IB English III: Pd 11
February 28, 2013
Mankind or Just Animals?
When an animal is born in its natural habitat, if it does not smell ‘right’, how it should or is born differently, it can be shunned from the rest of the animals, and even by its own mother. In some cases the mother may kill the offspring because of this. In Patrick Süskind’s novel, Perfume, Süskind uses mankind as an analogy to animals, to suggest that the people in 18 century France are more animal like than believe, by using smell as an acceptance factor for people. Thus revealing that people are animalistic and not as accepting as society believes they are. And also that humans are hypocritical and not at all theses noble creature they claim to be. In Perfume, the protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born with no scent but had the ability to smell objects and scents even keener than an animal. He had an extraordinary sense of smell. Being born an orphan caused him to live with multiple characters, an orphan caretaker named Madame Gaillard, a tanner; Monsieur Grimal, and a perfumer whose name is Baldini. All of which shunned Grenouille because of his no scent or of his difference to society. After leaving these characters Grenouille perfects the art of perfume and making scents, so he sets off to create the perfect scent, that of a virgins. In order to make this divine smell, he must kill virgins and extract their scent. He eventually makes the world’s greatest scent and because of this is exonerated of murder charges. At the ending of the novel, Grenoullie drenches himself in the rest of the virgin perfume and is eaten by a group of people. Grenouille was born at a fish stall in rue aux Fers. After he was born, his mother left him in the fish guts to die because she did not want him. However, unlike the other four children Grenouille’s mother gave birth to, Grenouille did not die, he lived. The people of Paris saw killing and abandoning a helpless child as a...
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