Perfume Dialectical Journal

Perfume Dialectical Journal - Quote Page Commentary The...

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Quote Page Commentary “The young Grenouille was such a tick. He lived encapsulated in himself and waited for better times. He gave the world nothing but his dung- no smile, no cry, no glimmer in the eye, not even his own scent.” #22 [R, E] Throughout the novel, Grenouille is symbolized as “a tick” for he can withstand the extreme conditions such as living on the mountain top without eating any food that humans eat. In the exposition of the novel, it is foreshadowed that Grenouile’s “better times” are yet to come; this is followed by an orgy in the climax of the novel. The irony of the novel is also revealed in this quote- Grenouille can differentiate the smell of anything but he himself has no smell. The mood of this quote shows a negative attitude towards Grenouille for Suskind’s word choice; he has chosen words that have a negative connotation to describe Grenouille such as “nothing but his dung”. Suskind uses parallel syntax, “no smile, no cry…”, to tell the readers what Grenouille cannot give to the world in order to make his point that Grenouille has no scent. “In the past weeks and months he had no longer fed himself with food processed by human hands- bread, sausage, cheese- but instead, whenever he felt hungry, had wolfed down anything vaguely edible that had crossed his path. He was anything but a gourmet. He had no use for sensual gratification, unless that gratification consisted of pure, incorporeal odors.” #122 [R, E] While he isolated himself on the mountain top from human smell, Grenouille enters the primitive form of a human being- “he had no longer fed himself with food processed by human hands”. Suskind describes Grenouille’s search for food as “wolfed down” for Grenouille is hunting like a beast for “anything vaguely edible”. The only way he can sense gratification is through “pure, incorporeal odors.” Because he is disgusted by human odor, he isolates himself on the mountain top and the only gratification he can get is through the intangible odor. This reflects Grenouille’s ultimate goal of life; he wants to create the perfect and ideal perfume. Isolation from humans and their odors renewed Grenouille’s goals and dreams, giving him a renewed purpose to live. “He knew that this was the spot where all humans smell like themselves. But he could smell nothing. He could not smell anything in his armpits, nor on his feet, nor around his genitals when he bent down to them as far as he could possibly could. It was grotesque: he, Grenouille, who could smell other people miles away, was incapable of smelling his own genitals not a handspan away!” #135 [R, E] In this quote, Suskind explores the central irony of the novel-
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Perfume Dialectical Journal - Quote Page Commentary The...

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