Other characters


Grenouille's mother

The unnamed mother of the main character from the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind is a young fishmonger in her mid-twenties who works in the Paris fish market. She is unmarried, and " still hoped to live a while yet, perhaps a good five or ten years, and perhaps even to marry one day and as the honorable wife of a widower with a trade or some such to bear real children…" (Part 1, 0%). 

The mother also "still was quite pretty and had almost all her teeth in her mouth and some hair on her head" (Part 1, 0%). She is reasonably healthy and has "except for gout and syphilis and a touch of consumption suffered from no serious disease" (Part 1, 0%).

Little Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is her fifth child, and she has no maternal feelings for him. She has decided to graduate him, just like her four previous other children, immediately after birth at the fish stall, that is, to let him disappear with the fish waste: "But then, on account of the heat and the stench, [...] she grew faint, toppled to one side, fell out from under the table into the street, and lay there, knife in hand." (Part 1, 1%). 

The police are called and find the screaming newborn under the table. The mother is arrested and shows no fear, remorse, or sense of right or wrong: "And since she confesses, openly admitting that she would definitely have let the thing perish, just as she had with those other four by the way" (Part 1, 2%). She is sentenced to death in a trial for multiple child murders and is decapitated a few weeks later. 

Jeanne Bussie

After his tragic birth in the fish market and after the mother's arrest, the infant Grenouille is given by the office to a wet nurse, then to another wet nurse, and then to a third. No one wants to keep him longer than a few days because the infant is too hungry. The police officer in charge has him delivered to the cloister of Saint-Merri in the Rue Saint-Martin. There he is baptized before being placed in the care of the wet nurse Jeanne Bussie, who lives in Paris on Rue Saint-Denis. For the care of the child she receives three francs per week from the cloister.

A few weeks later in chapter two of the novel, the wet nurse is standing at the door of the cloister of Saint-Merri with a basket of handles in her hand. She tells Father Terrier, who is res...

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