The Immoralist Essay

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Brent holds a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. She works as a freelance writer and editor. In the following essay, Brent discusses scents, odors, and smells in Gide's novel.

Michel's experience of personal rebirth in The Immoralist is characterized by an increased awareness of his physical being. His sense of touch, taste, and smell become heightened, and each new sensation represents a celebration of life. The more alive he feels, the more he seeks out sensual experiences. As he explains, "The only way I could pay attention to anything was through my five senses." Throughout The Immoralist, Gide uses sensual descriptions, particularly the sense of smell, as an important indication of Michel's growing self-awareness and lust for life.

Michel first experiences his sense of smell as a celebration of life while traveling in North Africa and Italy on his honeymoon. The first instance...

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This section contains 1,306 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Immoralist Study Guide
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The Immoralist from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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