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

Commentary on a passage Perfume: The Story of a Murderer This passage illustrates the pinnacle of Grenouilles seven-year isolation from human civilization,

Extracts from this document...


Commentary on a passage Perfume: The Story of a Murderer This passage illustrates the pinnacle of Grenouille's seven-year isolation from human civilization, resulting in Grenouille's ultimate revelation of his mission. Employing the careful use of metaphor, juxtaposition, motif, vivid imagery, delicate characterization, devising a secluded setting and masterful narration, Suskind has managed to convey the themes of alienation and isolation to exemplify the journey of a murderer. Together with the subtle change in tone and atmosphere, Suskind successfully forged Grenouille as an existentialist who abides by the Bildungsroman model as he goes through the stage of maturation and growth, seeking a meaningful existence. Set in the "stony dungeon at the end of the tunnel", this is where Grenouille spent seven years disposed of human civilization. The reigning theme of self-imposed isolation and alienation from mankind highlights Grenouille's indifference, even disdain towards human society. "Even the most delicate odors came sharp and caustic into a nose unaccustomed into the world." The sense of smell, being Grenouille's predominating human perception disagrees with the other "world", evident of Grenouille's voluntary isolation. This also demonstrates Grenouille as a follower of solipsism; he only trusts his ownmind and does not acknowledge other beliefs. He is not concerned with the existence of another, except for his own, therefore he will go to all lengths to achieve his goal, even murder. ...read more.


This juxtaposition highlights the reality and harshness of the environment surrounding Grenouille, perfecting his existentialist character. In such tough conditions, Grenouille made himself completely vulnerable, "as a hermit crab that has left its shell to wander naked through the sea" being blatantly unprotected, giving in to his senses and instinct, becoming a part of nature. Grenouille savours solitude and alienation, while he has failed to conform to human expectations, the mountains has provided for and nurtured him as a mother would, resembling an expecting mother's womb to her child. The mountains gave Grenouille a home, food and protection, where he felt complete protection and comfort. By providing a medium for Grenouille's maturation and growth, it aided his transition from a strayed man to a person with a mission. The passage commences with Grenouille falling asleep, "exhausted", then waking up, "chilled and miserable." Yet when the piece ends, "solitude fell across his heart like a dusky reflection". This drastic change in tone and atmosphere suggests Grenouille has gained peace and tranquility through the passage, and has undergone a drastic psychological transformation and regconizes his true calling. "He ripped a few scraps of moss from the stones, choked them down, shitting as he ate", in this line, Grenouille is depicted as a vulgar, grotesque image which has entirely shed the influence of human culture. ...read more.


Biblical allusion plays a significant role in the passage, "the theatre of Grenouille's soul" the mentioning of the soul is in direct reference to the bible, revealing a highly biblical tone. The passage begins with Grenouille in the "purple salon" progressing to an animalistic state, juxtaposing dramatically. This interesting structure of tone highlights the climax as Grenouille's realisation and epiphany of his mission in acquiring scents.This is also highly ironic as the passage possesses a biblical undertone yet Grenouille goes against all human morality and solely abides by existentialist and solipsistic concepts, this conflict further strengthens Grenouille's controversial existence. To conclude, Suskind appointed an extensive blend of literary devices, to construct the reality of Grenouille's transformation and greatly anticipated moment of epiphany. The deep and dramatic together with the intricate application of stylistic features gripped the audience, efficiently conveying the theme of the passage. Suskind can claim triumph in convincing me of Grenouille's transformation. I found the passage most emotive, it revealed Grenouille's vulnerability , for the first time in the novel, I genuinely felt that he was human, and I felt for him. Ironically enough, Suskind is comparing him to animals, yet I had a most conflicting emotion, creating a special bond between Grenouille and the audience. Personally, I think the passage is a realisation, for Grenouille and me. Grenouille finally uncovered the purpose in life, while I regconized Grenouille to be more than just another perfumer; he is a man on a peculiar quest. ...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. Commentary on a passage taken from "The Blindfolded Horse"

    The final line, in which the narrator refers to the horse as "mon fr�re" indicates that he believes the horse was a metaphor for himself in the sense that his journey in life is just as futile and meaningless. Thus, the alternation between reality and flashback-as well as the irony

  2. Art features and stylistic devices of the novel Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

    There was always and for ever that indefinable place where the two struggled and one of them won for a season to possess a certain avenue, a dell, a glen, a tree, a bush. Then thin lapping of the great continental sea of grass and flower, starting far out in lonely farm country, mowed inwards with the thrust of seasons.

  1. An examination of the techniques used in the morgue scene in Therese Raquin and ...

    Not only it smelled, "the humidity was so intense that it caused Laurent's clothes to hang against its shoulders, as though it weighed him down." (pg 70) The sticky and humid climate is the same as the one in the fish market, causing it to be abhorrent.

  2. Hamlet Journal - rewriting key passages from the play

    Are you kidding me that is so gross. Didn't you know that is considered incest even in your society? Are you messed up in the head that you thought it was ok to marry her, especially right after the death of her husband? Are you really that obsessed with this kingdom?

  1. "Glass Menagerie" and "The Final Passage". Compare and Contrast ways in which you consider ...

    Here, Williams implies that there is a never ending cycle of sons following in their father's footsteps, there is thus the sense that history will repeat itself. This therefore shows that Tom's father could escape "without removing a nail" as it has lead to Tom feeling dissatisfied with his life.

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

    This is scene when he ?sat back more in the shadows?not interested in his old tales?only this new process? showing that he would give Baldini his ideas as long as Baldini taught him what he wanted to know, the ?new process? obviously being preservation.

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

    Grenouille’s association to the Devil is a biblical allusion intended by Süskind as it highlights his defiance of religion and his transcendence of God. In reference to the Bible, Lucifer began as God’s right-hand angel, yet chose a path of defiance in order to surpass God – this is directly

  2. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?On the hazy sea for news of my lost father,listen to me, be near me..?(l.279, b.II) 19. ?You need not linger over going to sea.?(l.302, b.II) 20. ?Hundreds of ships are beached on sea-girt Ithaka?(l.310,b.II) 21. ?..old or new, we?ll rig her and take her out on the broad sea.?(l.312, b.II)

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