Perfume

Perfume

Perfume Part 2, Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Grenouille, having achieved some fame in Montpellier, remains for several weeks. He tells his tale of being captured by robbers often, which provides him some practice in conversation (which has never been Grenouille's strong suit) and importantly, allows him to practice lying. Really, Grenouille can tell people whatever he wants because once someone inhales his perfume, they immediately trust him. The effect of this is that Grenouille becomes confident in social situations.
Montpellier proves to be a safe space for Grenouille to refine his methods and techniques for passing as a normal human. He also learns how to most effectively interact with those around him, and begins to understand the extent of his power now that his fear of people has disappeared.
Themes
Power and Control Theme Icon
Creative Genius vs. Convention and Assimilation Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
In March, Grenouille leaves the town unnoticed, as he goes without his perfume that day. Taillade-Espinasse makes inquiries, but eventually says that Grenouille left to deal with family in Paris. Secretly he's annoyed, though, as he had planned to parade Grenouille around the country to promote his theory, but his fame rises anyway.
The reader is reminded that for the marquis, Grenouille was never anything more than a means of proving his theory to the world. However, it's important to remember that the opposite is true as well; Grenouille only wanted to profit from the marquis.
Themes
Power and Control Theme Icon
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
After founding a lodge dedicated to his theory in 1764, Taillade-Espinasse decides to create publicity for his theory that would overshadow even Grenouille's transformation. He decides to scale the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, remain at the summit for three weeks, and return on Christmas Eve as a man aged 20. His companions give up after the last town on the mountain, but the marquis strips off his clothes and continues alone in the cold. He never returns, and his remains are never found. His theory, however, lives on, and the narrator says that even today, secret Tailladic lodges meet yearly to climb the mountain and light a bonfire in the marquis' honor.
For the third time now, someone whom Grenouille came in contact with suffers a horrible death. This situates Grenouille as a true bringer of death, and adds to the grotesque and fantastical nature of the novel. However, the specifics here contribute to the underlying dark humor, as the marquis' desire to climb the mountain and return at the age of 20 is absolutely ridiculous.
Themes
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon