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Analysis of Bernard MacLaverty's My Dear Palestrina Essay

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Analysis of Bernard MacLaverty's My Dear Palestrina

My Dear Palestrina’ is a cleverly written short story by Bernard MacLaverty. It is about this young boy called Danny who discovers his musical talent and goes to this piano teacher called Miss Swartz. Their friendship develops and seem to be a formidable partnership until Danny is torn away from his beloved music lessons because of Miss Schwartz private life. Fitted into the story are some important themes that still continue to exist in today’s society. In this essay I will try to explain most of them to you.
The most notable theme is how the prejudice of people can never be overcome. This is weaved into the story by the relationship of Danny and Miss Schwartz working well together
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The Blacksmith is also hated by Danny’s father for not being religious because Danny‘s father says, “He‘d have you into guns and god knows what. Denying religion at the top of his voice.” This shows us that religion is another theme hidden in the story. Right from their very first meeting the Blacksmith tries to lure Danny away from Miss Schwartz and his family, he wants Danny to live his own life and make his own decisions soon become evident. When he doesn’t make bangs with his hammer for Danny to walk in time to, it symbolises his want for Danny to live his life the way he wants to. It is also clear to see the Blacksmiths want for Danny to live his life the way he wants to when he says, “You’re coming to an age now when you’ve got to think. Don’t accept what people tell you - even your father. Especially your father. And that includes me!”
Bernard MacLaverty has included plenty of imagery and symbolism into a carefully constructed short story. For example, when Miss Schwartz pointed out to him when the flowers had fallen off the tree and each week they inspected the swelling fruit, that symbolises the growing repitwa of music Danny is learning and also his growing relationship with Miss Schwartz. When Miss Schwartz says, “Lavish love and attention on growing things and they will not let you down”, shows how Miss Schwartz feels about Danny and how she’s trying to do what she thinks will keep Danny coming back to
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