Why Does Suskind use an Untrustworthy Narrator? Essay examples
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Suskind creates a narrator with a kaleidoscopic view. The narrator morphs from a gossiper, to reader’s friend, to historian, journalist, and ultimately an accomplice to the murders. With many different personas why does the reader still trust him? There are many sides to the storyteller of Perfume, and the reader may realize too late that there seems to be a fine line between friends to accomplice to murderer. Generally, readers trust narrators. Narrators tell the reader what they know via their limited point of view. Therefore, the reader finds trust in what the narrator is saying because they do not know information that the narrator does not know. There is no competing point of view; instead, there is the shared intimacy of an…show more content…
The narrator solidifies this newfound friendship, when he speaks directly to the reader, “it was like clothes you have worn so long you no longer smell them or feel them against your skin,” (33). This creates an informal relationship between the reader and the narrator which makes the reader feel comfortable and thus, a sense of trust develops early on. However, as seen in the novel, even the most trustworthy of friends can begin gossiping and spreading rumours, which creates distance in the relationship.
The narrator also portrays a gossiper. Until this point, the reader has only a friendly, storytelling narrator; however, his switch to gossiper is mainly seen when Baldini is introduced. The reader begins to learn detailed and personal information about Baldini: secrets, likes and dislikes, habits and how he has “indeed taken off his redolent coat, but only out of long-standing habit,” (51). The narrator reveals information that the reader believes to be true; however, gossip is a form of conversation that is not known to be true or not. This is the first instance in which the reader notices that he or she may not be able to wholeheartedly trust the narrator. The narrator may have chosen to transform into a gossiper for two reasons: to get a sense of power and control and to prevent people from knowing things about him. Gossiping allows the narrator to control what the reader thinks he or she knows about