Reflective Statement: Perfume by Patrick Suskind
An interactive oral presentation, focusing on allegory, parable, and pastiche in Perfume by Patrick Suskind demonstrated how these elements contribute to the development of the novel.
The purpose of allegories throughout the book is so that Suskind can provoke an emotional response from the reader. He puts hidden meanings in the novel to incorporate his personal views into the novel. Suskind uses Grenouille as a parallel to himself when he makes comments in a tone resembles Grenouille. On page 177, Suskind gives a long description of a beautiful women, but in the last sentence, he describes, “-her teeth like pearls and limbs smooth as ivory-and all those idiotic comparisons.” Even though the narrator is omniscient, his remarks are similar to Grenouille's apathy toward physical beauty.
The next topic discussed was parable; a short, simple story, illustrating a lesson to be learned. Often Suskind intertwined parables to stray away from focusing on Grenouille so as to create a narrative distance. Often times creating a background for his next victim, or the epilogue to their life after Grenouille had left it. No real lesson was learned by his victims, and that's the point Suskind is trying to make to the audience. By juxtaposing traditional lessons learned with Grenouille's utter apathy, Suskind presents a conflict with a man against his society.
Although rare, at some points in the novel, Grenouille learns something about himself. His decision to isolate himself from the smells of society and humanity allowed him to learn that he has no scent. This recognition reveals to him the reasons for his estrangement from society.
Suskind uses pastiche, to incorporate pieces of other stories to create his own about a perfumer named Grenouille.. This process mimics perfume making because a...