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"Perfume" Psychological perspective

The Story of A Murderer

Gray Galloway

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of "Perfume" Psychological perspective

Psychological Mind of Grenouille Olfactorial Obsession
Superiority Complex
Dehumanization quotes Psychopathology Thesis "Mankind's final coming of age, the emancipation of the human senses from an immature state of ignorance and error" Setting Enlightenment Irony in the novel quotes 1. The branch of medicine dealing with the causes and processes of mental disorders.
2. Abnormal, maladaptive behavior or mental activity. Red Haired Girl:
13~14 year old
Red lips, green eyes, delicate freckled face
"For a moment he was so confused that he actually though he had never in all his life seen anything so beautiful as this girl" (41).
"Her sweat smelled as fresh as the sea breeze, the tallow of her hair as sweet as nut oil, her genitals were as fragrant as the bouquet of water lilies, her skin as apricot blossoms" (41). Laure Richis:
16 years old
Auburn hair, green eyes
"She had a face so charming that visitors all ages and both sexes would stand stock still at the sight of her, unable to pull their eyes away, practically licking that face with their eyes" (200).
"Only now was she really dead for him, withered away, pale and limp as a fallen petal" (220).
"I have lost a daughter, but I want to gain you as my son. You're very much like her. You are beautiful like her, your hair, your mouth, your hand...I have been holding your hand all this time, your hand is like hers. And when I look into your eyes, it's as if she were looking at me" (244). Other Victims:
15 year old
"She was indeed a girl of exquisite beauty" (194).
"...made of dark honey, smooth and sweet and terribly sticky, who take control of a room with a syrupy gesture, a toss of hair, a single slow whiplash of the eyes" (194).
"...unaware force of gravity by which they irresistibly attract to themselves the yearning and the souls of both men and women" (194).
"They were always girls just approaching womanhood, and always very beautiful and usually dark, sugary types" (196). Victims: Grenouille's Birth Rejected by wet nurse and Father Terrier Madame Gaillard <Marais, Paris: September 1753>
Murdered the red haired girl Baldini Grenouille leaves Baldini's store 7 years in the cave Leaves heading south <France>
Marquis <Le Grau-du-Roi> <Toulon> <Grasse> Encounters the same scent as the red haired girl Madame Arnulfi
Druot Testing on living creatures Begins killing girls Antoine Richis
Laure Richis <La Napoule>
Chases after Laure's scent Murders Laure Grenouille gets arrested "Day of Liberation" Grenouille is set free Paris Eaten by villans Dehumanization of the girls he murders “He, in turn, did not look at her, did not see her delicate, freckled face, her red lips, her large sparkling green eyes, keeping his eyes closed tight as he strangled her, for he had only one concern-not to lose the least trace of her scent” (Suskind 42). Plum Girl "Already he could no longer recall how the girl from the rue des Marais had looked, not her face, not her body. He had preserved the best part of her and made it his own: the principle of her scent” (Suskind 44). Laure “This child behind the wall, however, this bud still almost closed tight, which only just now was sending out its first fragrant tips…a year or two this scent will be ripened…” (Suskind 171) “The flower would flourish there without his aid, and he knew already in what manner it would flourish…equipped for the time of harvest” (Suskind 172). “Someone else has plucked my flower and taken its odor for himself!” (Suskind 211) Dehumanization of Grenouille “The young Grenouille was such a tick. He lived encapsulated in himself and wited 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…this monstrous child” (Suskind 22). Grimal no longer kept him as just any animal, but as a useful house pet” (Suskind 32). “until now he had merely existed like an animal with a most nebulous self-awareness. But after today, he felt as if he finally knew who he really was: nothing less than a genius” (Suskind 43) “in the doorway, his legs slightly apart, so that he looked like a black spider that had latched onto the threshold and frame” (Suskind 75). "…rolled up in a ball like an animal…” (Suskind 117). "she was still there, the incomparably beautiful flower, she had survived the winter unblemished, her sap was running...exquisite ranks of buds...that spring would gush over, and he could come to cap it and imprison the wild flow of its scent" (Suskind 189-190). "He looked so totally insignificant that for a moment Richis ahd the impression that he was not even there, but merely a chimera...harmles creature..." (Suskind 212-213). Egoist

"Grenouille the Great" "had a higher destiny:nothing less...his exquisite nose, his phenomenal memory, and..." (Suskind 43). "they would sink to their knees...he wouldbe the omnipotent god of scent, just as he had been in his fantasies..." (Suskind 155). "Like a giant he planted himself, in all his glory and grandeur, splendid...proud and majestic. Yes! This was his empire! The Empire of Grenouille! Created and ruled over by him, the incomparable Grenouille...Grenouille the Great commanded the rain to stop. And it was so...And Grenouille the Great saw that it was good very, very good" (Suskind 126). "universal homage to Him, Grenouille the Great, the Incomparable, the Magnificent, who, enthroned upon his god-scented cloud...bless his creation..." (Suskind 127). He lay back on his makeshift bed, cozy in his straw, cozy under his blanket, and thought himself very heroic" (Suskind 192). Grenouille's obsession with the perfect smell "Grenouille knew for certain that unless he possessed this scent, his life would have no meaning" (Suskind 42). "Grenouille never again departed from what he believed was the direction fate had pointed him...he must become a creator of scents...the greatest perfumer of all time" (Suskind 44). .To have found that scent in this world once again brought tears of bliss to his eyes..." (Suskind 170). "He had to get closer to that scent...Grenouille turned hot with rapture and cold with fear. Blood rushed to his head as if he were a little boy caught redhanded.. "Ah! He wanted to have that scent!" (Suskind 172). "Now it was gone, vanished, untraceable despite the most intensive sniffing. Grneouille was almost paralyzed with fright. She is dead, he thought. Then, more terrifying..." (Suskind 211). "Grenouille, his waking presence was important. Sleep would have endangered the spirit of success" (Suskind 217). "Yes, he was Gernouille teh Great! Now it had become manifest. It was he, just as in his narcissistic fantasies of old, but now in reality...experienced the greatest triumph of his life" (Suskind 240). Characteristics The following are defined by Hervery M. Cleckley in 1941 in the book Mask of Sanity include: Superficial charm
Lack of remorse or shame
Antisocial behavior
Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love
General poverty Other characteristics
Grandiose sense of self-worth.
Parasitic lifestyle
Early behavior problems
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Criminal versatility
Narcissism Doctor comments:

"It must be remembered that even the most severely and obviously disabled psychopath presents a technical appearance of sanity, often with high intellectual capacities...succeed in the sense of finding satisfaction of fulfillment in their own accomplishments..."

-H.Cleckley, "The Mask of Sanity"

"Psychiatrists are often helplessly manipulated by the psychopath; just as are the psychopaths other victims."

-Dr. Ken Magid, "High Risk, Children Without a Conscience." Born or Made? Theories of Psychopathy Canadian theorist Dr. David Lykken

- poor parenting
- social skills Findings decreased response to fear imagery and to threats
speak more quietly (language problems)
respond more strongly to reward than nonpsychopaths Sources:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/psychopath/2.html Perfume The setting and the Grenouille's psychological mindset help us delve further into Grenouille's abnormal and criminal characteristics. "Mankind's final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance and error" "The heat lay leaden upon the graveyard, spqueezing its putrefying vapor, a blend of rotting melon and the fetid odor of burnt animal horn... already stank so vilely that the smell masked the odor of corpses" (Suskind 4) "It was a mixture formed damp canals where odors congealed. It was a mixture of human and animal smells, of water and stone and ashes and leather...Thousands upon thousands of odors formed an invisible gruel that filled the street ravines" (Suskind 33) "With every step he took way from it, the air about him grew clearer, purer, and cleaner" (Suskind 115). "The Rome of scents, the promised land of perfumes" (Suskind 165) Grasse "Grenouille smelled out every detail through the thickest walls- these were riches beyond those of princes" (Suskind 166) "The thousands of odors and stenches oozed out as if from thousands of festering boils...Even the river seemed to have stopped flowing, to have stagnated. It stank" (Suskind 253). Paris Paris Plomb du Cantal "He did everything possible to extract his own odor from his clothes. But there was no odor in them" (Suskind 136). "His soil smells, that's true enough. But it's the bastard himself, he doesn't smell" (Suskind 10). "It was a strange perfume that Grenouille created that day....but like a human being who gives off a scent" (Suskind 149). "his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent" (Suskind 3). "In the period of which we speak, there reigned in the cities a stench barely conceivable to us modern men and women" (Suskind 3). Madeleine de Trenelle
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