The Relationship Between Maria Thins and Griet - Critical Analytical Essay

Topics: Johannes Vermeer, Maria Thins, Learning Pages: 2 (630 words) Published: January 16, 2011
In the novel, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," by Tracy Chevalier, Maria Thins and Griet have an interesting sort of relationship. At first, Maria Thins' view of Griet is on the verge of cruel and very criticizing. But that opinion that she has of Griet changes for the positive. Griet, on the other hand, fears and looks up to Maria. She feels that Maria has some qualities of a role model. But she also knows that she does not want to be exactly like her. These qualities are what make their relationship extremely complex.

Maria's thoughts of Griet at the start of the book were very harsh. She felt that Griet was just another insignificant maid that she and her family could push and order around. Maria Thins degraded her once when she was showing her thoughts too openly. She said, "That's right, girl. Keep your thoughts to yourself here." (page 18) But Maria Thins does soften up after a while and it seems that she is growing fond of Griet. Perhaps she sees Griet's relationship with Johannes Vermeer and how she might be helping him to paint faster. She also sees how clever Griet is. Maria expresses her newfound admiration by saying to Griet, "Ah, you're a cunning one, girl. You know whose pot to spoon from. Never mind, we can do with a bit of cleverness around here." (page 45)

Griet, to an extent, likes Maria thins. But she often is confused about how she truly feels about her. Sometimes Maria would make her feel ashamed about a decision she made once she found out about it. But she was also kind to Griet. For example, she kept one of Griet's biggest secrets, assisting Vermeer with his paintings by grinding the paint. She also knows that Griet is posing for one of those paintings, something that Catharina, Vermeer's wife, could never know about. "You help him to paint faster, girl," she (Maria Thins) said in a low voice, "and you'll keep your place here. Not a word to my daughter or Tanneke, now." (page 110) Griet learns that for the most part, Maria Thins is a...
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