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

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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.

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