Grendel And The Sympathizer Essay

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In both “Grendel” by John Gardner and “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The main characters both belong to opposing worlds, and it is due to the fact that the main characters are ensnared within two different realities that the characters are torn between both worlds, often resulting in a disjuncture with both worlds and there resulting cultures in turn. This contributes to a desire for an established position or duty in life to be fulfilled. Given that Grendel and the Captain affiliate themselves with two vastly different social groups with contrasting morals and beliefs they lack a sense of belonging, thus resulting in them being more susceptible to peer pressure, and cause them to hold on to that which they can identify with. Grendel and the Captain have much in common, they both fight…show more content…
Nothing could break free from the menial tasks of life, nothing shared that spark of intelligence that he alone seemed to have, “I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against” (Gardner 22). This would soon change, but Gardner uses this speech to clearly elucidate a moment of recognition in Grendel, realizing that the physical world which he inhabits has no control over what he is to become. The only way to find a place in the natural world requires the menial repetition, of one key instinct, survive. Grendel strives to break from this from this “Mechanical” world which he inhabits and desires for the establishment of a singular ideology that he can follow and accept. Grendel's inability to associate himself with one distinct group; soon to be feared by the humans and unable to communicate with his mother, leaves him vulnerable for the rash humans who quickly turn to violence to imprint on Grendel. The Captain follows suit, his life of secrecy, deception, and his facade of truth makes it so that the narrator can never get too close to anyone, even his best friends. The Narrator is often berated by
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