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1. General



Author: Tracy Chevalier

Title: Girl with a pearl earring

Year of first publication: 1999

Edition used: first edition

Number of Pages: 248



2.1 summary

The book goes about a girl, Griet; she’s from a poor family. They live in Delft. She must become a maid because she has to help maintain her family (Her father had an accident so he can’t work). She becomes a maid to the family Vermeer. She has to clean the house for them. She doesn’t like it there, but she gets to know the family a lot better. One of the things that distinguish her from the Vermeer’s is her faith: they are Catholics while she is Protestant. The van Ruyvens are the constituents for the master, the painter Johannes Vermeer. They say what he must paint, and then they buy the painting from him. He is very critical of his own work. He tries to find the perfect composition and balance. And sometimes just looks at the painting for days, and makes only very small changes. This frustrates his mother in law who lives with the family (Maria Thins) because she is responsible for the household and needs to feed many mouths with the money he gets from his paintings. When Catharina, the wife of Johannes, gets a new son, Griet has to move from her sleeping place to the crucifixion room. Therefore, she gets by the paintings every day. She becomes obsessed with them. On one day, the master decided that Griet has to assist him. They both wanted to keep it a secret from Catharina and her mother, Maria Thins. Catharina does not trust Griet because she is a maid. And most of the time the people whom the master is painting, wear expensive jewellery. One day Catharina and Maria Thins found out, but they decide that Griet may go on with it, because now she helps him, he works faster. But another constituent, van Leeuwenhoek, wants the master to paint Griet for him, whom he calls: “the wide eyed maid”. When the painting is almost done, Johannes feels that here’s something missing, and he wants Griet to wear a couple of pearl earrings. Griet doesn’t want that, because if Catharina finds out that a maid wore a set of earrings belonging to her, Griet gets a lot of trouble. But Griet can’t refuse her master (she actually is in love with him) so she gives in. When he pierces her ear, which is a very symbolic and sensual moment. But Catharina finds out and they get into a fight, and Griet runs away. She marries the son of the butcher, Pieter, (She cares for Pieter and he loves her, but it is not the same kind of love she has for her master) and she becomes a butcher’s wife, and they get a child also.



2.2 The main characters are:

Griet: female, 16 till 28 years old, she is protestant, she is a maid for the family Vermeer, She has very wide opened eyes, and she always wears a cap on her head, to hide her hair, She is very interested in the paintings of her master.





Johannes Vermeer: male, about 38 years old, he is catholic, he is a painter and he has a wife and four (later in the book five) children.



Pieter the son: male, about 18 till 30 years old, he is the son of the butcher, and later in the book he is a butcher himself, he loves Griet, and wants to marry her, but she always says that she is too young.



2.3 general theme in this book is:

Social relations and life in the 17th century is the general theme in this book. Faith is also a theme and love for beauty versus economic values also.



3.1 Place

The place where the story is set is Delft, in the Netherlands. The most of the occupants of delft are protestant, and live in the protestant part of Delft (And so does Griet her parents). And there is a Catholic part, where the Catholics live (And so does de family Vermeer).



3.2 Time

The story started in 1664, and finished in 1676

Chronological, no uses of flashbacks, in the beginning the story has been told by year, but on the end they skip ten years.



4 Technical aspects

The story is been told from the point of view of Griet.

REACTIES

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Ik vond het op zich wel een goed boekverslag. Alleen staan er rare eurotekens in ik snap het nut er niet van. Ook heb je hier en daar een foutje maar verder kan je het goed gebruiken.
Groetjes van Eveline

15 jaar geleden