Perfume Suskind

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Interactive Oral: Debate
Title: How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral? The setting of Perfume was crafted accordingly to author’s intention so that the main character would develop specific characterizations that will later on, lead him to make a decision whether to live or to die. Suskind does this by placing Grenouille, who has a keen sense of smell in the 18th century France and distinctively allowed the plot to develop and establish in a setting of a malodorous and a scent-conscious society, where people were obsessed with pleasurable scent and uses it distinguish themselves within the hierarchy. In addition, Suskind hinted that smell is depicted more than merely the ingredients of a perfume but could also be a resemblance as the scent of a person’s soul, thus he made a correlation between the existences of with the existence of a person’s soul. Hence in Perfume, scent has become the crucial factor in determining the human soul, the identity of oneself. Suskind also made a point where your own smell will give away your identity like the poor would have malodorous smell but ironically, he decided to leave the main character scentless. Grenouille was isolated simply because in the eyes of the society, he does not have the substance (body odour) that established his identity as a human being. Moreover, Grenouille also decided to detach himself away from the society because he does not have the need to establish relationships. Through isolation and detachment, Suskind have effectively molded the main character’s psychological state of mind by limiting Grenouille’s knowledge and only allowed him to gain knowledge through smell and scent rather than language itself so that Grenouille only understood that things that smells, exist. During an epiphany and Grenouille’s encounter with the “fog”, he discovered and learnt the truth that he does not bear a smell or scent (based on his...
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