Girl with a Pearl Earring Theme Essay

Topics: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Delft, Johannes Vermeer Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: July 31, 2006
VCE English: Unit 1
Text Response: Girl With a Pearl Earring

"Take care to remain yourself" This text shows that remaining true to oneself must be balanced with family obligations. Discuss ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
Tracy Chevalier's novel Girl With a Pearl Earring explores the notion of ‘self' thorough the main character Griet and her journey from innocence to experience. Firstly, we see throughout the novel Griet is aware she has much to learn about the world. Furthermore, under Vermeer's roof, Griet's self exploration spans many realms; artistically, emotionally, morally and religiously, and she emerges a more complex and mature character. Moreover, Vermeer assists Griet to expand her mind and perspective on life. Finally, Griet emerge from the Vermeer household a stronger person more aware of herself and her surroundings and ultimately remains true to herself. Though she becomes temporarily ‘"lost" in Vermeer's world, Griet ultimately heeds Van Leeuwenhoek's warning and remains true to herself.

At the beginning of the novel, Griet's "wide eyes" are a symbol of her purity and innocence, while at the same time suggesting that she is curious and has much to learn about the world. She is a simple character who "does not often lie" and takes pride in having "scrubbed the front step so hard." We see that she is a girl with strong morals as she diligently conceals every last strand of her hair, presses her lips together and lowers her eyes to men in order to remain a "virtuous" woman. Griet is also close to her family as she feels her mother knows her well. We can also see her father's heartache in losing his daughter- "I'm sorry Griet, I would like to have done better for you. As easily as "the pie slice she had made were ruined", the comfort and security of Griet's life was taken from her when her father "lost his trade" and she felt "pushed….into the street". As she begins to walk to Papist's corner, we note that her "back is to her home", which foreshadows the...
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