Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is introduced before his birth as “gifted and abominable”. The first six chapters give numerous examples of his character that describe how and why he is so interesting. In chapter four it is said that “he decided in favor of life out of sheer spite and sheep malice” (21). Since his birth he is known to not be a normal child especially because of his non-existent scent. But as he lives at Madame Gaillard’s he takes to his character. His life was tested and tried, but he always came out alive. After leaving for days at a time, not eating, contracting fatal diseases, and being suffocated by the other children, Grenouille lived. There are so many signs that he is going to go on to do terrible things.
In chapter five we see how uneducated and in-advanced he is. He doesn’t care to learn words unless he can identify an odor with them. He soon identifies with wood “until he becomes wood himself” (24). He sat on the log for what seemed to be a long time before he was engulfed by the wood. He was almost “suffocated” by the wood. Why did it take such a terrifying and intense moment of being threatened by wood for him to experience the wood? Why did he go on to learn all the different types of wood by smell? Why wood?