Girl with a Pearl Earring -Tracy Chevalier
The story is told in the first person narrative voice by Griet who is the main protagonist of the plot. She uses an honest and sincere style of writing and this lends an air of realism and authenticity to the story. The style is vivid and descriptive. Cultural Context
The novel is set in mid seventeenth century in the Netherlands. It deals with a middle class family and their relationship with a young peasant girl who comes from the working classes. The Vermeers are a Catholic family and it is clear that they live a specific area called Papists Corner.Griet’s first impressions of the inside of the Vermeer household is how it is dominated by a great deal of Catholic paintings. Theme or Issue
At the centre of this story is the famous painting of Vermeer entitled Girl With A Pearl Earring. The whole issue of art and its fascination is central to the plot. Vermeer takes a lot of time trying to do his paintings and it is clear that Griet becomes a huge source of inspiration for him in his work. She is sensitive to his nature and his style of painting and facilitates him a lot in his work to such an extent that he manages to finish many paintings. Poverty/Money
It is because of a lack of money that Griet is forced to work as a serving girl for the Vermeer family. When she begins to earn some money this offers her a good deal of independence and we see how she grows apart from her family as a result. It is money again which forms a primary consideration in her mother’s mentality when the time comes for Griet to get married. She is advised to marry the butcher’s son because he has a steady income. Even though Vermeer himself belongs to the middle classes they are still not well off because they rely so much on the sale of his paintings. He is dependent on the patronage of Van Ruijven even though secretly he despises him. Women
There are different types of women represented in this story. Catherina Vermeer’s wife...
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