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

Compare the Development in Character of Laurent from Therese Raquin and Grenouille from Perfume

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the Development in Character of Laurent from 'Therese Raquin' and Grenouille from 'Perfume' The two novels are very different in style and consequently the ways in which the protagonists are presented also differ. However despite this stylistic difference with Zola's naturalistic style creating believable and gritty characters while Susskind's post- modern approach is characterized by a far-fetched storyline featuring fantastic almost supernatural characters, some of the effects are remarkably similar. One of the ways in which the two novels could be said to be similar is the sense of detachment and distance the narrators of both books seem to create from their characters. In perfume the author directly identifies himself with the reader 'we as moderns, with are knowledge of physics' this use of meta-narrative creates an overall effect of separation from Grenouille and encourages us not to empathize with but instead to be repulsed by him This lack of emotional engagement is very important in the development of Grenouille as a character as it is an echo of the lack of empathy that Grenouille himself shows towards his victims and indeed anyone in the novel. Zola also creates a sense of distance between the narrator and the characters in Therese Raquin but not by the use of meta-narrative but by the language that he uses to describe them. ...read more.

Middle

Instead he is controlled by his erotic, animalistic desire for Therese. She responds favorably to this new powerful man and through this acceptance Zola tries to convince his audience that it is indeed the nature of the human condition to surrender to our more primal desires. If it were not then why would Therese choose the wild and exciting lover in a passionate affair over the steady, safe albeit boring life of a '1200 franks a week man'? Clearly she is driven by her animalistic desires. The characterization in Perfume is also typical of the style it is written in. However instead of being a novel from the naturalist school of writing this is a very post-modern novel. The priest Terrier rejects Grenouille on the basis of not having a smell even going so far as to cal him evil. This raises the idea of what is evil? And can it really be described as the privation of a smell? The nature and causes of evil and the battle of materialistic and dualistic ideas are two very prominent themes in the post-modern novel. I think it's justified to call Perfume a novel of dualistic values. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Therese Raquin evil stems from human 'corruption' of the soul, namely Laurent and Therese's lusts. However the opposite is true for Perfume. In this novel, if we accept my earlier idea that someone's scent is a metaphor for their soul, then evil is caused not by a corruption but by a lack of a soul and the desire to gain something which can simulate its effects. This something is the perfect perfume and the effects are to be accepted by and have the chance to be loved by normal members of society. In conclusion both novels draw upon the darker side of humanity to create their protagonists. Susskind's Post-modern style creates an almost supernatural fantastical character whose rejection from mainstream society turns him into a sociopath who desires nothing more than acceptance and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Zola on the other hand doesn't describe a dangerous outsider, but instead warns against the dangers of idleness and immorality by showing the dreadful consequences of acting in such a way. The truths of the character are brought home by Zola's naturalist believable style, making Laurent the opposite of Grenouille. Grenouille is a man who's shown as evil because he can't engage or be accepted by society, whereas Laurent is evil as the personification of a decadent one. Tom Gower 1493 words ...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. Explore the ways in which de Maupassant presents Mathilde Loisel as a character who ...

    Once she had lost the necklace Mathilde's life has changed significantly. Moreover her poor, innocent husband is implicated both physically and emotionally as well, as they assumed the necklace Mathilde lost to worth forty thousand francs. Like a turning point of the whole story, the poor couple had to labour

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

    The reader is given the impression that the protagonist could actually be a non-fictional character who existed in "history"3; we are very intrigued when we read the word "abominable"4, as it is an enigmatic word, which entices the reader. "in contrast to the names of other gifted abominations, de Sade's,

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

    Another interesting aspect to look at is that Suskind continuously repeats the word "stank" over and over again. The word "stench" has a much stronger connotation from the rest of the words used to describe something smelly. The choice of this word is perfect to reinforce the grotesque setting.

  2. How victims of globalisation have been presented in poems, novels and films.

    Moist. Hot." Appearances are contrasted to the black humour in her death, when she attempts to sell their children to a paedophile, and dies in a car crash. The composer hence, highlights the predictability and negative impacts the global has on an individual.

  1. Joe-Clarissa-Jed-ENDURING LOVE. Background information about the character details about family, career

    Then I got it. You had touched them in a certain way, in a pattern that spelled a simple message. Did you really think I would miss it, Joe! So simple, so clever, so loving!"(p.96). Jed deciphers all these insignificant messages and gives them some kind of meaning.

  2. Adele Ratignolle is portrayed as an antagonist in "The Awakening". How does the narrator ...

    The narrator compares Edna with Adele by conveying their different purposes of using arts as well. Mademoiselle Reisz tells Edna ?the artist must possess the courageous soul? (64). She has been awakened and embarks on a journey of finding her voice and expressing herself.

  1. Explain how Sskind has used narrative to develop the plot and the characters in ...

    Ticks are small, unpleasant, blood-sucking insects which can wait for the longest time before pouncing and sucking the life ? blood ? out of an unsuspecting host. This is a direct link to when Grenouille ?hibernated? in the cave for 7 years before eventually striking and killing Laure Richis for ?the scent?.

  2. Discuss the Character Development of Goneril and Regan.

    She is very similar in characteristics as Goneril except slightly more passive and she gets other men to do her dirty work for her. We see this is Act 3, Scene 7, when Regan begs for Cornwall, her husband, to gouge out Gloucester?s eyes.

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