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Perfume AnalysisIn the novel perfume, do you think Grenouille is controlled by his...

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charlottejensen | eNoter

Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:32 PM via web

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Perfume Analysis

In the novel perfume, do you think Grenouille is controlled by his addiction?

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liefabs | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 5, 2011 at 6:52 PM (Answer #2)

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I havent read the novel yet, but i have read its summary. I would presume that the answer to your question is yes. The main character is controlled by his addiction. He found himself doing unusual things becuase of his addiction to have the ultimate power.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:21 PM (Answer #3)

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What do you mean by controlled and what is his addiction? If you are talking about his desire to create the ultimate perfume that would enable him to be esteemed by everyone, I think that he is definitely driven by his desire to create this perfume and learn what he needs to learn so he can fashion it. I don't know whether he is controlled by it so much as driven by it. His all-consuming desire is to make this perfume, and this is what causes him to commit murder.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 6, 2011 at 4:02 AM (Answer #4)

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I have only read bits and pieces of this story, but in response to post #3, "driven by" and "controlled by" can be one and the same.  It is not much difference from Victor Frankenstein's desire to create life and a way to cheat death when his mother died and he could do nothing to stop it.  He was both driven by and controlled by the idea of being able to stop people he loved from dying.  The same is true for Hawthorne's character in "The Birthmark"--Georgiana had a birthmark her husband wanted to get rid of since he felt it diminished her beauty.  He was controlled by and driven by the idea of this successful removal of her "blemish"--however, in removing it, he took her life. 

By the same token, Grenouille is both driven by and controlled by the idea of creating the perfume which will make him powerful in his eyes.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:27 AM (Answer #5)

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One might ask, is it all-consuming obsession or all-consuming egocentricity that drives him? Is Grenouille driven because he has a human obsession? Or is he driven because he has an inhuman absence of need for anyone but himself? I tend to think he is controlled by his ego-centric orientation.

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