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Girl with a pearl earring
By: Lotte H41
Class: English
Date 24-11-2006
1. give the title of the book and the name of the author.
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Title of the book : Girl with a pearl earring

2a. When was it first published?
b. What edition did you read?

a. Year of first publication: 1999
b. Edition 52

3a. Explain the title of the book.
b. How is the title linked to the contents of the book? Please illustrate.

a/b The title of the book The girl with a pearl earring is based on a painting. It is paint by Vermeer. For the painting Griet had to wear a pearl earring, so people would think it was more attractive. So that how they got this title.

4. What literary genre does the book belong to?

It is defiantly a romance, is you read how Griet and Vermeer grow together and are creating a special relationship it is obvious a romance. Later in the book she marries to Pieter because of the money. This way she knows that she and her family will have a good afterlife. But this isn’t the same romance as with the painter Vermeer.

5a. Where is the scene laid?

b. In what period of time?
a. At the beginning of the story it was laid in the house of Griet. After the visit of Vermeer and his wife. After this visit she moves into there home to serve them. There home is in Delft, Netherlands.
b. The story starts in 1664, and finishes 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. The years stand on the top of the page.

6a. Who are the main characters?
b. Describe there personalities.

a. Griet: she is a girl, in the beginning 16 at the end 28, she is protestant, she works for the Vermeer family, she is there maid. She has very wide opened eyes. She is very interested in the paintings of her boss.

Johannes Vermeer: he is a man, about 38 years old, he is catholic, and a very good painter. He has a wife and four (later in the book five) children.
Pieter: he is a boy, 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. At the and of the book they do get married.

7a. What is the theme of the book?
b. do you think the author wanted to achieve more than plain entertainment with this book? In other words: what is the message of the book (if any). Explain your answer.

a. The theme of the book has got to do with making your own decisions. Griet has to marry Pieter even though she doesn’t want to. She also has to go work at the Vermeers house. She also doesn’t want this. Her family is poor and actually they don’t really have a choice. You would say this is a book with a story of a old time, but if you look better you can see that these things still happen today.
b. I’m not really sure if the writer mend to put a message in the story, but if you read it you can see that the plain is that girls (in this case) have to work really hard just to get some money for them and there family. This still happens in some areas in this world.

8. Photocopy one page with an extract containing an important development in the plot. Explain why this Extract is characteristic for the book as a whole or describe the importance of it in relationship to the story.

The man was watching me, his eyes grey like the sea. He had a long, angular face, and his expression was steady, in contrast to his wife's, which flickered like a candle. He had no beard or moustache, and I was glad, for it gave him a clean appearance. He wore a black cloak over his shoulders, a white shirt, and a fine lace collar. His hat pressed into hair the color of brick washed by rain.
"What have you been doing here, Griet?" he asked.
I was surprised by the question but knew enough to hide it. "Chopping vegetables, sir. For the soup."
"And why have you laid them out thus?" He tapped his finger on the table.
I always laid vegetables out in a circle, each with its own section like a slice of pie. There were five slices: red cabbage, onions, leeks, carrots and turnips. I had used a knife edge to shape each slice, and placed a carrot disk in the center.
The man tapped his finger on the table. "Are they laid out in the order in which they will go into the soup?" he suggested, studying the circle.
"No, sir." I hesitated. I could not say why I had laid out the vegetables as I did. I simply set them as I felt they should be, but I was too frightened to say so to a gentleman.
"I see you have separated the whites," he said, indicating the turnips and onions. "And then the orange and the purple, they do not sit together. Why is that?" He picked up a shred of cabbage and a piece of carrot and shook them like dice in his hand.
I looked at my mother, who nodded slightly.
"The colors fight when they are side by side, sir."
He arched his eyebrows, as if he had not expected such a response. "And do you spend much time setting out the vegetables before you make the soup?"
Page 4
I climbed the stairs to see my father. He was sitting at the front of the attic by the window, where the light touched his face. It was the closest he came now to seeing.
Father had been a tile painter, his fingers still stained blue from painting cupids, maids, soldiers, ships, children, fish, flowers, animals onto white tiles, glazing them, firing them, selling them. One day the kiln exploded, taking his eyes and his trade. He was the lucky one – two other men died.
I sat next to him and held his hand.
"I heard," he said before I could speak. "I heard everything." His hearing had taken the strength from his missing eyes.
I could not think of anything to say that would not sound reproachful.
"I'm sorry, Griet. I would like to have done better for you." The place where his eyes had been, where the doctor had sewn shut the skin, looked sorrowful. "But he is a good gentleman, and fair. He will treat you well." He said nothing about the woman.
"How can you be sure of this, Father? Do you know him?"
"Don't you know who he is?"
"Do you remember the painting we saw in the Town Hall a few years ago, which van Ruijven was displaying after he bought it? It was a view of Delft, from the Rotterdam and Schiedam Gates. With the sky that took up so much of the painting, and the sunlight on some of the buildings."
Page 11
On page 4 Griet is making soap in the kitchen. And all of a sudden the Vermeer family comes in and checks her out. To see if she can be handful as there maid. I think it is almost the same as if you go buy a new puppy or cat, you check them out and if you are pleased you can buy them. Her mom did not say that they were coming so for Griet is was frightening. Which 16 year old girl wants to leave her home to work for people who she does not know? I think that it is very well written you can read that Griet is a bit nervous…I choose for this page (page 4) because here it al comes clear, here you can here what is about to happen in the rest of the book. You can also see some qualities of Griet, how she gives all her veggies a place on her little desk. At the beginning of the copy you can read that Griet describes Vermeer as a real gentlemen that he is almost the opposite of his wife which she thinks is a bit strange. Her eyes go round the kitchen to check everything. You can almost immediately read that she likes Vermeer more then she likes his wife. This is her first thought of him later in the book the romantic feelings only get more intense.
Page 11 is another story but is very close related to page 4 (that is why I choose them together) on page 4 you can read something en on page 11 is what happens afterwards. This is a toughing moment I think. The Vermeer family just visit Griet and her family to see how Griet is, if she can be used as a maid in there big house. Griet just heard from her mother that she had to work in Vermeer’s house and she doesn’t want to believe it. She goes up the stairs to her dad for a talk. Here dad sits very sadly because he already knew what was going to happen. On this (and a few following) page he tells her (us to) about his accident and why she has to go to work. You can read that the father also feels awful that his daughter has to work for the family. He feels weak because he is the man of the family, and now in staid of taking care of his wife and children his child has to take care of him. He should be stronger but all because of his accident its impossible because he lost his view. It is a emotion moment because they both realise that there lives are going to change enormously. If you think about that this could be realistic it really gives you the creeps. To think that people ( actually children some very young ) have to work for money as I also mentioned before.

9. Why did you choose this book?

My teacher gave us some information about some books in our school-library. When she told us what the book was about it really looked interesting, because she is almost of the same age as we are and we all fall in love. I just love reading love-stories.

10. What is your opinion after having read the story? Please motivate this.

I though it was a nice book to read. You can really see them growing together and having sort of a secret relationship. I would really recommend it to others to read because it is very easy to read and really fun.


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