In Chapter 14, the protagonist is becoming overwhelmingly affected by something he does not understand. How much of this story is about trying to understand something as opposed to being misunderstood?
There is a level of truth to this question I don’t think that I thought about while writing this story. Much of this story is about the search for answers to questions: Why is loss so random in a society that is built on order? How easy is it to become so isolated that one loses a sense of reality? Is reality what we really think it is, or is it simply defined by the limited senses we are born with? (Think viewing the night sky with a radio telescope as opposed to an optical telescope.) But it is also about how sometimes temporary delusions can lead to insights that can be gained in no other way.
Chapter 14 reveals something is amiss in the reality Misunderstood has known. There are hints of another part to the world he’s tapping into, but past experience tells him such existences can only be ‘hallucinations’, no matter how real they appear at the moment. He is struggling with age, identity, and yes, trying to understand something he doesn’t yet. His brain appears to be failing him, but yet isn’t at the same time. Life is beginning to confuse rather than inspire, but I do not think he’s really reached the misunderstood part yet, as much as the misunderstanding stage at this point in the book. He only thinks he has.
So the answer to your question probably leans more toward the protagonist trying to understand more rather than his worrying about being misunderstood.
Chapter 15 is short, and it seems like everything happens really fast; suspiciously fast. Why didn't you tell a deeper story about the hard work it takes to find success, as opposed to success 'just' happening?
I have to admit a lot more time should have been spent in the original manuscripts on this part of the book. I understood just enough about the process to have written it in. Looking back, I would have to answer that I did not include that part in this story because, well, yes, it is meant to be a little suspicious. It is meant to reflect that perhaps something else is going on here, something other than music. It is far more rare in life than in writing that something happens so quickly without a designed intent behind it.
Long term hard work may seem less satisfying in the short run, but in the long run it is always the better route; unless you subscribe to the live fast life theory, which rarely lasts long at all.