The Perfume , Birth and Death

Topics: EnvironmentNature

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Last updated: November 20, 2019

My main topics are the similarities between his birth and death; that his whole life has been a circle and repeating circumstances to do with his beginning and ending throughout the book.From the very first page, Patrick Sueskind uses vivid details in reference to the smell and conditions under which Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born.

He was born in a fish market which was located above the graveyards located on the Cimiti�re des Innocents. The name of this already begins with ironic misleading situation, because in the first paragraph Grenouille was described as an “abominable personage”, which shows that he was in no way innocent.His mother, who has had four births before him, made his existence proved unwanted. He was a nobody. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, even as a child, was selfish he would rather kill someone than die himself.On page 6 “and then unexpectedly, the infant under the gutting table begins to squall.

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” Just by crying out he sentenced his mother to death and sealed his own fate in life. The author using a quite formal tone opens the book focussing on smell rather than the character making the birth more shocking to the reader. Since it was described as “a stench barely conceivable to us modern men and women” (page 3) and both at the beginning and end as the hottest day of the year it was forced to enter and leave his life.Constantly rejected, to me it seems, he felt that he could only rely on himself and I believe that is one of the main reason that he had such hatred towards humans.

As I have already mentioned at his birth and at his death Grenouille was a nobody. His whole life he was treated badly by society. All he ever wanted was to be magnificent and Godlike, which was how he saw himself. His whole life revolved around his greed and determination to be the greatest Perfumer the world has ever seen.

This meant the more he discovered the more he wanted. In my opinion his greediness caused his death.Grenouille seemed almost immortal and as though he could choose his own exit out of his world. The fact that he could overcome whatever he wanted to is showing on page 104 when it is said “fell mortally ill” and than on page 10 “within a week, he was well again.

“Imagine living in a cave in isolation from humanity for seven years! Most likely any “human” would not be able to survive purely off what nature gave them. Seeing as Grenouille cannot be compared to an average human being, when the author described his somewhat possession from the “devil” it is not unpredictable that the remaining innocence Grenouille has is lost!Which means a part of Jean-Baptiste Grenouilles died in between those seven years and when he had left the cave it could be seen that he was reborn. Which leads me on to my point that we have to be careful how we look at his life and death, because there are many occasions where it can be questioned!Whether we see his life as its literal meaning of his birth on the 17th of July and his death on the 25th of June 1766. Or from the moment he left the cave with his new spirit until the moment he realised that his life had no meaning and his soul died.As said on page 261 “It was a day like the one on which Grenouille was born”, his life ended n differently than the way it began. So we can say that his whole life has been a circle and ended where it had begun!

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