Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

by Patrick Suskind
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Some Quotes and analysis for the topic "Gap between supposed authority and reality."  

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. . . he felt as if he finally knew who he really was: nothing less than a genius. And the meaning and goal and purpose of his life had a higher destiny: nothing less that to revolutionize the odoriferous world. And that he alone in all the world possessed the means to carry it off.

The detachment from his actions of murdering a girl before he proclaims to understand his final purpose exemplifies Grenouille's delusion or gap from reality. Grenouille has given himself the authority or right to 'revolutionize' an odoriferous world by rights of his exemplary ability to smell. Grenouille is described as believing himself to be above the reality of his actions—actions that would be viewed by society as morally wrong. The quote below is an extension of his actions and his lack of awareness of consequences.

A murder had been the start of this splendor- if he was at all aware of the fact, it was a matter of total indifference to him. Already he could no longer recall how the girl from rue des Marais had looked.

There was just such a fanatical child trapped inside this young man, standing at the table with eyes aglow, having forgotten everything around him, apparently no longer aware that there was anything else in the laboratory but himself and these bottles.

Above is a description of Bandini's thoughts on Grenouille. It highlights how even outsiders can see him slipping from reality. This exemplifies how the young man is so entranced by another world set apart from the real world he is in while working on his perfumes. Grenouille's detachment from reality can be observed by those around him.

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