• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Girl With a Pearl Earring" - Tracy Chevalier

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Girl With a Pearl Earring" - Tracy Chevalier Tracy Chevalier is unusual in having taken a specific painting and created a construction around it. How does she build a convincing impression of the characters and their circumstances in this unusual household on Papists Corner in Delft between 1664 - 1676? The novel "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is based around Vermeer's painting of the same name. Griet is a young girl sent to be a maid when her father, a tile painter, is put out of work. The novel follows her for two years while she works at the house and when she returns to her place of work ten years later. The novel is written from her viewpoint. The novel is set in Delft in 1664.The setting of a novel is very important. If a novel is set in a real place and the details are not correct, then anyone who has been there will notice the faults and the read will not be as satisfying as it might be. A lot of real places in Delft are mentioned in the novel such as the Oude LangenDjick, Molenport, Sciedam Gates, Rietveld Canal and Koe Gate. Chevalier does this mainly to give a realistic setting for the novel. She has evidently visited Delft to be able to give such detail on the layout of the streets, and also she might have looked at maps of the town. The main meeting place in the town was the market place. The market gossip was the way most news got around Delft and was spread mainly by the women doing their shopping or selling things. Anything that happens in Delft would almost certainly be passed around in this way, including the fact that Griet was going to be painted by Vermeer even though Griet did not even really know herself. In addition, Griet was worried that details of her relationship with Pieter would be spread around Delft. ...read more.

Middle

Griet is definitely attracted to Vermeer and shows this with similies when she describes his voice as "walking along the edge of the canal and unsure of my steps" His presence makes her very nervous and she is eager to please him. When he asks her questions and she does not know the right answer he gets annoyed easily. However, once she has got the idea he is happy to have someone else who shares his artistic eye and love of colour. He notices her artistic eye almost immediately when he first asks her about the vegetables in her kitchen. He asks Griet what colour the clouds are and she answers that they are white. Vermeer tells her this is wrong and shows her that there are lots of different ones. However he shows her little attention other than this and it makes Griet unhappy as all she wants is for him to be proud of her. He is selfish and never thinks of the consequences for Griet when he makes decisions, only the problems the might occur for himself. Griet herself thinks that she has a friend in Vermeer but she is not quite sure how. He is powerful in his way and strong in character. She said his voice was "Low and dark like the wood of the table I was working on". He is also a bit of a perfectionist and after spending hours painting in a map on the painting of 'Woman with a Pearl Necklace' simply paints it out, as it is what the painting needs. He pays great attention to detail and every little thing in one of his paintings has to be right before he will admit it is finished. He is very slow and his paintings are painstakingly done. Vermeer knows nothing about Griet's social background and shows his ignorance on this when he talks to Griet about ivory combs to tidy her hair when Griet knows she could never be rich enough to own such an item. ...read more.

Conclusion

She has learned to pinpoint emotions because of this, and can describe things into great detail. Griet is quite reserved and does not like to uncover her head as this might expose another side to her a more relaxed and wild Griet, a Griet that she does not want anyone else to see. When people see her hair in particular Vermeer it makes her feel like things don't matter anymore and she will dare to do anything. Griet is changed by her time with the Catholics and acts very differently after she has lived in their household. Her father said that the riches had "turned her head". Brought up as a Protestant, the riches of the Catholic lifestyle changed her. Chevalier also looked at the way she sets out the sections in the book. The novel is laid out in years, and smaller sections within the years. There are four years: 1664,1665,1666 and 1676. This gives a more realistic feel as chapters often show a more fictional story and showing the years makes it fell more real to us. Almost like a diary rather than a fictional work. People may wonder why Tracy Chevalier chose this painting in particular. Chevalier says "I had always loved that painting, I was attracted to the ambiguity of the expression, she is innocent and yet her mouth is open, yet at that time an open mouth was a sign of sensuality" It was a poster that she has had on her wall as a student and she says that "Within three days I had the whole story plotted out. It was effortless. It was all there in her face". Her love of the painting in a way would have helped and inspired Tracy Chevalier to create a plausible story. Chevalier uses a mixture of all the elements I have looked at and more to create a vivid and realistic story in 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' and with only the information given by the painting. 1 Emma Curtis UC4T 02/05/2007 English Coursework Essay ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. Vincent van Gogh

    The scarce source of food on the table is not enough for that many members of the family. When I saw the lady pouring the tea out, however, I felt a sense of warmth because even though the family is poor, they still stick to each other and there is no sight of arguments or complaints.

  2. The boundaries between culture and nature have collapsed and the body has become flexible

    Consequently, ageing is seen as a problem to be overcome, hidden or denied. We wanted to challenge and contest these stereotypes. This work is about the unruly, carnivalesque even grotesque body, which refuses to be ignored. We chose to use irony, humour and transgression to subvert clich�s for example 'mutton dressed as lamb'.

  1. With Reference to the French 'enlightenment' notions on femininity masculinity and the family, describe ...

    The future, represented on the left hand side of the painting is bright, with the donkeys head and the father's body facing towards it, and the child's past, on the right hand side of the painting is darker and less defined.

  2. On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part ...

    result in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods of the artist. Pollock's name is also associated with the introduction of the All-over style of painting which avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas and therefore abandons the traditional idea of composition in terms of relations among parts.

  1. Vincent Van Gogh: Early Years

    He was planning on creating a multiple figure piece that would push his name into a respected name of the artistic community. The piece he created was entitled 'The Potato Eaters' and was completed in 1885. This piece proved to be success, but not in his life time.

  2. Using explorative strategies to help understand the 'Coca-Cola Advert' lyrics and Picasso's Guernica.

    In our production we utilised previously effective explorative strategies and adapted the performances to infuse with our production. Aside from everything else, these added a dash of spice and diversity to the overall effect. Theses two strategies were sound collage and montage. Montage. Our performance included the strategy of montage.

  1. Since my first encounter with Kandinsky's art I was amazed by their complexity and ...

    During a performance of Lohengrin, the orchestral sounds created in Kandinsky's minds eye the colours of a Moscow evening of which he had longed to paint. With this, he realized that painting could create such emotional powers as music possesses.

  2. Intimare - Pieter Lastman's painting, Paris and Oenone, depicts the mythological story of Paris. ...

    On the left side of the painting, Paris is clouded in darker colors from the thick forest that surrounds him. In this sense the color is used to show that even though the two are physically seated beside each other they are actually worlds apart.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work