Patrick Süskind's Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of A Murderer is a novel written by Patrick Süskind and was published by Diogenes in the year 1985 in Germany. I have read Frankenstein and other older books and novels so I’m familiar with how the language is written. The novel in itself is not old, but it’s written in a way that you could have thought that it was a lot older than what it actually was. I think so mostly because of the outdated words that are featured in the book but thanks to that I learned a ton of new words, 72 to be exact, but mostly it was describing words. This was because of the way the novel is throatily describing when it comes to scents and surroundings. The story is narrated by an omniscient third person, which
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To give a brief rundown of the plot, it’s the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an orphan who grows up in eighteenth century Paris and has a remarkable and unordinary talent. He has an unusually keen sense of smell, and can detect odours in things that normal people would believe to have no scent at all – glass, for example. He wants to own, or more like record, every scent in existents, good or bad, sweet or sour, he doesn’t se any difference. However, he is also distinct, as he has no natural smell of his own, and so is unable to properly integrate with people because they subconsciously have difficulty relating him due to the fact that he doesn’t smell like a human. Grenouille trains as a perfumer and, deciding he wants to be treated like a god by humanity, sets about creating the perfect scent that will help him to rule over humankind. However, the ‘perfect perfume’ in Grenouille’s eyes is one made up of the smells of thirteen virginal girls, who he has to kill before he can extract and preserve their natural…show more content…
The film almost seemed to portray the death of the first girl, the one with the basket of yellow plums, as an accident. It was as if Grenouille was trying to stop her screaming with his hand over her mouth, and then suddenly realised she was dead. In the book, I definitely got the sense that it was deliberate, and that he killed her entirely because he wanted to possess her scent, but it disappeared because he had no means to preserve it. This was what motivated him to train as a perfumer and learn how to preserve scents, so he could set about recreating hers through the scents of other murdered virgins (who are also much younger in the book, around thirteen years old). As far as I could tell reading the book, there was absolutely nothing sexual about it. His actions were entirely scent-focused, and yet later in the film Grenouille has some kind of sex dream about the plum girl while trying to remember her scent, which puts quite a different spin on his motivation and changes his characterization to a more perverse than menacing predator. Also, in the book Grenouille is a very conniving character, very calculating and overtly aware of the ways in which he's manipulating people. The film version of Grenouille seems somewhat less aware of how his actions affect those around him and though he's not innocent in a general sense, he seems innocent in the sense that he doesn't seem to understand the full
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