John Gardner's Life and Grendel

Pages: 4 (1424 words) Published: September 16, 2010
11 March 2010
John Gardner’s Grendel
The author of Grendel, John Gardner, is considered one of the most influential and controversial authors in the twenty-first century. Known for his brutal honesty in religion and society, which is most commonly reflected in his novel. In his novel Grendel, John Gardner translates his personal tragedies into the text with depictions including his own life experiences, tragedies, and religious upbringing.

John Gardner was born in 1933, in Batavia, New York. He grew up in a Christian home. His father was a farmer as well as a preacher; and his mother was an English teacher. He had a younger brother that was tragically killed in a tractor accident, when Gardner was only six years old. After that incident Gardner’s religious views were forever changed, he did not necessarily turn away from God, but his views on religion were now more bitter then sweet. His Mother taught him everything he knew about literature. His mother is whom he got his enthusiasm about medieval and fiction literature.

Throughout his lifetime, with the inspiration from his Mother, Gardner accomplished many things in his novelist career. One of his biggest accomplishments was in 1972 when he was awarded the Nation Education Award. Again, in 1972-73 he received the Danforth Fellowship, and shortly after he had the same Fellowship named in his honor. He published many great and influential novels, the one novel that really put him on the map, as a novelist was Grendel. It is with certainty that Gardner has had a life full of noteworthy experiences, which he has used to his advantage. He not only wrote about his views and beliefs he was not afraid of using other philosophers and authors works that he looked up to. Critics agree that Gardner’s style of writing is rare. It is obvious how much work and research he put into each of his books. He wrote with such confidence and all of his hidden philosophies throughout the text help the reader to get a...

Cited: Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Vintage, 1989.
Henningfeld, Diane Andrews. “Overview of Grendel.” Novels for Students. Diane Telgen and Kevin Hile. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Student Resource Center – Gold. Wheeler High School. 22 Feb. 2010.
Pilditch, Jan. “John Gardner: Overview.” Reference Guide to American Literature. Ed. Jim Kamp. 3rd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. 22 Feb 2010.
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