Point of View and Plot Development in Perfume

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Point of View and Plot Development

Third person omniscient point of view through Grenouille of passages in Perfume assist in the development of a plot for dramatic irony and also help to build tension in the plot. Grenouille says that his life will have no meaning without the girl’s (from the rue de marais) scent, so he kills her to get it, and finally feels happiness for the first time in his life. Diction that supports this is “no meaning”, “never”, and “happiness”. This passage builds tension (through suspense of the girl and Grenouilles future) by us knowing Grenouilles intentions and true feelings of pleasure, and provides dramatic irony, because the reader is knowledgeable of Grenouilles presence and what he wants to/is about to do, while the girl who is so close to him does not. After seven years in the cave, Grenouille becomes extremely afraid of not knowing himself, and realizes he possesses no scent. Key words that support this are “ghastly fear” and “no odor”. This third person point of view passage helps advance the plot in his terms of Grenouilles self discovery and accepting of who he is, and also where it will lead him next. At another point in time, Grenouille reconsiders getting the final, and most perfect girls scent, and thinks about what would happen if he lost it after obtaining it. Diction that reveals his feeling are “doubts receded”, “revitalized”, and “decision”. The use of third person point of view in this passage develops plot through dramatic irony because the reader can already speculate that he would still go ahead with his plans and murder her. Overall, third person point of view is important to plot development because it allows Grenouille’s character to develop a framework for dramatic irony and build tension in the plot.
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