Theme Of Death In Perfume

1005 Words 5 Pages
Death within Perfume In the novel Perfume, Patrick Süskind manipulates the incongruity between the significance of a minor character’s life and the purpose of their death in order to highlight Grenouille’s progression from an animal into a human. Within the novel, many of the characters that orbit around Grenouille die, and their death reflects the importance of their interactions with Grenouille. Three categories of death exist within the world of Perfume, the death of important characters, the death of unimportant characters, and the lack of death of important characters Characters that have a significant impact on Grenouille die in ways directly correspondent to the way in which they help or hurt Grenouille. After selling away young Grenouille, …show more content…
The ‘plum girl’ dies for absolutely no reason; her death’s insignificant nature reflects her insignificance to the plot. As Grenouille approaches the girl, “she felt as if a cold draft had risen up behind her, as if someone had opened a door leading into a vast, cold cellar.” (Süskind 43). As the end of the girl’s life arrives, death approaches as an ambiguous, nearly undistinguishable entity, a cold air of the end. Süskind describes, “She was dead…” (Süskind 43) in the most deadpan way possible, and after she dies, her corpse becomes just as insignificant, just another object of a dirty city. Her death represents neither contentment nor punishment, just death in its most spontaneous …show more content…
Arnulfi neither is punished, nor rewarded by her minor relations with Grenouille. Her character is so minor that she never speaks within the plot; despite the number of times her actions are described. Her wishes are only passed on through the actions of Druot. Though Grenouille’s life is connected to the death of her second husband, she herself is left unscathed by her multiple yearlong encounters with Grenouille. Her business remains intact, her life insignificant, and her death never occur in the view of the reader. Both the life of Richis and the life of Madame Arnulfi are entirely insignificant to the life of Grenouille, and Grenouille has progressed to the point that his presence does not leave a wake of insignificance, but instead a jovial pool of

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