that the metaphor is rather effective and it shows Grenouille’s great will to
survive. Ticks suck blood from their victims so that they may survive. Ticks do
not spend a lot of time moving around, and they rarely interact with any other
animals and they wait silently, until they fall on a victim as seen in the
quote “but the tick, stubborn, sullen and loathsome, huddles there and lives
and waits. Waits, for that most improbable of chance that will bring blood”.
This quote may also explain his childhood, existing without anyone ever loving
him (his mother abandon him, Madame Gaillard has no emotions and the kids in
the orphanage feared him). He waited, like a tick for his chance to have
freedom, and eventually to realize his talents (superior sense of smell, and
his genius for identifying and combing them). To most people ticks are
loathsome insects (as they carry disease), and Grenouille may be described as
loathsome as well. In the story, Grenouille brought hatred to the wet-nurse
that took care of him due to his enormous appetite, and even struck fear into
Father Terrier when he started sniffing him. Also Grenouille also have lots of
similarity with ticks, for example, Grenouille uses his sensitive sense of
smell to locate things just as ticks do. He also had no personal smell of his
own, a trait he shared with ticks (who had very little odour, since they have to
remain undetected on their host’s body to stay alive).
“He was as
tough as a resistant bacterium and as content as a tick sitting quietly on a
tree and living off a tiny drop of blood plundered years before.”, this quote
is able to reflect his strong will to survive, Grenouille required only a
minimum ration of food and clothing in the Madame Gaillard’s orphanage, other
children from the orphanage tried to suffocate him but he still managed to
survive, 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 of
their lifeblood in the form of both their scent and their lives, without any conception
of morality. Like a tick, robbing victims of their blood or scent is just what
he does, and seemingly what he must do to survive.