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Study Of Social Critcism In "Perfume" By Suskind And "A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich

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Autor:   •  March 12, 2011  •  1,022 Words (5 Pages)  •  677 Views

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The Criticism of society and human nature implicit in "Perfume" by Suskind

And "A Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich" by solzenitsyn

The criticism of society and human nature found in these two novels, is extremely subtle. The criticism in the novels differs through the difference in era.

"A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" is based on a prisoner of war camp in Russia during the Second World War or right after and is a criticism of the treatment they receive inside the camp. Whereas "Perfume" is set in 18th century France, and is a criticism of society in which we live. It is not so much criticism of a historical era but in a more general sense, of the world we live in today. As well as, a virulent criticism of merchants and trade. It is also an undeniable parody of the story of Christ while "One Day" is not a very religiously centered novel.

The criticism of society in perfume comes in many different forms and is usually quite obvious. Throughout the entire novel Grenouille, the protagonist of perfume is described in such a way that he is seen as a despicable character. However although this is what he is, the description that the narrator makes of the society around him is as terrifying as the one made of Grenouille. In fact it is my belief that society creates this monstrous being which is Grenouille.

Throughout the novel several merchants who although pretend to help him, all end up using him to make large amounts of money exploit Grenouille. For example the perfume maker Baldini uses Grenouille's perfume recipes to become rich by deceiving him and manipulating him. Also Taillade-Espinade takes advantage of Grenouille's physical appearance to become rich and famous. (expand)

This is a criticism of merchants in general which tells us that although merchants pretend to be professionals at their line of work they are not above exploiting someone to make more profit. A merchant will go to any lengths no matter how dishonest to make more profit. This also appears in "A Day in the LifeĀ» but in a different sense. In "A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" the parcels play this role of criticism. It is a criticism of the fact that the prisoners will do anything for food. Shukhov demonstrates this through his clever manipulation Tzesar for food.

This is a criticism of how low one will go to achieve a goal, which will only profit oneself. However this is also I believe similar to "Perfume" as one can see that perhaps the prisoners do this sort of thing to survive and they have also beem created like this by society who shut them up in the camp.

"Perfume" is also a huge criticism of religion. From the birth of Grenouille to the death of Grenouille the symbols in the novel and the style in which it is written seem to show a paradox to the life which was led by the Christ.

For example grenouille was born from a virgin while Grenouille was born from a prostitute. The Christ was born in a barn, Grenouille was born on a pile of dead fish. Episodes like for example his near execution at the end of the novel point out that he was going to be executed on a cross while the village butcher hit him with an iron rod. This would symbolise the crucifixion. His escape to paris would symbolise the christs ressurection. His final death and the pieces he was cut up into could easily symbolise the last supper for several reasons.

These parodies of certain events mentioned in the Christian are

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