Essay on Grenouille Becomes God in Perfume: Patrick Suskind’s Perfume

Essay on Grenouille Becomes God in Perfume: Patrick Suskind’s Perfume

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Patrick Suskind’s Perfume takes place during Enlightenment Period France, and follows the life of a perfumer, Grenouille, who possesses a particular sense of smell and traverses throughout France on a journey to create the perfect scent. Suskind embraces Enlightenment ideals when Grenouille challenges the power of God in response to Grenouille’s attainment of control over his destiny and the destiny of others in Perfume. Suskind portrays Grenouille as all facets of God, who embodies the characteristics of Creator, Savior, and Destroyer. The struggles Grenouille encounters throughout Perfume relate to the conflicts God must resolve throughout The Bible. Grenouille creates what, to him, appears pure and innocent, and through his creation he attempts to save those that have failed. When Grenouille’s goals come under threat, he retaliates and takes control of his own destiny; he destroys in order to ensure the fulfillment of his goals.
When Grenouille creates, he does so with the intent to make a pure and perfect substance as God does with his own creations. God creates Earth in seven days perfect and pure, with his own design (New King James Version, Gen. 1.1-31). Grenouille spends seven years in a cave where no smell can overwhelm him and he creates his own personal world of scent. After Grenouille has created his utopia, Suskind writes, “Grenouille the Great . . . and soon there was not a cranny left . . . he had not thrown a seed of fragrance . . . the seed began to germinate and sprout, bringing forth shoots to gladden his heart” (50). Suskind gives Grenouille godly control over a world that has nothing. Grenouille attempts to make his utopia, but even after seven years of creation, he soon realizes that he gains little in his pr...


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...o a higher class level.
These Enlightenment ideals become the embodiment of Grenouille as he progresses through France on a journey to fulfill a destiny he creates for himself. Grenouille becomes God throughout Perfume. Grenouille’s methods and actions allude to the ways God takes control of destiny and lead the people away from impurities. The three facets represent the idea of Grenouille taking a godly role among people. Grenouille creates, saves, and destroys and overall makes the lives of the people better in his lifetime.



Works Cited

Genesis. The Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1984. Print.
Mark. The Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1984. Print.
Matthew. The Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1984. Print.
Numbers. The Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1984. Print.

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