Analysis Of ' The Novel ' Grendel ' By John Gardner Essay

Analysis Of ' The Novel ' Grendel ' By John Gardner Essay

Length: 1272 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Curiosity Kills
Various people know that “curiosity killed the cat” but that is not the initial statement. In 1598, during Every Man in His Humour by English playwright Ben Jonson, the expression was first known as “care’ll kill a cat” (1). This phrase doesn’t implicate care as to nurture or tend to, but rather worry or sorrow. The remark “curiosity killed the cat” is commonly used when one wants another to stop asking nonessential questions. Much like the cat in the play, the 1971 novel Grendel by John Gardner, also holds a beast curious about his life and surroundings. In the novel, Grendel is portrayed as a child with a lack of understanding and a need to adventure throughout the world. Although he is scared to venture too far from his mother, he progresses further with each trip. He is a very intriguing “creature of two minds” whom constantly questions the essence of his monstrous life (Fawcett and Jones 1).
Throughout his existence, Grendel asks, “What is the meaning of life? Who am I? Why am I here?” Though these questions are never answered for him, the readers can sense some relevance of truth by his actions. Grendel faces the world with no acceptance of others. Although he has some similarities with the humans, they only see his beastly ways. In chapter two, Grendel first encounters mankind. They have gotten him down from the tree and at first thought he was some kind of fungus, but they then realized he must be a tree spirit. Grendel notices that the humans are like him in a way, “… it was my own language, but spoken in a strange way,…”
Griggs 2
(Gardner 23). He concludes that the humans are smarter than any creature he has endured thus far. Before the interaction with the humans, when Grendel is stuck in the tree, he...


... middle of paper ...


.... “Poor Grendel’s had an accident, so may you all.” (174).
As one watches Grendel grow throughout the novel, they can determine the different monster and also human traits he obtains. Despite the fact the questions Grendel constantly asks are not directly answered in the book, the readers can conclude that by the end of the novel Grendel understands everything better than he did before as a foolish child. Grendel is undeniably, alone in this world. Man refuses to accept him, and his mother is not capable of conversation. The shaper’s song only gives Grendel hope just to have it all destroyed. As we progress towards the end of the story, we see Grendel is more intelligent and grows out of his monstrous ways into more of a human being. Regardless of all the terrible tragedies he has committed, Grendel simply wants to be embraced by someone and live a meaningful life.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Grendel, By John Gardner Essay

- When a child is asked what a hero is, they often respond with saying that they’re a person who has powers and beats up bad guys. But then when asked what a ‘bad guy’ is, they say that it would be someone who hurts people. But then heroes and villains are the same. So the hero is described by perspective. A villain might commit horrible acts yet still think that he is a hero who is helping a city. In John Gardner, author of Grendel, plays with the gray area between a hero and a villain throughout his novel, provoking ideas about what the essence of a hero is....   [tags: Meaning of life, Beowulf, Nihilism, Hroðgar]

Strong Essays
1715 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of John Gardner 's Grendel

- As children, we were taught that good and evil were black and white terms. The fairy tales that our parents would read to us have conditioned us to believe that characters such as the princess in distress or the prince in shining armour were nothing but friendly and good, while the troll guarding his own bridge or the fire-breathing dragon were the most frighteningly evil creatures of all. However, as we grew up, we learned that these distinctions are never so easily black and white, but more-so different shades of grey....   [tags: Good and evil, God, Evil, Beowulf]

Strong Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of ' The Novel ' Grendel ' By John Gardner Essay

- Curiosity Kills Various people know that “curiosity killed the cat” but that is not the initial statement. In 1598, during Every Man in His Humour by English playwright Ben Jonson, the expression was first known as “care’ll kill a cat” (1). This phrase doesn’t implicate care as to nurture or tend to, but rather worry or sorrow. The remark “curiosity killed the cat” is commonly used when one wants another to stop asking nonessential questions. Much like the cat in the play, the 1971 novel Grendel by John Gardner, also holds a beast curious about his life and surroundings....   [tags: Human, Meaning of life, Life, Question]

Strong Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Bravery and Character Flaws Exposed in Beowulf and Grendel

- The various adaptations of the Beowulf legend provide a form of courageousness. The following are sources concerning the Beowulf myth: Grendel, a novel by John Gardner, and Beowulf and Grendel, a film directed by Sturla Gunnarson. These pieces contain acts of genuine bravery, but they also depict instances where lack of courage is shown. The prevalence of bravery juxtaposed with cowardice within the novel and the film suggests that acts of heroism are situational and dependent upon one’s exhibited characteristics at any given occasion....   [tags: Beowulf, Grendel]

Strong Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

John Gardner´s Grendel: An Epic Struggle Between Good and Evil Essay

- Part of the development of a human being involves acquiring the ability to classify good and evil as well as distinguishing right from wrong. It has become an inherent trait that is invariably used in our everyday lives. In John Gardner’s novel, Grendel, the main character, Grendel, seeks to find the meaning of life. Through his journey, a depiction of the forces of good and evil is revealed. Aside from being a novel about the search for the meaning of life, Grendel also suggest society’s good and evil have a meaningful and imbalanced relationship where good prevails evil yet facing evil is still critical....   [tags: life, journey, relationship, good, evil]

Strong Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Grendel Essay

- In 1971, American author John Gardner wrote Grendel. With a mastermind of creativity, John Gardner successfully retells the classic epic poem, Beowulf. He captures the reader by giving an interesting view of order and chaos, good and evil, hero and monster, allowing the monsters point of view to be seen. On July 21, 1933 John Gardner was born in Batavia, New York. He was the son of a preacher and diary, and his mother taught English. They were very fond of Shakespeare and loved to recite literature....   [tags: Literary Analysis, John Garner]

Strong Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Beowulf’s Loyalty Epitomizes the Anglo-Saxon Culture Essay

- Introduction: Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that was set in Scandinavia and it consist of more than 3000 lines. It is known for being one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature and has no known author. There is also a computer-animated movie of the same name directed by Robert Zemeckis which with the cast of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich and Angelina Jolie. The movie and epic were similar in a number of ways however the movie detracts from the original essence of the Anglo Saxon text....   [tags: epic poetry, Grendel, John Gardner]

Strong Essays
1940 words (5.5 pages)

Analysis Of Grendel And Beowulf Essay

- Point of View in Grendel and Beowulf Contrasting points of view in Grendel and Beowulf significantly alter the reader’s perception of religion, good and evil, and the character Grendel. John Gardner’s book, Grendel, is written in first person. The book translated by Burton Raffel, Beowulf, is written in third person. Good and evil is one of the main conflicts in the poem Beowulf. How is Grendel affected by the concepts of good and evil. Grendel is an alienated individual who just wants to be a part of something....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Existentialism In Grendel

- Existentialism In Grendel The debate between existentialism and the rest of the world is a fierce, albeit recent one. Before the "dawn of science" and the Age Of Reason, it was universally accepted that there were such things as gods, right and wrong, and heroism. However, with the developing interest in science and the mechanization of the universe near the end of the Renaissance, the need for a God was essentially removed, and humankind was left to reconsider the origin of meaning. John Gardner’s intelligently written Grendel is a commentary on the merits and flaws of both types of worldview: the existentialist "meaning-free" universe, and the heroic universe, where every action is...   [tags: essays papers]

Strong Essays
1611 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Satire in John Gardner's Grendel

- Satire in Grendel "The state is an organization of violence, a monopoly in what it is pleased to call legitimate violence (Gardner, 119)." This excerpt from John Gardner's Grendel shows one of the many issues he deals with in his satire of man, and that is the issue of the use of violence in society. Gardner shows this throughout the book, but most prominently in chapter eight, in which we learn of the arrival of Hrothulf, Hrothgar's nephew, at Herot. Hrothgar recognizes the evil in Hrothgar's kingdom....   [tags: John Gardner Grendel ]

Strong Essays
613 words (1.8 pages)