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 until the very end when Danny is stopped from going to Miss Schwartz because of other peoples prejudice. Bernard MacLaverty has focused mostly on this theme because of Danny and Miss Schwartz being the main characters so by focusing the theme with them it allows the readers to read more about the prejudice of people. The barriers of social class is another theme I noticed in the story due to the disliking of Danny’s father towards the local Blacksmith. I noticed that Danny’s father doesn’t like the blacksmith because he says “If he’s pouring the same poison into your ear, son, as he’s been spewing out in the pub he’s a bad influence” Danny’s father and the Blacksmiths feuds also represent some civil conflict between people in the story. The theme of friendship is also included in the story because Danny and Miss Schwartz do have a good friendship going through most of the story and there is also a bit of love in the story because Danny seems to have a bit of a crush on Miss Schwartz. I can see that Danny has a slight crush on Miss Schwartz because on page 10 it says, “In the darkness Danny had to get close to look along the line of her arm. He smelt her perfume and the slightest taint of her own smell, felt his face brush the texture of her clothing”. The language used in that phrase is what you would expect from someone who is in love with someone. The writer has chosen these themes to make the story more enjoyable and to spice up the relationships and characteristics of characters and has developed them with the growing of Danny.
The local Blacksmith is an unshaven and dirty character who has very passionate views about life. He isn’t religious and Danny’s father seems to have some sort of grudge against him because he sees the blacksmith drinking down at the pub quite a lot. 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...