Essay about Girl with a Pearl Earring - Final Draft

953 Words Mar 11th, 2013 4 Pages
Feature Article
Forbidden Love

The novel Girl with a Pearl Earring should definitely be included on the Novel Ideas book club reading list. Elyshia Hickey reveals why this fascinating, historical and romantic story will appeal to an adolescent audience, as it explores the theme of sensual awakening. Set in 17th century Delft, Chevalier’s novel explores the deep but forbidden love between a young maid and her master. The author’s clever combination of an intriguing story, remarkable characters and descriptive language allowed her to explore the themes of forbidden love, predators and sexual desires.

For hundreds of years people have wondered who is the girl in the portrait Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by a Dutch artist
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He became jealous of her relationship with Vermeer, but wanted to marry her. The scenes in which Vermeer painted Griet were sensual and spellbinding and she was obviously in awe of her master. Vermeer asked Griet to wear his wife’s pearl earrings for the sitting. She knew it would cause more trouble but was obedient to the man she had fallen in love with. This complication built suspense for the readers as they anticipated the wife’s reaction. After Vermeer’s wife saw the earrings in the painting, she tried to destroy it. Griet knew she had to leave. She chose to go to Pieter who she later married. When Vermeer died 10 years later, he left the pearl earrings to Griet in his will. The author’s mix of realistic events, romantic love, and unwanted sexual encounters reflect a timeless storyline that would appeal to young adults in today’s society, facing the same problems.

The author has skillfully constructed the characters to assist young readers to connect with them. The main character, Griet, is a quiet, lonely, innocent and vulnerable young lady. When Van Ruijven cornered Griet in the hallway and grabbed her chin, she did not feel at all comfortable: “I did not like the way he looked at me”. Griet had some artistic talent and vision and wanted this to be recognized by her master, but was too shy to say anything. She was looking for love and security, which she found in Vermeer. Vermeer’s remarkable character draws young readers in as he was portrayed as a very

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