Role Of Isolation In Grendel

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Isolation: Grendel’s Downfall In the novel Grendel, written by John Gardner, Grendel starts the novel with a childlike innocence and naiveness towards the world. As he meets the dragon and hears the Shaper for the first time that innocence slips away. In this work of literature, John Gardner puts into better perspective that isolation from peers, society, and loved ones can lead anyone into the darkness. Isolation from peers can be dealt with in a reasonable matter, for if one has society and loved ones, confidence and self esteem may not take a blow. Nevertheless, Grendel’s isolation from animals, “The doe in the clearing goes stiff at sight of my horridness, then remembers her legs and is gone (Gardner pg.7)”, and other monsters, “”I see,” I said. It was to some extent untrue (Gardner pg. 65)”, leave him alone. He has no companions from the animals, who are scared of him, nor the other monsters, who he can not totally understand. Isolation from society deals major blows to self esteem and confidence. In Grendel’s case if society believes you are a monster, “”Friend! Friend!” They hacked at me, yipping like dogs [...] and …show more content…

Grendel and his mother were never able to communicate fully, “ (She never speaks.) [...] She’ll tell me, in time, I thought. But she told me nothing. I waited on (Gardner pg.12)”, and even the dragon, who is the most prominent person in Grendel’s life, gave Grendel a philosophy that further increased his isolation, “and the dragon gives him a version of reality which he comes to take as correct. 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

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