Desire In Tracy Chevalier's Girl With A Pearl Earring

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Desire is defined as a strong feeling of want towards something or a wishing for something to happen. For centuries, desire has and will continue to have a substantial hold over man. It captures and envelopes every emotion and thought, placing individuals into damning situations. In Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier conveys desires forceful nature, and its ability to completely alter identity.
Money controls us, it controls our actions, our thoughts, and our feelings; everybody wants it, yet no one seems to ever have enough of it. Griet’s family shares that same philosophy; they yearn for something they don 't have access to. Because of that Griet is forced out of her childhood and suddenly becomes the breadwinner of the household; her identity changed before she could even understand what it meant. On her way to the Vermeers, Griet reminisces about being a child in a tone which implies that that time has already passed, even though she still would be considered a child, “[We] used to sit along the canal and throw things in… and
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She began at the Vermeer house, afraid to speak; Griet’s desire for kinship with Johannes, however, pressured her into altering a still life and ultimately gave her courage. “‘There needs to be some disorder in the scene, to contrast with her tranquility,”’ Griet says, to which Vermeer replies, ‘“I had not thought I would learn something from a maid,”’ (pgs. 135 - 136) Griet 's decision to rearrange the composition of the piece shows how her confidence has improved; she was able to be assertive and make the change, as well as to defend her decision when confronted by Vermeer. Johannes shows humbleness in his response to Griet; admitting he learned from her and he has some degree of respect for her artistic judgment. However, in using the word “maid” he emphasizes how the hierarchy still stands even though she has managed to prove herself to him.
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