Girl with a Pearl Earring

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In the novel Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, Griet faces many challenges which causes her identity to change. Though Griet starts out as an innocent maid who has to follow orders, she starts developing her own opinion and the ability to make decisions. Griet changes from an household servant to having the courage to share her opinion to a mature lady, capable of making her own decisions. Many factors contribute to the change in Griet’s identity, but the main factor is Vermeer, her master.

At first, Griet is viewed as an innocent girl, who is compelled to work as an maid due to her father’s incapability to provide for her family. She does not want to leave her family and go to an unknown place, but she has to; in order to fulfill her family’s needs’. This is evident when Griet says to her sister, Agnes, “ ‘You know I don’t want to leave. I have to’”(7). When she arrives at the Vermeer household, she is viewed as a helper with the household chores, and a girl who must follow her master’s orders’. Later on, she starts to consider the Vermeer household as her own family. “ ’I have two families now, and they must not mix’”(53). This quote demonstrates the fact that Griet is adapting to her environment, and that she has started considering them as her family. This illustrates a change in her identity, as she has changed from a compelled and scared young girl to a maid, capable of adapting to a new environment.

Throughout the course of the novel, Griet starts developing her own opinion along with the courage to speak her opinion. At first, she just went along with what she was told: “ ‘But he was my master. I was meant to so as he said’”(57). This demonstrates the fact that Griet completes tasks without thinking. Even if she wants to say something, she doesn’t, because she gives her opinion no importance. Griet always had the ability to recognize Vermeer’s paintings’ strengths and weaknesses, but she didn’t have the courage to say...
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