What attitudes and beliefs is Suskind satirizing through the character of Taillade-Espinasse?

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Satire is a type of literature that pokes fun at societal flaws and/or those of individuals. In the character of Taillade-Espinasse, Suskind mocks the burgeoning interest in science during the Age of Reason (also known as the Enlightenment), in which Perfume: The Story of a Murderer takes place.

Taillade-Espinasse, or...

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Satire is a type of literature that pokes fun at societal flaws and/or those of individuals. In the character of Taillade-Espinasse, Suskind mocks the burgeoning interest in science during the Age of Reason (also known as the Enlightenment), in which Perfume: The Story of a Murderer takes place.

Taillade-Espinasse, or the Marquis, is a hobby scientist of great ambition; one of his roles in the novel is to contrast the deeply religious figures of Father Terrier and the wet nurse, whose religious fervor is questioned as science gains momentum during the Age of Reason. The novel relies on an element of the supernatural, so the fact that Taillade-Espinasse is a scientifically-minded character who cannot be taken seriously enhances the suspenseful atmosphere; if science is represented by such a farcical character, how important can it be?

The Marquis's dubious theories are one good example of Suskind's satire, but the his decision to climb the highest mountain in the Pyrenees so that he might breathe youth-returning vapors is a better one. Through this decision, the Marquis demonstrates that he has given up common sense in the name of his so-called scientific theory, and the predictable fact that he never returns simply confirms that his version of science is utterly ridiculous.

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