Grendel Quotes Isolation From Society

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Society builds a support network of friends, families, and mentors. The network society builds plays a major role in the development of an individual’s life. Consequently, separation from society and its support network, whether self-imposed or forced, denies one from having the capability to grow as effectively as someone within society. Charles Dickens’ nineteenth century novel Great Expectations and John Gardner’s contemporary novel Grendel both reveal the effects isolation from society has on an individual. By leaving one’s society, an individual loses interpersonal communication and suffers atrophy or absence in one’s moral development. Leaving one’s society degrades values one has grown up with. Pip in his attempt to become more …show more content…

Mr. Jaggers notes Pip’s clothes as “working” and that he needs “new clothes” (Dickens 141). Pip’s working clothes marks him as a member of a lower class society. By replacing his old clothes, Pip isolates himself from his old society. With Pip’s moral degradation from isolating himself from his old society, Dickens shows the regressive effects of isolation from society. With the removal from one’s society, he loses the support network the society provided along with teachings from that society. However, Pip eventually makes amends to return to his precious society, and has his hardships lifted. Until one can leave isolation and return to society, he experiences hardship. Furthermore, leaving society causes an individual to become isolated from his family. Joe describes life as consisting of multiple parts: “Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith” (Dickens 224). With Joe’s metaphor of metalsmiths, Dickens demonstrates the isolating effect of social class. Pip no longer works as a …show more content…

Grendel desires to become a part of society, but cannot and suffers from loneliness. Classification cannot make “delicate distinctions’ from Grendel and “rabbits and bears and even men” (Gardner 8). Possessing too much intelligence, Grendel cannot closely associate with common animals, but lacks enough similarities with humans to associate with their society. By matters of birth, Grendel lies isolated from society. With Grendel’s lack of a society to provide an outlet for emotion and thoughts, Gardner shows that an individual grows separated and resents that society. The isolation proliferates a sense of jealousy and loathing towards the society rejecting him, and eventually lashes out against that society. Any attempt by Grendel to join or gain a deeper understanding of the human society results in him experiencing anguish and attacks the mead hall. Thus, isolation builds a cycle wherein an individual becomes lonely and desires to join a society and fails, resulting in anger and further loneliness, starting the cycle again. Stuck in the cycle, an isolated individual becomes excluded from society and can only observe from a distance sans rare attacks. Despite Grendel’s violent attacks, he desires only for others to communicate with. In a fit of rage against the unfairness that the humans can have and take part in a functioning society while Grendel cannot, he expresses ““Why can’t I have

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