Patrick Suskind- Perfume

Topics: Marquis de Sade, Protagonist, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 9 (1840 words) Published: April 19, 2015

Stolen Innocence: The Exploration of the elements of innocence from the fallen victims of Grenouille as he begins and ends his quest for the ultimate scent in Perfume: The story of a murder

Mariama Bah

Subject: HL English Year 1
Candidate Number: 000213XXX
School: International School of Kenya
Word Count: 1316

Reflective Statement: Perfume
Perfume by Patrick Süskind, exposed me to a series of literary texts, themes and ideas. It also opened me to a variety of cultural developments that happened throughout the book.
Through the interactive oral I gained a better understanding of the historical context and Parisian lifestyle. When reading I had superficial knowledge and I never really analyzed the periodical moment that the book was set in. The presentation helped me broaden my understanding of the French lifestyle by explaining the streets of Paris and the lack of sanitation. I now understand the importance of where Grenouille was born and the significance it holds; but then I also found myself astonished of the extreme conditions humans could endure and call everyday life. The fact that the author chose to set the book in that time period, where Paris was at its filthiest, and decided that the main character shall be born with the gift of scent. This fact gave me an interpretation of the author’s choice in location.

It was also through this interactive oral that I got a stronger grasp of the connections between Grenouille and the other gifted abominables that were mentioned in the beginning of the novel. When initially reading the book, I lost the real connections of the characters. It was through the interactive oral that I made the vital connections between Grenouille and Marquis de Sade and the others that were mention as well. These historical figures were also known for their terrible acts against humanity. As the group described each of them, I was thoroughly interested because I was surprised by some of the horrific things some of them had done. I was most engrossed by the Marquis de Sade; he’s personality and lifestyle as repulsive as it was, interested me a lot and I realized I got the same reaction from him, as I did from Grenouille. I became aware of Süskind’s directive with such connections. It further strengthens my opinion on how Süskind antagonized Grenouille from the beginning; because of the comparisons to the horrific figures from history. This interactive oral gave me a simple but direct understanding of the cultural context, by explaining 18th century Paris. I appreciate Süskind choice of location and including those historical figures, as foreshadowing. Overall I reached an improved understanding of Perfume. [Word Count: 400]

Stolen Innocence: The Exploration of the elements of innocence from the fallen victims of Grenouille as he begins and ends his quest for the ultimate scent in Perfume: The story of a murder

The roles of minor characters are gravely important to the development of a story. Their character, their actions and what they symbolize lead the protagonist to different points of the beginning or to the conclusion of their journeys. This is clearly shown in Perfume by Patrick Süskind, as the protagonist Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is led on killing spree in search for a certain element for his ultimate scent; the minor characters aid him as the catalyst and conclusion of his quest.

The plum girl of the dark Parisian streets unknowingly awakened Grenouille’s desire for what he perceived to be the ultimate scent. Her role as a minor character was to be the catalyst of Grenouille’s journey, her scent captured him and led him to the discovery that a scent like that was conceivable. She was a fleeting character, barely in the book but her presence and representation brought on the whole premise to Grenouille’s voyage. Süskind never gives the reader a direct characterization of the plum girl but it is through her scent that he...

Cited: Süskind, Patrick.  Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.  Trans. John E. Woods.  New York: Vintage, 1986. Print. 
ere different components to his depiction of innocence and the end goal, the others were merely components to the overall
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