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Girl with a Pearl Earring

            The story of "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" was quite moving and I appreciated the director's motion for including art aside drama. The impression that stayed with me the longest was the portrayal of 17th century Dutch life and how through Griet's low-class perspective, societal influences were strongly felt. I actually felt ashamed of my own freedoms by the end and thought Griet's actions quite honorable, at least from my modern standpoint. .
             The structure of class was a dominant theme and provided much of the conflict that developed throughout the film. Being given insight on some of the more modest households like Griet's home and the Vermeers and how class-obsessed even they were, spoke powerfully for how rank influenced everything. Sending Griet out for maid service was typical for a lower class family to do in times of turmoil when any advantage to gain money was utilized. As the story progresses the embrace of Pieter by Griet's family, expressed their desperation and need for their daughter to have a secure future. The Vermeer's standard of living was more exquisite and existed more toward the upper class. Johannes Vermeer's paintings were the main source of income for a family of nine; five children, two mistresses and two servants with more expected. Money was still an issue as paintings had to be done at a constant rate but didn't produce consistent wages and supporting the desires of Catharina left little for savings. Minor characters, VanRuijven and Pieter the Butcher, helped shed light on different levels of the society and made the whole composition of the small Dutch town more rounded and believable. VanRuijven, being a wealthy man, held the most power in the film and at the same time used it the most often through his purchase of numerous paintings and his lusty practices with maids and lower class women.
             The level to which women had influence in the world around them was strictly dependent on class.

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