Pity Monster, Manunkind, By John Gardner

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The novel Grendel by John Gardner and poem “pity this busy monster, manunkind” by e.e. cummings both comment on the danger of human progress against nature. Both authors agree that human society has transcended the need for survival and has reached a point of destruction of themselves and the environment. In a modern and classic context the message remains that human industry is rarely for the good of nature. In “pity this busy monster, manunkind” the commenting is direct, focusing on a cancer of humanity, progress that is opposition to nature. While John Gardner uses characters like Grendel and the Dragon to describe a hyper-intelligent and omniscient view of human industry and thought. Both authors also use their characters and references …show more content…

He walks around angrily shouting, “‘Bastard!’” (Gardner 52) and “‘Bullshit’” (Gardner 54) damning the human's’ happiness and the Shaper’s words. Grendel despises the human’s attack on nature and their ignorance, a message Gardner wishes to impart on the readers. Grendel witnesses the humans “throw stones, or kill [an oxen]” (Gardner 38) and how they hoard treasure alluded they are as ignorant as “ants on a long march” (Gardner 39) and as greedy as wolves. cummings also dissents human greed, and wants nature as “pity poor flesh and tree” (cummings 10, 11) to be …show more content…

Grendel is frustrated and confused that he is trapped as a human in a monster’s body, but this confusion make him want to evolve. Grendel’s anger even leads him to sort of insanity as Gardner comments “Grendel is crazy” (Gardner 92), charging that humans may too go insane. cummings describes human anger resulting because they had lost their “ultraomnipotence” (cummings 13) in “Progress” (cummings 2). The theme of anger perpetrates the motif of cycles as Grendel curses “the twelfth year of my idiotic war” (Gardner 92). If humans continue on a path of perpetrating destruction, they will remain in a cycle of suffering, both authors

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