A Comparison of the Significance of Light and Dark in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denosovich and Perfume.

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The significance of light and dark in these two novels, Perfume and One day in the life of Ivan Denosovich is eminent. There are various examples throughout the novels, the significance of light and dark between them. Light and dark holds a different meaning and symbolises different things between the two main characters.

Perfume, by Suskind, tells a story of a man with an inhuman power of smell. Suskind writes “Grenouille walked on in darkness. He did not need to see.” This quote connotes the fact that Grenouille is presented in a way that seems dark and ominous, not necessarily human. The use of ‘darkness’ plays a significant part in adding to his image of being dark and unpure.Another quote written in the novel, “he only caught her from behind in silhouette against the candle light.”, shows a contrast between the previous quote, where now the woman is shown “against the candle light” which gives her the image of being angelesque and pure, surrounded in innocent light. The significance of the light, highlights the fact that she is so pure, while Grenouille is not, especially because he is about to harm her.

Once Grenouille had performed his dark deed, Suskind writes “then he stood up and blew out the candle.” This quote is significant in the way that it shows once again that the candle symbolises the woman, and that she is innocent and good. Once she is dead, the light goes out and is ironically put out by Grenouille, who is symbolises darkness, and is her killer. Grenouille descends into a cave after he discovers that he has no scent, in the cave, there no good or evil, just him. This is shown in the quote “something like late afternoon, for naturally there was no afternoon or forenoon or evening or morning, there was neither light nor darkness…there were no real things at all in Grenouille’s innermost universe”. This could be significant in showing Grenouille’s so called healing process in the cave, where he tries to block out the stereotypes of good...
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