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Grendel Analysis

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The novel, Grendel, written by John Gardner, is a literary piece depicting the life and involvements of an adolescent beast named Grendel, who acquires hidden guidance. This novel is written in response to the epic, Beowulf, who appears in Grendel as a rival. The novel is retelling Beowulf’s story through the eyes of Grendel. He himself identifies both with humans and creatures on a rational level ultimately trying to find his place in acceptance or how more can be understanding of his situation in the world. Throughout the novel, Grendel portrays an anti-hero, one who is the antagonist of a novel but lacks heroic qualities. In order to find these qualities, he embarks on this journey where he encounters a wise Dragon who ultimately aids him in finding his own true self and opens his eyes to see the real world. This tale is written with the goal of developing a protagonist who from the outside appears to be a simple beast yet on the inside, gains a mature understanding of who is really is. In the novel, Grendel, discussions with the Dragon aids Grendel in his personal growth and development of a strong individual identity. During his visit with the wise Dragon, Grendel receives philosophical ideas, helping him gain insight into the world. The Dragon ultimately explains that the world Grendel knows is “no more than a small ripple in the stream of Time, a gathering of dust that will fade away completely when enough years pass” (Gardner 80). When Grendel the Dragon and have
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