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Childhood of Protagonists in Duang Thu Huongs Paradise of the Blind and Patrick Suskinds Perfume - Essay Example

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The paper "Childhood of Protagonists in Duang Thu Huong’s Paradise of the Blind and Patrick Suskinds Perfume" states that while both the protagonists arise from a similar background of poverty and face the turmoil and rejection of society, Hang’s story portrays the struggle towards uplifting values…
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Childhood of Protagonists in Duang Thu Huongs Paradise of the Blind and Patrick Suskinds Perfume
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Download file to see previous pages One of the most distinctive features in both these books is the use of imagery to demonstrate the filth and squalor of poverty during the growing years of the protagonists and the devastating effects on their childhood. Both authors Huong and Suskind use the vehicle of smells to impart to the reader, a vivid sense of the atmosphere of poverty. Huong skillfully juxtaposes repulsive images of filth and squalor next to beautiful ones in describing smells, textures and colors in graphic detail:
You could smell the evening smells melting into one: straw fires burning, bean shells mixed with young rice roasting, the pungent stench of fresh buffalo dung, guavas ripening in the garden" (Huong 75).
The sweet smell of guavas ripening right next to the stench of dung eloquently expresses the existence of both beauty and filth in the environment. Hang’s memories of the tiny shack in which she grew up remind her that it was made of “sheet metal patched together with tar paper. On rainy days, the roof leaked. In the heat of summer, the acrid smell of tar was overpowering, nauseating.” (Huong 12) She describes how children played in the black rainy tar and how the stench of urine was always in the air. Yet, in the midst of poverty, Hang struggles to find dignity as she acknowledges that this environment is her “home”.
People stank of sweat and unwashed clothes; from their mouths came the stench of rotting teeth, from their bellies that of onions, and from their bodies, if they were no longer very young, came the stench of rancid cheese and sour milk and tumorous disease. The rivers stank, the marketplaces stank, the churches stank, it stank beneath the bridges and in the palaces. (Suskind 11).
However, while both the protagonists arise from a similar background of poverty and face the turmoil and rejection of society, Hang’s story portrays the struggle towards uplifting values and towards the discovery of self, freed of the burden of the cruelty of poverty and oppression. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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