthy uses capitalisation to highlight common sayings, to almost critique their now disingenuous nature. "In No Pain" and "Suffering a Long Illness" therefore is stripped of there meaning, resulting is emotional distance.
  • Fragmentation - is displayed though the use of punctation, conveying the limitations of memory. Due to the subject matter of the quote, Paul's emotions are providing interruptions in his though processes. This makes his sentences fragmented and incomplete, lacking general sentence structure.
  • "the truth quickly became clear..." signifies Paul's realisation that all journey's must come to a end, reinstating the importance and meaning behind life and its journeys. Paul discovers that Keller is not invincible and that Paul's journey will surpass Keller's.

"He died for another week in that public ward, in his private room of pain."

  • Juxtaposition of "public" and "private" reflects Keller's desire to keep his "private" life and aspects of self (his past, family and time in Vienna) from his limited "public" appearances. This shown throughout the novel and Keller rarely expresses any emotions and keeps his past to himself.
  • "Private room of pain" utilises metaphorical language to emphasise Keller's entrapment in his tragic past.

"And muzak. Unspeakable sounds oozed from a hidden loudspeaker, and a huge pressure of revulsion built in me as I listened"

  • Muzak is background music played in retail stores and other venues.
  • When Keller and Paul first meet at the beginning of the novel, they are merely student and teacher.
  • By the time Keller dies and the story ends, Paul has become Keller's surrogate son and the closest thing he has to family.
  • Just as with the loss of a parent, Paul wishes he had more time with Keller.
  • In 1977 Paul seals the bond between the two and finally shows his true realization of and appreciation for both Keller's musical genius and how much he cared for Paul.

This relationship is symbolized by Keller's response to the muzak as expressed in "huge pressure of revulsion built in me as I listened" and "unspeakable sounds". Knowing how much his former teacher cares about good music, Paul demands that the nurse turn off the muzak. However, Keller does not care about the music, only about Paul's presence. In the end, the relationship between them is more important than the music itself.


Created with images by Antony Griffiths - "piano" • webandi - "candle light candlelight" • strecosa - "ground zero new york usa"

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