The Relationship Between the Corporeal Body and the Spirit in the Context of the Novels “Perfume: the Story of a Murderer” and “Hunger”

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World Literature Assignment 1 |
The Relationship Between the Corporeal Body and the Spirit In the Context of the Novels “Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer” and “Hunger” |
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Subject: English A1 Higher Level
Session: May 2010
Word Count: 1500
The constitution of the human being is often classified into two parts: the body and the mind or soul. Whereas these two aspects of the being, supernatural and physical, are often considered two inseparable parts of a whole, they are regarded, rather, as distinct features in both the novels, Perfume and Hunger, that work together in order to form the complete individual. However, though the particular relationships between the individual’s corporeal body and the metaphysical mind or soul in these two novels are portrayed similarly in a number of aspects, they are not without their unique attributes.
A distinct correlation between the portrayal of the body and the state of the individual’s internal being is seen to be present in the context of both texts. Grenouille, in the novel Perfume, is described, even from infancy, as having “…eyes…of an uncertain color, covered with a kind of slimy film…” (Suskind 16) and a nose “…like the cups of…[a]…small meat-eating plant…” (Suskind 17) It can be seen here that his abnormal and parasitic tendencies have been reflected in his physical appearance, as it is throughout the book. Because the eyes are commonly described as the window to the soul, the fact that his eyes covered by a film, is symbolic of the abnormality, or rather, absence of his soul; just as his eyes are tools for vision that are not fit for sight, they are also the supposed windows to a soul that does not exist. Moreover, his nose, the very thing that defines who he is, is compared to a small carnivorous…...

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