Maestro: Australian Identity Speech

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Date Submitted: 11/25/2012 10:41 PM

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Good morning/ afternoon. In the novel Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy the characters of Paul and Keller are used effectively to represent the Australian culture. He does this through many means including his use of characters, the themes and the settings. He has used the characters effectively to put his point across by what they say, do and think. The settings that he used such as Darwin, Adelaide and Vienna are all very essential in bringing out different parts of the Australian identity. Australia is a multicultural society, which is shown through the novel on multiple occasions. However, there are mixed feelings amongst some of the people in the community about being multicultural. These conflicts such as things like education and how they were raised develop different attitudes towards the people depending on their race or skin tone. Some of the people in the novel believe multiculturalism is a good thing for the community as it brings cultural diversity to the society. However, others in the community think that multiculturalism is a negative influence, perhaps because they believe that immigrants take jobs that should be going to the people of Australia.

The character of Paul as the protagonist has brought out the theme of Australian identity in many ways throughout the Novel. The first example of this is when we first meet Paul in Darwin when he is walking through the Swan which the novel describes as “The hotel - a warren of crumbling weatherboard, overgrown with bougainvillea - was packed, the drinkers and their noise spilling out of the front bar into the garden.” This is a classic representation of Australia showing the lifestyle of drinking and being in packed bars full of alcohol and noisy inhabitants, which is a typical stereotype of Australians.

Another example of the Australian identity that is brought out is when Paul is in school, there is a big theme of multiculturalism which can be seen through the characters of Bennie Reid who is originally...