How does the structure in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer contribute to its main concerns?

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This story is a unique coming of age story.  It demonstrates how a man grows and matures as a result of his nature and the environment he is raised in.  To demonstrate this theme, the novel is structured in four parts, like four stages of development:  youth, adolescence, adulthood, and death.  The first sections shows Grenouille as a young child, learning to interact with his immediate world, his surroundings.  The second section demonstrates his interaction with society.  The third section shows him finding a path in life.  The last section shows him trying to flee from the end of life.

This story focuses on evil, particularly evil in human beings.  The examination of "evil" is unemotional, and meant to come across as a serious analysis, like a doctor would analyze a disease.  As such, this story is written in a scientific way.  The structure is similar to that of historical writings, with an omniscient narrator and very little dialogue.  The scenes in Grenouille's life are "recorded" as opposed to experienced.  If the story were, for example, narrated by Grenouille, the reader would be likely to sympathesize with him.  This would diminish the theme. 

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question