Theme Of Misogyny In Girl With A Pearl Earring

Superior Essays
Tracy Chevalier’s novel, Girl With a Pearl Earring, has very little basis in Vermeer’s masterpiece other than the same painter. Chevalier’s own internalized misogyny is evident in her use of archetypal female characters throughout this book, as well as her other works. Her personal bias influences the book so deeply, she refutes all historical fact in favor of rewriting the novels of the eighteenth century. Her complete lack of understanding of historical or artistic context and fact make her novel seem ludicrous to any who do. The novel has sexist undertones, which are a result of Chevalier’s personal issues, overused female archetypes and tropes, and complete historical and artistic inaccuracy.
The characters in Girl With a Pearl Earring
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Catharina is written as a jealous, shrill, and idiotic woman who Vermeer tolerated. Their relationship is almost nonexistent in the book. She despises Griet and is unjustly cruel to her. She has multiple breakdowns, “[she] snapped at everyone else, even her husband,” and seemingly despises Vermeer’s painting habits, “she plunged the diamond blade of the knife towards the painting”. Chevalier even writes her as questioning, “‘Why,’ she asked, ‘have you never painted me?’”. This is completely historically false. Catharina Vermeer was a devoted mother, a loving wife, and “a model for a lot of his work. [The novel isn’t] fair to her memory”. Vermeer converted religions for her, and their marriage was “one of love, a Protestant to a Catholic and against both families ' wishes. He had to leave his neighborhood… erased from the civic records”. Most art historians refute the claims about Catharina, as “there is not a shred of evidence that Johannes and Catharina were unhappily married.” Catharina was a strong woman who survived familial abuse, enormous debt, her love’s death, and being a single parent, all while holding on Vermeer’s masterpiece, The Art of Painting. She never sold it and refused to let creditors take it. Chevalier destroying Catharina’s memory in order to create more female competition and vilification is worse than anything she could write Catharina …show more content…
Chevalier 's particular misogyny is obvious in her utilization of unoriginal female characters all through the book, and additionally, her other novels. Chevalier’s own predisposition impacts the book so profoundly, she invalidates all historical actuality in order to suit her own fantasy purposes. The complete absence of context and fact make her novel appear absurd and unresearched. The novel has sexist connotations, which are an effect of Chevalier 's issues, abused female paradigms and tropes, and complete factual and artistic

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