Grendel Analysis

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The ability to live alone is a power very few people possess. Grendel, by John Gardner, is a novel based on the epic poem, Beowulf and narrated by Grendel, a grotesque monster who lives with his mute mother in a desolate cave. He is in a 12 year war King Hrothgar and his people. Constantly seeking and yet avoiding the human population, Grendel observes the Scyldings as their civilization progresses with increasing curiosity. Grendel spends his days isolated from society, searching for a purpose to his life in what to him seems like a meaningless universe. On his journey he encounters a clairvoyant dragon who mentors him on the nature of the universe, and sees the rise and fall of different empires. Seeing humanities cruelty and senseless violence frustrates him. His hatred ultimately leads to his downfall as he meets Beowulf and is killed. In the novel Grendel, by John Gardner, Grendel is portrayed as a lonely and miserable creature who craves companionship and ponders deep questions about the universe. This is observed by Grendel's conversation with the dragon and his inner thoughts about the living world around him. The Danes paranoia of Grendel isolates him from society. He lives in solitude with his mother who he cannot connect with on anymore than a physical level. As the novel progresses, Grendel becomes attached to humanity and the Shaper in particular. The Shaper is an inspiring musician who sings imaginatively of a perfect world. Grendel realizes that what the
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