Perfume : The Story Of A Murderer

1388 WordsJan 23, 20176 Pages
“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbibes us totally. There is no remedy for it” (34). Redolence, smell, and odor define the title of the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Das Parfum) by Patrick Süskind. It is that property of a thing, living or nonliving that identifies a being’s presence. Patrick Süskind’s novel explores how this thing called smell governed by olfactory organs, drives the protagonist Grenouille to cold-blooded murders just to collect for himself a perfect smell since he was born odorless. Through the pages of the novel, he perceives how…show more content…
His mother is decapitated after his birth for killing her four earlier babies. With his birth, the mother breathes her last. The unwanted orphan in a world of odorful people is rejected because of lack of body odor as Father Terrier rightly expresses: "Impossible! It is absolutely impossible for an infant to be possessed by the devil. An infant is not yet a human being; it is a pre-human being and does not yet possess a fully developed soul. Which is why it is of no interest to the devil. Can he talk already, perhaps? Does some evil stench come from him?" (10). Starical is the thought that France was a stench driven monster during the eighteenth century rejects a boy born with no body odor but is endured to have an incomparable power to detect even the most diluted of smells in France. Baptized by Monk Terrier in the name of a saint- John the Baptist who also was decapitated adds the irony element to the opening. He has to bear the name in his mother’s shame for the rest of his life. Almost all those who touch Grenouille’s life end up in demise. Early childhood is laden loveless and ridden with remorseless people. Madame Gaillard fosters him. She herself is devoid of smelling senses, brain damaged in her childhood and also not able to shower any emotions on Grenouille. He is brought up under a cold but reasonably fair guidance of
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