Perfume, By Patrick Suskind

1598 Words Dec 12th, 2016 7 Pages
As a German writer, the reason for which Patrick Suskind wrote his critically-acclaimed novel, Perfume, in a French setting, about the French, is questionable. However, candidate answers lie in the setting of the novel itself. Mid-18th century France, which is adjacent to Suskind’s Germany, harboured not only a national, but global revolution of politics, economics, and social norms through the French reforms. This had plentiful influence on all aspects of Prussia since the late 17th century (when Germany was known as Prussia) to the present. This stepping stone to a change in practicality lied in the French Revolution and the change of identity that it instilled upon the populace. An exploration of Grenouille and perfume in Perfume reveals their symbolism of the critical transition from religious prominence, to humanistic considerations, to nihilistic extremes that ensued national and global chaos after the French Revolution to represents its influence on Germany and its constituent populace.
Perfume’s mid-18th century setting boasts a religious presence through the Kingship rights employed by Roman Catholic Church doctrines, that was gradually diminishing due to an Age of Enlightenment paradigm-shift and an introduction of humanistic and nihilistic views from the French Revolution. In past and present-days, perfume has been a symbol of religion and divine transcendence. Incense is often depicted as a transcendent connection to God in the form of smoke and scent,…
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