Theme Of Perfume In Perfume

1677 Words 7 Pages
The Representation of Man Through Scents in Perfume In Patrick Suskind’s novel, Perfume, scent establishes the primal instincts of man. Humans evolved into the complex creatures seen today but they can also be reduced to their primal state. Suskind creatively incorporates basic human nature into the novel as represented by scents. The setting allows for Suskind to incorporate human nature more easily. The lack of basic personal hygiene indicates that there would be an abundance of bodily aromas. The initial setting description creates an open door to the scents that Suskind can easily incorporate as to represent the primal instincts and nature of man. This approach to the representations of scent in the novel can be useful in understanding …show more content…
Grenouille recognizes the primitive nature of man and knows that he can control mankind with a perfume more powerful than ever. Grenouille begins to create his perfume, “…having cut down no fewer than 24 of [Grasse’s] most beautiful virgins out of every social class…” (Suskind 198). Suskind also incorporates the fact that Grenouille kills virgin girls of every social class, establishing that purity sees no social status. The perfume Grenouille creates from the girls he murders gives off a scent so wonderful that people are overcome with their primal desires. The humans enveloped in their own primal desire allow Grenouille to control them more easily. They are the animals and Grenouille is the shepherd. Grenouille even feels the primitive desire as he, “…truly wanted to possess the scent of the girl behind the wall; to peel it from her skin and make her scent his own” (Suskind 172). However, Grenouille holds a God-like position in the novel, which allows him to not be overcome with his own desire. He simply plays upon mankind’s primitive nature to dominate …show more content…
We discussed the importance of setting in Grenouille’s development and how it could have led to mental disorders. In the 1700’s, it was not uncommon for an orphan like Grenouille to be mistreated. First he lives in an orphanage and, once he can work, Madame Gaillard sends him to do grueling labor as a tanner’s apprentice. It is simply the time period, nobody sees Grenouille as being mistreated because all children are mistreated. The interactive oral also raised a strong point as to how the mistreatment affects Grenouille. We discussed nature versus nurture in one’s upbringing, which is prevalent throughout Perfume. We cannot draw conclusions on Grenouille’s true nature because his extreme mistreatment molds his behavior. Grenouille’s lack of scent also drives him away from humanity, demonstrating the importance of scent in human nature. Grenouille does not hold the same primal instincts as other humans and it’s accentuated by his lack of human scent. His lack of scent only allows for more mistreatment from others. Grenouille experiences the typical dismay for being an orphan with extra hatred due to his lack of scent. He only experiences hatred from others because of their shallow and primitive ways, so he learns to hate humanity due to the nature of

Related Documents

Related Topics