Essay On Human Nature In Grendel

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In the novel Grendel by John Gardner, written in 1971, there are numerous concepts of the human nature portrayed and discussed. With the progression of the novel, the humans become develop to be described as increasingly careless, vicious and futile. Starting with Grendel 's first encounter with the humans to the death of the protagonist, Gardner illustrates an unusual view of the humans and their interactions with one another. Grendel begins as a creature similar to the people he observes, with many shared characteristics and thoughts, even though not all of the their actions are understood. His lasting wish is to be accepted into their society, as they accompany each other and he suffers of loneliness. During the next years, Grendel begins…show more content…
Nearing Grendel 's death, he is presented to be crueler and more bloodthirsty, whilst the humans are portrayed to be more unjust and ludicrous. The king of the thanes is growing older, seemingly unfit for rule, as humans are defenseless to external powers like time, and Gardner makes the reader be aware of the injustice served in the realm. The power of a man is now measured by his wealth, making them shallow beings. 'The bread thief die[s] and the murdering thane escape[s] ' (82) was the new justice system, further spreading unrighteousness through the realm. Hrothgar began caring less for his people and more for himself and his well-being, making him egocentric and selfish at times, like most humans are described to be. During these times in winter, humans lose their perseverance and interest in defying Grendel and resort to a more peaceful state. Grendel, although he does not usually raid in the winter, refuses to give them the freedom of not acting and seeks his own entertainment. By mocking the priests beliefs (93), Gardner demonstrates that humans hold on to unrealistic and unreliable faiths in dire situations and are willing to sacrifice their lives for these. Eventually, Grendel knows that he is in fact conquerable by humans and needs to accept their strength and determination. As he does get defeated, it becomes clear that all monsters can be destroyed with the will to do so, and humans have
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