Perfume

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To what extent is Grenouille affected by his environment and self inflicted isolation? In the beginning of the novel, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is considered an outsider and separated from the rest of the world due to a lack of human scent and care from his mother. From the day he was born we saw that he was different when he made himself heard and barely escaped death as his mother gave birth to him and intended on abandoning him to get on with her life as she had done previously with his siblings. From that point we can see that this wasn’t self inflicted isolation as his mother was abandoning him leaving him isolated from others. In a way he was trying to prevent his isolation as he made himself heard by crying. On the other hand because he did cry and made it clear that his mother was going to leave him for death he ensured that his mother would be executed as this was the punishment in pre-revolutionary France. When we see that Grenouille is taken in and accepted by the nurse, Jeanne Bussie we feel relief for him as he seems to be accepted but we then see that she tried to disconnect herself from him as he is seen to be “possessed by the devil’’ and is far too greedy. We then see that Grenouille is pushed away by Father Terrier who is struggling to even look at this child never mind accept him. “Seemed to be smelling right through his skins”. He is then taken to live with Madame Gaillard and even though he is given the necessities, he still doesn’t receive any love. This is also a form of isolation as he has never been loved before therefore he doesn’t know what it feels like, isolating himself from everyone that has felt love before. Grenouille is then sent to live with Grimal and is his new apprentice. He is worked hard and is treated like an animal. We also see that Grenouille is scared of this man as he thinks of him as more powerful than him and he is certainly “capable of thrashing him to death for the least infraction”. Eventually Grenouille is...
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