Mind and True Feelings

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Grendel the monster with feelings
In the book Grendel, the author made the decision to use the character Grendel as the narrator. He knew that the readers would understand more about Grendel’s feelings. To know the real Grendel, you need to read it from his point of view, not anyone else’s. The story made more sense because it was written in stream of consciousness. Stream of consciousness means that the author writes down everything that he is thinking. In Grendel we got to read everything from his heart, his true feelings about everything. The story would have been really different if we hadn’t gotten to see who he was and what he was all about.

Grendel from the book was a totally different Grendel from Beowulf. In Beowulf we see Grendel as an evil monster that wanted to kill everyone and had no feelings. But we know that he did have true feelings for people and for himself. “My head aches” (page 13), is an example of something we would have never known by watching the movie. We also know that he cared deeply about his mother and other people. We also would have never known that he was actually very intelligent and could speak. “I sobbed as if heartbroken” (page 19). We know that he had a heart; a real monster wouldn’t have a heart. He was sad because he didn’t have the life that he wanted; everyone was happy but he wasn’t.

With everything that we know about Grendel and his feelings is all stuff that we learned from the book, not from the movie. The movie basically told us the opposite of what was true about him. We would have never known this stuff if the author wouldn’t have written in the stream of consciousness. Grendel had many feelings that we did not know about in Beowulf that we learned about in the book. In the movie we got the idea that he was a horrible monster who didn’t care about anything or anyone. Beowulf told the story from the dans point of view not Grendel’s. So by John Gardner choosing to use stream of consciousness we really saw...
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