Self-Development Through Hardships In "Years Of Wonders" And "Girl With A Pearl Earring"

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Griet in Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Anna Frith in Brook’s Years of Wonders both demonstrate there can be growth during time of hardship. Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl abruptly has to up and leave a life she’s always known to be a maid in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer to support her family during their financial hardship. Anna Frith, in Years of Wonders is a housemaid turned healer as she battles to cure the plague facing her village. In a Girl with a Pearl Earring, Griet becomes the muse and model for her master, Vermeer the painter. She discovers a side of herself that she did not know existed that she learns to control as she loses her innocence. Griet’s cap is her shield against the world. During Vermeer’s painting of Griet, the storeroom was her place to change and a knowing Vermeer enters one day when he should not have. Griet’s hair was exposed and “[I] she no longer felt [I] she had something precious to hide and keep to herself [myself] (Chevalier 196). She feels she “could be freer, it no longer matter what she [I] did and did not do” (Chevalier 196). The innocence Griet poses as a young Puritan girl now thining as she becomes a young adult. Griet’s shyness is evident during her first encounter with Vermeer when she struggles to find the words to explain her reasoning for laying out the vegetables for soup the way she did. Now, as a maid in the Vermeer household, she is bold enough to make changes to Vermeer’s setup for his painting. To Griet the scene was too neat and knowing she may be sent away for such a bold move she felt confident his painting would be better now. Griet kept her head high in a world where she felt she didn't belong.

Anna Frith, a sheltered and naive widow of two turns to a worldly woman who accomplishes much beyond what would be expected of her. Anna resorted to drugs in her time of grieving after the lost both of her sons (Brooks 208). For Ana stepping outside “dropped [her] again into the dark place of [our] her new reality” (Brooks 210). Despite this feeling, Anna steps up in the village to do what she can for those suffering from the plague. Anna at just four years old “saw the tiny, torn off arm of [my] her stillborn sister” that left her terrorized (Brooks 183). It was her drunken father Josiah who failed to look after her that day and led to Anna to bear witness to this horrifying scene (Brooks 183). This fear is overpowered by courage when Mary, Daniel’s wife is in labor and Mrs. Mompellion challenges Anna to step up to the task to assist with the birth. Anna fearful at just the thought of it listens to Mrs. Mompellion’s words that they are all Mary has, this helps Anna to be strong (Brooks 184). Through such a troubling year Anna Frith had a light shine through her. Elinor taking notice of this shared her change “is the one good thing, perhaps, to come out of this terrible year” (Brooks 351). Both Griet and Anna demonstrate that one’s situation does not have to determine the person one grows in to.

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Self-Development Through Hardships In “Years Of Wonders” And “Girl With A Pearl Earring”. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-self-development-throughout-hardships-in-years-of-wonders-and-girl-with-a-pearl-earring/
“Self-Development Through Hardships In “Years Of Wonders” And “Girl With A Pearl Earring”.” WritingBros, 14 Dec. 2020, writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-self-development-throughout-hardships-in-years-of-wonders-and-girl-with-a-pearl-earring/
Self-Development Through Hardships In “Years Of Wonders” And “Girl With A Pearl Earring”. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-self-development-throughout-hardships-in-years-of-wonders-and-girl-with-a-pearl-earring/> [Accessed 24 May 2024].
Self-Development Through Hardships In “Years Of Wonders” And “Girl With A Pearl Earring” [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 14 [cited 2024 May 24]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-self-development-throughout-hardships-in-years-of-wonders-and-girl-with-a-pearl-earring/
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