Tracy Chevalier

Girl With a Pearl Earring

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Girl With a Pearl Earring Essay Topics

1. A bildungsromanis a novel that chronicles the education and maturation of a person from adolescence into adulthood. The process is begun by a disruption to the security of the protagonist’s childhood and involves a loss of innocence through a series of experiences of disillusionment. Explain how Girl with a Pearl Earring is Griet’s bildungsroman.

2. Trace the references to Griet’s “wide eyes” throughout the novel and analyze what they suggest about her position as both subject—who looks at—and object—who is looked at.

3. Analyze the symbolismof the many references to knives—from kitchen knife topalette knife to butcher knife—taking into account knives both asutilitarian tools and as symbolic of violence and the unpredictable power that accompanies it.

4. Compare and contrast Vermeer with Griet’s father as symbolic of the novel’s treatment of artistic vision and blindness, including a comparison of their relationship to Grietand their respective art forms, Vermeer’s paintings and Griet’s…

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