Analysis Of Patrick Süskind 'Perfume: The Story Of A Murder'

1476 Words 6 Pages
In Perfume: The Story of a Murder by Patrick Süskind, the characters’ flaws manipulate and obfuscate the identities of themselves and others. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, as a separate, exalted force, captures essences of the identities of those who surround him, while concurrently developing an idea of his own true essence, despite being physically scentless. The implications of those who Grenouille interacts with throughout his life would be less drastic if the story were not set in France during the late 1700’s, a time period in which scent (especially masking the putridness of life) holds less of an influence on the day to day attitudes of the people. As a young child, the circumstances allow for Grenouille to take on an identity that parallels those around him. Contrary to the way Baldini lacks the ability to sacrifice glory even …show more content…
Caretakers, such as Jeanne Bussie and Father Terrier have occupations that place the responsibility of the survival of young ones into their hands, and all young humans placed into their care rely on them to live another day. While Grenouille also relies on these people for his personal survival, these people do not possess the ability to view him as they would the other children because they can not smell him, and thus can not form an emotional attachment or develop a sense of priority regarding him as a human. The wet nurse, Jeanne Bussie, refuses to care for Grenouille, and claims that “this baby makes [her] flesh creep because it doesn 't smell the way children ought to smell,” (Süskind, 11). Due to Jeanne Bussie’s diligent focus on Grenouille’s lack of scent, a standard of care for him congruent to that of the other children under her care does not exist. As opposed to bearing an identity that prioritizes his existence in the eyes of those who care for him, the scentless Grenouille holds no precedency in such people’s

Related Documents