Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

The Impact of the Natural Landscape in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 12th Grade

The main character in Perfume, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, sets on a long journey through 18th century France, which starts and ends in Paris. The changes in the landscape during his travels reflect the inner changes in personality he undergoes himself. Patrick Süskind portrays Grenuoille as very much animal-like because of his incredible sense of smell. Moreover, he is compared to a thick during his childhood and then later on is given animalistic instincts and behavior, such as hunting. However, Grenuoille, who never had a normal relationship with another human being, reaches a point where he desires to be accepted by society. The inner conflict of animal vs. human is further developed through the changes in the landscape in the story. The character’s journey, which is enclosed in a circle, since both its beginning and end are in Paris, emphasizes on Grenouille’s inner wanders between being more human or more animal-like, culminating in his ‘suicide’.

Patrick Süskind describes Paris as a place of horrible stench, crowded with people, which fills Grnouille with loathing for humankind, in order to highlight the idea that since others cannot accept him, he would always be ‘an animal’ on the inside when surrounded by society. “The...

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