• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An examination of the techniques used in the morgue scene in Therese Raquin and the fish market in Perfume will be carried out to see the purpose and effect these settings have on the readers.

Extracts from this document...


Fabio Faltoni An examination of the techniques used in the morgue scene in Therese Raquin and the fish market in Perfume will be carried out to see the purpose and effect these settings have on the readers. Both in Therese Raquin, written by Emile Zola, and Perfume, by Patrcik Suskind, the morgue and the fish market are presented as grotesque and really unpleasant environments. In both settings, the authors help reinforce this atmosphere by emphasizing and focusing their descriptions by using sensorial imagery. Smell and sight are the two main senses that make these narrations more realistic. In this essay, I will analyze how the use of sensorial imagery and the choice of words help to portray the grotesqueness of both scenes. The novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind, heavily relies on the use of sensorial imagery, especially smell, to make Paris, but more specifically the fish market a grotesque place. "The stench was barely conceivable... the streets stank of manure and the courtyards of urine." (pg 3). Suskind goes on describing how practically every corner of the city smelled of putrid things, including moldering wood, rat droppings, stale dust, congealed blood. Not only the stench came from animals or rotten food, it also came from the inhabitants of the city. "People stank of unwashed clothes, rancid cheese, sour milk and from their mouths came the stench of rotting teeth." ...read more.


Not only it is one of the reasons of why the citizens stink so much themselves, but it also intensifies the bad smell coming from the graveyard and the animals. Words like putrefying, rotting and fetid indicate that the environment is really unpleasant. In addition, these words are more than unpleasant, they are related to death. This possibly foreshadows that someone is going to die at the end of the novel. As it is possible to observe, the fish market scene is very detailed and descriptive. This is because Perfume is a quite recent novel, first published in the year 1985. Unlike in Therese Raquin, a much older novel, the author had to describe in greater detail the setting making it possibly for the reader to visualize and feel the unbearable smell. This is because our generation is not used to such putrid smell as the people in Paris were a long time ago Therefore, Suskind's highly detailed description helps the reader to nearly place himself in the fish market and feel the same unpleasant sensations as the characters did. As in Perfume, the opening lines in the morgue scene in Therese Raquin begin with the author writing that the smell was unbearable. "As soon as Laurent went in, he was sickened by a stale smell, a smell of washed flesh." ...read more.


However, when the slabs are empty, people go out disappointed, robbed. This concept can be compared to the fish market. Buyers go there to buy good fish. They will be disappointed when there is none left or if it is rotten and happy when there is. Unlike in Perfume, the descriptions in Therese Raquin are not as detailed. This is attributed to the fact that it was first published in the year 1867 nearly 120 years before Perfume. Therefore, Zola hadn't the necessity of elaborating his descriptions as much as Suskind had to; This was because the readers of those times lived those experiences and thus, Zola could merely report something briefly, and the readers would know what he was writing about. In conclusion, I see that not only the sensorial imagery and the choice of words help to create a grotesque setting in both novels, the environment that surrounds the settings as well as the features in it play a major role as well. For example, the cemetery nearby the fish market is important because it gives off a terrible smell, as well as it creates an ominous atmosphere, contributing to the grotesque of the place. Another thing is that in both places, the people are surrounded by a numerous amount of putrid flesh. In the fish market, the citizens are surrounded by the gut fish, while in the morgue, Laurent is surrounded by dozens of decaying dead bodies. These features help to makes both places grotesque. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Discuss the role of religion in Patrick Sskind's Perfume.

    (pg 176) also when he is described as being "almost sick with excitement". (pg) The idea of Perfume itself is also a very important factor in religion as it symbolizes the purity of God and Christianity over the putrid smells of society; therefore if Grenouille possesses this perfect aroma he

  2. Explore the techniques used by Mark Haddon to convey the main character's autism in ...

    Christopher needs truth in his life due to his Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. The reason for this is because he cant tell if anyone is lying or telling a joke and this world is very confusing to him. He is not either an optimistic person as he judges how the days will be due to the colors of cars.

  1. This extract of Perfume by Patrick Suskind written in first-person narration explores and captures ...

    Also, a palace, which is a place of royalty is said to stink as much as beneath a bridge. This degrading comparison only reinforces the fact that Suskind compares the similarity between working class and aristocracy to his idea that all humans, despite societal ranking stink.

  2. Discuss the effects of the techniques used to establish location in the opening chapter ...

    The opening sentence also instantly sets the time period the story will be revolved around. S�skind, without delay, introduces the protagonist as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, the protagonist is at once described as "gifted and abominable"2. This paradox contrasts the talent Grenouille possesses as well as the evil he contains.

  1. The Paradox of the settings: St. Petersburg & the Siberian Prison in Crime & ...

    This is experienced at the end when Raskolnikov accepts Sonia's love and her views on god and religion. "Infinite happiness lit up in her eyes; she understood, and for her there was no longer any doubt that he loved her, loved her infinitely, and that at last the moment had come."

  2. Grenouille's Superiority In Patrick Sskind's 'Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer'

    This defiance of death began from the moment he was born, willing to survive at the expense of his mother being executed for infanticide, ?That cry, emitted upon careful consideration, one might almost say upon mature consideration, was the newborn's decision against love and nevertheless for life?.

  1. What is the literary function of Baldini in "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind?

    My next point is that Suskind uses Baldini?s character in order to catalyse the story, especially where Grenouille is concerned.

  2. How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and ...

    Eliza does not only obtain the benefits that the society offers because of her new accent, but also with it, as Mrs. Higgins points out at the beginning of the play , ?the manners and habits that disqualify a fine lady from earning her own living without giving her a fine lady's income?[13] .

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work