In the book, “Grendel,” by John Gardner, Grendel is some sort of supernatural creature that kills the humans and eats them after he is done. So Hrothgar’s men fight to defend themselves against this supernatural creature. However, we see in the book that Grendel has feelings and emotions towards humans. Grendel states in the novel that he thinks Hrothgar’s men are animals and that they waste lives. However, the humans think otherwise, they think that Grendel is a supernatural monster that is here to kill them.
“I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings! But also, as never before, I was alone.” (Grendel, p. 80) Grendel says this depressing statement when he learns that the enchantment placed upon him by the dragon has left him unable to be harmed by the Scylding's weapons. He vainly basks in his new-found glory, but he soon has the realization that his imperviousness has now separated him even more from the place he yearns for among men. In a flash of insight, Grendel recognizes that his condition has not improved, but has instead become much more hopeless as he seeks a place in this world. "Why can't I have someone to talk to?"
The humans classify Grendel as a “monster” but does this mean he truly is one? From reading Grendel, I took away that he let society's idea of himself captivate who he thought he really was. Grendel had the potential and the curiosity to be harmless, but he let the powerful words and actions of the humans, the Shaper, and the dragon take over his thoughts. In a way, the humans were just as much monsters in this book for not accepting Grendel, and making him become the monster he was. If the humans were to accept Grendel and they were able to understand each other, prevention of further catastrophes probably could have been
"...I found I understood them: it was my own language, but spoken in a strange way"(23). Although, Grendel shared a common language with mankind Grendel is forced in a bubble. Grendel then encountered the red-golden dragon. The dragon rationalized with Grendel telling him that his theory was absurd. Pieces of Grendel's ideas did not make sense to the dragon.
Different events in the book, prove that the monster is impressionable and afraid. Everyone describe Grendel from his physical appearance. For example, "When a man-eating beast meets an epic hero (Coleman 24)" was the title of an play. The title described Grendel as a beast because of his appearance and the way humans looked at Grendel. Grendel
Grendel and the Monster share a sense of loneliness, suffering, and are both curious of their own creation. The state of loneliness can affect a person mentally. Grendel shows signs of isolation as he loathes all by himself. “I had become something, as if born again . .
Early on in the storyline, Grendel, only a child at the time, suffers through surges of pain and fear as he finds himself pinched between two trees. He even goes so far to say, “Poor Grendel! Poor Mama!...Poor Grendel will hang here and starve to death.”(Gardner 18). With such human reactions to fear and pain, one can not help but show pity towards Grendel. His reaction, exaggerated, is very similar to that of a young child, perhaps influencing any sympathy the reader has towards him.
It leads gradually to his increasing isolation (Gardner par. 15 line. 1-2)”. Since Grendel can not talk to his mother because of her speech impairment nor the dragon because of the intelligence gap and the dragon’s dark philosophy he has no one to turn to after his peers and society reject him. This leads his murder spree and eventually his
In the book Grendel, John Gardner conveys Grendel's loneliness by Grendel's attacks on the people showing the lack of companionship drives him to destroying other people through his actions, thoughts and relationships. Body paragraphs: Grendel's loneliness is expressed greatly through his thoughts. The authors describes Grendel's need to jeopardize others people life just because Grendel is unhappy. The quote, "Pointless, ridiculous monster crouched in the shadows, stinking of old men, murdered children, martyred cows" (Gardner 6). This proves Grendel's view of the world is horrid and he has nothing in his life meaningful to him.
Grendel often questions his self worth and the world around him. Being a Taurus represents the disconnect from the world that Grendel feels due to his existential crisis. One example of this is when Grendel realizes that his mom will not save him when a bull chases Grendel up a tree, he says “I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist... I create the whole universe, blink by blink... I exist and nothing else” (Gardner pg).