• 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"

    He might want to portray that humans prefer to accept lies in their life in order to be comforted just like the horse whom is fooled by a comforting lie which keeps him working till the end of the day.

  2. We are presented with an extract from Brian Doyles essay Joyas Voladoras, which ...

    The use of constant numbers, proportions and comparisons lets the reader establish a clear awareness of the whale's exact size as it allows the reader to compare and comprehend in a more clear and familiar manner.

  1. Commentary on a passage taken from Laurence Fearnleys "Edwin and Mathilda"

    It is shown that Edwin experiences a feeling of betrayal from his mother since he believed that she loves him "She had held me in her arm and told me she loved me and I believed her" but in reality his mother seems to have just left him with no warning.

  2. How to write a commentary

    Lesson 12. Metaphor, imagery, alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia. In workshops teachers sometimes ask if students need to use literary terminology in Language A1 exams. Obviously it is sensible for students to be aware of terms such as metaphor, imagery, alliteration, rhyme and rhythm for it would be difficult to comment on a poem without using them.

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

    Each night the wilderness, the meadows, the far country flowed down-creek through ravine and welled up in town with a smell of grass and water, and the town was disinhabitated and dead and gone back to earth. And each morning a little more of the ravine edged up into town,

  2. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier: Commentary on a passage

    The structure or order of the passage?s events reveal to the reader key points to deduce that the remaining characters will certainly die, focusing rather on how this will occur, slowly which helps build suspense and a sense of helplessness from the readers towards the characters.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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