Those who don’t have power seek to gain power through others Griet gains power through Vermer in the household and through his death when she receives earrings over Catherina…and through Pieter when she marries him Frans gains power over his own life when he runs away
Catherina in having children gets power
Van Ruven maintains power over family and Griet – painting only Catherina loses power over Griet as Vermer constantly chooses to support Griet. Vermer loses power over Griet and his household because of money and Griet Tanneke loses power when Griet comes and takes her place
Van Ruven loses power over Griet
Griet gains power for her life but she does not have the power to make the decisions she truly wants to.
Agnes loses her sister to the family
Chevalier is trying to say: There is no such thing as completely powerful or powerless in the novel, sometimes power requires action and some conforming to society’s actions and expectations, with intelligence comes power, manipulation can bring power, status gives inherent power. Themed base:
Power is gained through status
Power is gained through manipulation
Power is gained through intelligence
2. Conflict between responsibilities and desires
Vermer – To be responsible for being a loving husband and provide for the family but he just wants to be with Griet and paint. Needs to keep Van Ruven happy but doesn’t wasn’t to lose Griet. Griet – Supposed to be a maid but wants to be free to be with Vermer and to help him paint, marry Pieter and provide for her family but wants to be free of male dominance and make her own decisions. (Wants to be her own person – paying the price of being maid-earrings). Hair – supposed to be a good girl but doesn’t want to be. Frans – The mini story of Griet used as a foreshadowing technique (same conflicts) Catherina – Wants to be rich, surrounded by people and loved but is supposed to be a good wife and mother.
3. A maid came free
Find three parts that state – Discus it (why Chevalier included it and what she wants the audience/reader to take from it)