Direct Characterisation in the Perfume

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Avijit Minocha
Direct Characterisation in "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind

In the novel Perfume I was most struck by the author Patrick Suskind’s eloquence in use of techniques. His effective use of technique allows the reader to continuously gets better acquainted with the characters. The combination of direct characterization and cataloguing results in the reader being given a variety of descriptions that reinforces a single characteristic of the character. The author gives the reader “easy” to comprehend information repeatedly, because without it, the reader could not understand the bizarre nature of the psychopathic main character. In doing so, Suskind has enabled the reader to soak in information about the character subconsciously and actively focus on the message he is trying to convey. Another effective combination that Suskind utilized was juxtaposition and direct characterization. The author provided comparisons for the readers, which strengthens their pre-acquired image of the character in their minds. The use of juxtaposition clearly demonstrates the differences between the character and the norms of society. This constant repetition of an idea ensures that Suskind is passing on his message about societies superficial state. Along with juxtaposition and cataloguing Suskind compares and contrasts two opposite scenarios to show the importance of one of them. This essay will focus on Suskind’s effective use of the technique; direct characterization and the effects of it.

Patrick Suskind uses direct characterization in combination with cataloguing, to reinforce characteristics of the main character Grenouille. By doing so, PS makes the character easier to comprehend, hence making it easier to relate to Grenouille, the protagonist. In turn he is able to better convey his message through his major character. This simple combination of these techniques enhances the readers’ experience. A fitting example of this is found in the following quotation,...
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