Characterization in ‘House of Spirits’ and ‘Perfume’

In the books ‘house of spirits’ and ‘Perfume’ characterization is done by giving extra ordinary abilities to the protagonist. It uses its protagonist ‘Clara’ and ‘Grenouille’ as a medium of describing the people but in ‘house of spirits’ through the eyes of ‘Alba’ and ‘Esteban’ and in ‘Perfume’ through the narrator (third-person narration) as he gives the reader two aspects both contrasting each other. ‘Perfume’ a book with sense of smell aided in creating a picture the author ‘Patrick Suskind’ put forth of the character in the book.

Patrick has used many adjectives to describe Grenouille’s sense of smell ‘his gift and his sole ambition’ (Patrick, pg. 3) and some other are ‘…… arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or more succinctly, wickedness…… ”. In house of spirits supernatural events make Clara’s character a strange mysterious person she has been called ‘Clara the clairvoyant’ (Allende, 92) she has the power to read dreams and know the future she is said to be very organised ‘she was in the habit of writhing down important matters and after words, when she was in mute, she also recorded trivialities… (Allende, 11) Magical realism, a major part of both the books. Allende and Susskind both use magical realism as a major theme and style of the book. Allende has used magical realism as a simple straight forward presentation of strange magical events. The character experiences it and accepts these un believable events with calm rationality. Allende uses foreshadowing as well. ‘ clara predicting the future and repetation by metioning names of people in the book over and over again.

Susskind also uses foreshadowing as Grenouille has an unusall sense of smell and that whoever leaves dies the nest day. Susskind starts ‘playing with the readers’ as he keeps on contrasting waht he says about the characters in the book. He first said that Grenouie was important to the people but then he says that he was no one for them, he was not at all wanted in the world and that he again he was important as he created the world’s greatest perfume.

Susskind also uses a tongue in cheek method as he laughs at Grenouie from within. He makes the readers also want to laugh. Both the methods tongue in cheek and playing with the readers are related. Susskind has portrait Grenouie in a way which goes against the church. He is insulting Jesus and the bible as well. ‘House of spirits’ and perfume have charatrized the protagonist ‘ clara’ and Grenoiue’ through magical realism and other styles. They are characterized in similar still different ways.

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