“Perfume” by Patrick Suskind – Interactive Oral Reflective Statement
Prompt: How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?
During the interactive oral, four topics were presented but I personally found the discussion on how historical background shapes the protagonist and the techniques that were used throughout the novel are more noteworthy and thought provoking.
Prior to this oral discussion, I had not thought about the historical contextual to a great extent. I recognized that if it weren’t for the Enlightenment, Grenouille would not have existed. As he would have probably been left in the fish guts to die, but because of the Enlightenment, social welfare now exists, causing the bystanders to actually care what happened to misfortunate newborn. Furthermore, the Enlightenment is also known as an extraordinary period of scientific and philosophical achievement. Grenouille gained the individual rights to attain his aspiration to create a flawless perfume that amalgamates the scent of twenty-five beautiful virgins, practicing an art that he craves for.
Meanwhile, the society has an overwhelming number of pitiful peasants who paid most taxes, suggesting a corrupted society filled with poverty. Grenouille’s brutal endeavor is condemned because the murders of multiple innocent virgins are perceived as unlawful. Whereas, on the other hand, it can also be justifiable from the perspective that he is only practicing his art of capturing scent with his sole admirable determination and enthusiasm and is only attempting to obtain the love he missed in a miserable childhood full of neglect and torment. The ambiguity of morality is a thematic motif that is exemplified by the controversial traits that lies within Grenouille and it fits in with the tumultuous setting in the 18th century of France, as people are uncivilized, yearning for an upheaval, foreshadowing an upcoming liberal...