I thinkthat the metaphor is rather effective and it shows Grenouille’s great will tosurvive. Ticks suck blood from their victims so that they may survive. Ticks donot spend a lot of time moving around, and they rarely interact with any otheranimals and they wait silently, until they fall on a victim as seen in thequote “but the tick, stubborn, sullen and loathsome, huddles there and livesand waits. Waits, for that most improbable of chance that will bring blood”.This quote may also explain his childhood, existing without anyone ever lovinghim (his mother abandon him, Madame Gaillard has no emotions and the kids inthe orphanage feared him). He waited, like a tick for his chance to havefreedom, and eventually to realize his talents (superior sense of smell, andhis genius for identifying and combing them).
To most people ticks areloathsome insects (as they carry disease), and Grenouille may be described asloathsome as well. In the story, Grenouille brought hatred to the wet-nursethat took care of him due to his enormous appetite, and even struck fear intoFather Terrier when he started sniffing him. Also Grenouille also have lots ofsimilarity with ticks, for example, Grenouille uses his sensitive sense ofsmell to locate things just as ticks do. He also had no personal smell of hisown, a trait he shared with ticks (who had very little odour, since they have toremain undetected on their host’s body to stay alive). “He was astough as a resistant bacterium and as content as a tick sitting quietly on atree and living off a tiny drop of blood plundered years before.
“, this quoteis able to reflect his strong will to survive, Grenouille required only aminimum ration of food and clothing in the Madame Gaillard’s orphanage, otherchildren from the orphanage tried to suffocate him but he still managed tosurvive, showing his endurance and will to survive. In a very literal sense,the comparison of Grenouille to a tick alludes to his vampire-like tendencies.Like a tick or a vampire, Grenouille metaphorically sucks his victims dry oftheir lifeblood in the form of both their scent and their lives, without any conceptionof morality. Like a tick, robbing victims of their blood or scent is just whathe does, and seemingly what he must do to survive.