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The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

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Recently, I have read a novel Perfume written by the well-known German author Patrick Süskind. This novel is a magnificent creation of the world literature which cannot be compared with other masterpieces. Mysterious and historical, sophisticated and horrific are very skillfully interlaced by the author in this novel. I must admit that this book and the main hero have influenced me greatly. The novel dwells on the life of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Jean-Baptiste is a unique person because he was born without a body scent, and this made him become an outcast. He turned into a cruel monster that killed many young girls in order to create a real human scent.

After having read the last page of this novel, I was fully convinced that Jean-Baptiste was a real monster and murderer who did deserve death for all his crimes, and it was my first impression. I realize that this novel and its main hero are very complicated and philosophical. To tell the truth, it did take me some time to embrace and express my own point of view. I could not help thinking about Jean-Baptiste, his life, and of course, his reasons of committing such terrible deeds. Since the first minutes of his life, he felt the cruelty of the world that did not want to recognize him as its real and full member. Even his mother, after giving birth to him at the fish market, threw Jean-Baptiste into the fish guts without any remorse. She got used to doing the same with her other children, but Jean-Baptiste was destined to survive. It is very difficult to tell whether it was better for him to die just after his birth or to go through all terrible things and to be killed by the crowd in the end. Jean-Baptiste got a rather peculiar feature that made him differ from other people. He was able to distinguish any scent in the world but had no one of his own. All people around him felt that there was something wrong with him, but they could not explain what it was. They treated him very cruelly and thus made him run away from them. If it is possible to say, Jean-Baptiste became a black sheep or ‘a scentless sheep’ in the world of people who had scents. For instance, it often happens so that when a person differs from the rest, he/she is always treated in a very special way. The same occurred to Jean-Baptiste. He could not embrace for a long time why people treated him so cruelly. After realizing his deficiency, he began looking for different possible and impossible options that could help him become ‘a normal person, with a human scent.’ In my opinion, he was a victim of the people’s laws and superstitions. I cannot imagine what was going on in his heart and mind when he decided to kill young girls. I consider that the world of people was guilty of his crimes. His despair, the pressure and treatment of the world turned Jean-Baptiste into a murderer. As a result, the victim who was constantly chased by the world turned into a powerful force that began to select the best representatives of this world in order to become its part. Maybe, Jean-Baptiste would not have committed any crime if he had not been treated as a leper. He could have lived a happy life and done many good things using his ability if he had been accepted by the world of people. At first, I felt disgust with Jean-Baptiste and found him guilty of crimes, but after some considerations, I began to feel compassion. In my opinion, the treatment of other people plays one of the most crucial roles in the life of each person. It is easy to judge other people for their deeds not knowing all the reasons they had in their mind, but it is very difficult to predict how we would react if we got in such situation.   

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