"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. He discusses the problems of the government with an old man known as "Red Horse". The point made in the opening quote is that "Men's violence is chained to good (i.e., to the king): legitimate force that chops off the bread-thief's neck and wipes its axe. Death by the book (Gardner, 114)." This means that the government punishes civilian violence, as well as other crimes, by using the same violence it has prohibited, but viewing it as "legitimate" violence. Hrothulf states that "by violence they lock us in - you and me, old man: subdue our vile, unkingly violence (Gardn...
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- T.S. Eliot, a poet, playwright, and literary critic, once stated, “People exercise an unconscious selection in being influenced.” Naturally, every experience people have and every person they meet leaves an impact on their lives. Whether positive or negative, outside influences can alter the way one thinks, acts, and even views the world. In John Gardner’s novel, Grendel, Grendel encounters numerous characters who play vital roles in the shaping and development of his overall persona. Though much of Grendel’s time was spent in his cave or spying in the woods, what minimal public contact he actually shared spurred major lasting impressions.... [tags: Life, Meaning of life, John Gardner]
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- In both works, Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel himself is generally given the same connotations. He is given kennings, called names, referred to as the evil spawn of Cain, and even viewed as a monster; but why. Why in both books is he a wicked, horrible, person who is harshly excluded from everyone. After stumbling upon John Gardner's book, it was halfway expected that some excuse would be made for Grendel; that he wasn't really the inexorable monster the thanes in Beowulf portrayed him as. But all it really did was make him worse.... [tags: John Gardner Beowulf]
740 words (2.1 pages)
- John Gardner’s Grendel is the retelling of the heroic epic poem Beowulf; however, the viewpoint has shifted. Grendel is told from the viewpoint of one of Beowulf’s antagonists and the titular character of Gardner’s work—Grendel. In Grendel, Gardner humanizes Grendel by emphasizing parallels between Grendel’s life and human life. Through Gardner’s reflection of human feelings, human development, and human flaws in Grendel, this seemingly antagonistic, monstrous character becomes understood and made “human.” Grendel exhibits human feelings and characteristics in many ways.... [tags: Humanization, Grendel, John Gardner, ]
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- John Gardner's Grendel as Hero. "'I cry, and hug myself, and laugh, letting out salt tears, he he. till I fall down gasping and sobbing."1 With these words the reader is introduced to the "hero" of Gardner's Grendel, and the mood is set for the coming pages. How is one to interpret this ambiguous, melodramatic narrator, whose phrases mix seemingly heartfelt emotional outbursts with witty (if cynical) observations, and ideological musings with ironic commentaries. Perhaps this is what makes Grendel such an extremely engaging narrator.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
2002 words (5.7 pages)
- Most authors, occasionally uses their characters to guide their personal views they want to emphasize to their audience. In the novel, Grendel written by John Gardner, Gardner uses Grendel as an agent to portray his perspective of the evil and corrupt world of humans and their place in the universe. Gardner not only uses Grendel as a vehicle, but also uses the Dragon as another source to express his opinions of people in the world. Gardner can be considered as an isolated human being, who is kept away from the affection of others; Grendel and Gardner can be closely related due to the fact that Gardner is embodied as Grendel in a more dimensional aspect.... [tags: evil, corrupt, dragon, text]
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- 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]
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- John Gardner's Grendel and the Greater Power Many of the characters in Grendel have direction and purpose in their lives. Wealtheow is self- sacrificing, and Hrothgar is out for personal glory. Unferth and Beowulf spend their lives trying to become great heroes so that their names may outlast their flesh. The dragon believed in nihilism, and the Shaper used his imagination to create something to believe in. Some of the characters’ philosophies may not have been commendable, but Grendel could not find any direction or purpose for his life whatsoever.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
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- The Meaningless Life of Grendel in John Gardner's novel, Grendel "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive...." Joseph Campbell made this comment on the search for meaning common to every man's life. His statement implies that what we seem bent on finding is that higher spark for which we would all be willing to live or die; we look for some key equation through which we might tie all of the experiences of our life and feel the satisfaction of action toward a goal, rather than the emptiness which sometimes consumes the activities of our existence.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
2577 words (7.4 pages)
- John Gardner's Grendel The archeologist's eyes combine the view of the telescope and the view of the microscope. He reconstructs the very distant with the help of the very small. - Thornton Wilder These words, uttered by Thornton Wilder regarding his play Our Town express the antithesis of nihilism, a philosophy which stresses the lack of objective truth. Nihilism, as well as existentialism and a host of other philosophies are boldly explored in Grendel, a novel by John Gardner.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
843 words (2.4 pages)
- Good vs. Evil in John Gardner's Grendel John Gardner's novel Grendel gives the reader a new perspective on the classic "good vs. Evil" plot. From the start of the book the reader can tell that there is something very unique about the narrator. It is evident that the narrator is a very observant being that can express himself in a very poetic manner. The story is one the reader has most likely seen before, the battle between the glorious thanes and the "evil" beast.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
879 words (2.5 pages)