Girl With A Pearl Earring Griet Character Analysis

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Almost all stories follow the archetypal hero quest, dating back to the first stories ever told. And by acknowledging and analysing the stages of the quest, the reader can further understand the character’s journey. The book Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, begins in 1664 in Delft, a small town in the Netherlands. It follows the archetypal quest of a young girl named Griet and her journey to adulthood as she takes on the responsibility and trials as working as a housemaid for the painter Johannes Vermeer and his family, after her father lost his sight in an accident. Dealing with the trials the household offers and her own personal struggles, Griet has to find a way to navigate her priorities. Through the midst of it all she…show more content…
Griet is aware that the painting will ruin her, “[her] eyes [filling] will tears [she] did not shed” (169), but is still unable to deny Vermeer. This is the point where Griet faces her biggest struggle. Internally, she is battling the urge to protect her reputation while at the same time battling the urge to fulfill her master’s wishes. By not shedding the tears that have built up, her action symbolises her acceptance of the event and her willingness to push on. Griet now faces this journey alone, unable to turn to her family or Pieter for help in “slaying the dragon”, the dragon being the truth, that Vermeer had been painting her. When Catharina finds out the truth, Griet must face the dragon alone, understanding that “[Maria Thins] was not going to admit to helping [Griet] get the earrings. Nor would [Vermeer]” (213). This moment fits the archetypal hero quest perfectly because Griet is forced to overcome the thing she dreads the most alone. Left in the dust by Maria Thins and Vermeer, Griet must slay the dragon and prove herself innocent. However, after the truth is revealed, Griet has a choice to either transform from the experience or to regress back to the girl she was
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