Grendel Essay

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The epic poem Beowulf does not portray Grendel in a fair manner. One of the main characters in the epic poem is called Grendel. Grendel is a monster who lives in a cave with his mother. He hates his mother and thinks that he is the most intelligent species and no one else’s life has meaning. Grendel in the epic poem is portrayed as a monster who only kills and cannot think for himself. John Gardner, an author of the book Grendel felt like the epic poem was one sided and Grendel did not get to share his side. In the book Grendel Gardner portrays a monster as someone who is a little different. Gardner is trying to make the point that if you are a little bit different, you are an outcast in society. Gardner ties parallels to today’s society and the society in the book about monsters being a little bit different causing them to be outcasts. Grendel thinks that no other life has meaning because they are not as intellectually smart as him. For example in the book Grendel says, “. I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly—as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back (Gardner 23).” In this situation a bull is trying to fight Grendel. At first Grendel becomes aggravated but then realizes that the Bull does not have the intellectual power to understand anything. Later in the book Grendel makes his first encounters with humans. He can communicate with them but because he is different the humans start to attach him and Grendel runs up a tree and tries to communicate more with them. This is where Gardner’s definition of a monster comes in, Grendel is a little different and everyone doesn’t know what to do, so they use there instinct to attack. We can relate this into our society today through the tragic shooting at Columbine school. The two...
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