Peter Goldsworthy uses techniques of point of view and perspective to construct the character of Paul Crabbe in his novel, Maestro. Maestro employs the older and more mature Paul Crabbe as the remissive narrator for the duration of the novel. As the narrator, Paul gives insight and his personal opinions towards various issues, effectively allowing the reader to view how Paul will eventually develop as a character. Perspective in Maestro allows the reader to experience the development of Paul through; the novel as a Bildungsroman, the style of Maestro as a memoir, and the traits which contrast the characters of the Younger and Older Paul.
The character of the older and matured narrator within Maestro, introduces the genre of Bildungsroman. Even from the beginning of the novel, it is obvious that Maestro is indeed a story of growth and development, as the narrator reveals that his younger self shall eventually grow and develop positive ...view middle of the document...
This shows the narrator is ashamed of his previous attitudes, and apologises for them – demonstrating a development in Paul’s character. Point of view in Maestro allows the reader to view predicted development to the character of Paul, and the novel’s effectiveness as a Bildungsroman.
Maestro’s literary style as a memoir allows Goldsworthy to employ dual perspectives to gain alternate responses and opinions towards the younger and older Paul in the novel. For example, boys of a similar age are able to sympathise with the younger Paul, as they have potentially shared similar experiences as teenagers. The advice and comments given by the older Paul however, contain credibility and authenticity, as he is cultured and mature. The memoir style itself is reflective, and allows the reader to make assumptions upon the state of Paul’s eventual development based upon this reflective style. However, one disadvantage of this style and the 1st person perspective; is that the events witnessed throughout Maestro are only given thought according to Paul’s personal views and ideals. Although one may argue that a deeper insight could be attained by allowing other characters to express their opinions, the older Paul is effectively a new character – so input from other characters would prove to be unnecessary.
Despite these various techniques present in the memoir and Bildungsroman genres, the immediate construction of Paul’s character is accomplished through his dialogue and other actions, whereas the progressive development of Paul’s character is accomplished very effectively through techniques of point of view and perspective. Initially, Paul is constructed through his arrogance, naivety, and cultural ignorance, traits which do not require narration to reveal them – “the plebs think it’s finished, I sneered to Rosie”. Paul’s future development is only revealed by the qualities of the narrator which infer that Paul must also adopt these qualities in the future (as the narrator is an older version of Paul).
In conclusion, the techniques of point of view prove largely unsuccessful in constructing the character of Paul in his entirety. These techniques do however reveal the stages and progression of Paul’s development throughout the novel.