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Perfume Patrick Suskind Essay

615 words - 3 pages

Perfume Patrick Suskind

Perfume by Patrick Suskind is the story of an ingenious murderer with a superhuman sense of smell. Although Jean-Baptiste Grenouille could dissect every scent known to man he lacked a scent of his own a scent, he felt that without a scent he was not an individual in society. In the chosen passage, Grenouille has left Paris in pursuit of his dream; to create liquid forms of the wonderful perfumes he had created in his mind. However on his journey the scent of nature captures him, Grenouille became disgusted with the scent of humans and continues to distance himself from all civilization, going into complete isolation. For seven years Grenouille stayed in seclusion until he had a dream that frightened him and made him question his own scent. Grenouille wakes up from this dream and Suskind brilliantly describes Grenouille’s ...view middle of the document...

Suskind builds on this tension by describing in detail Grenouille’s dream. “For his sleep…..was not dreamless but threaded with ghostly wisps of dreams”, “at first they merely floated in thin threads past Grenouille’s nose, but then they grew thicker and more cloud like.” Suskind then speaks of the scent in the dream as a fog and presents a problem for Grenouille. “Grenouille was completely wrapped in fog….. if he did not want to suffocate he would have to breathe the fog in”. The atmosphere is now tense but Grenouille is still asleep therefore there is still a sense of peace. This all changes at the beginning of page 134; Grenouille becomes panicked and realizes that this fog is in fact his own scent and although it is smothering him he can not smell it. “As this became clear to him, he gave a scream as dreadful and loud as if he were being burned alive.” This incident gives Grenouille such a fright he becomes determined to find his scent and will do anything to get it.

Suskind also uses imagery to convey the extent of Grenouille’s fright especially throughout page 134. a good example of this is when Suskind is describing Grenouille’s scream, “It smashed through the walls of the castle, and sped away from his heart….hurtled across the nocturnal landscape of his soul like a fire storm, howled out of his mouth, down the winding tunnel, out into the world, and far across the high plains of Saint-Flour-as if the mountain itself were screaming.”. This is a prime example of how Suskind takes an incident (like the scream), and brings it alive

Patrick Suskind has the ability to make a horror novel highly sophisticated. He allows the reader to see the inner workings of a murderer’s mind. On page 133 and 134 Suskind creates a turning point in the novel by presenting a new motivation for Grenouille; finding his identity. The novel is truly unpredictable, and entertaining read.

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