Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 13

The last couple of chapters of the book really make you question if Grendel has become more of an intellect than the humans themselves.  We have had the question throughout the book, who is Grendel? Why is there only one Grendel? and is grendel really a monster? or is he an animal like you, me, and every other living thing on this planet?  Grendel is all alone in a world that is out to get him.  The only living creature on this earth that actually cares for Grendel is his mother, and even she seems like she barely pays attention to him.  Grendel feels bad for animals when they die, he is learning a lot throughout the book.  Like when the bowman shoots the dear Grendel for some reason cant get over it.  Just like when he wanted to rip the Queen in half but all of the sudden he decided not too.  Even though he still has no problem killing the ordinary man of the time he is becoming more and more sane.  

Grendel encounters a goat near the edge of the cliff in one of these last chapters.  I don't remember if the goat walks off the cliff or just stands there but Grendel seems annoyed and wants the goat to move. I don't know if Grendel wants the goat to move in order to protect the goat from falling off the cliff or it is merely because Grendel is annoyed with the goat.  Grendel bumps into different animals throughout the book but it seems like the goat and the ram are persistent and are the most annoying to him.  Even though the bear is the animal that attacks him earlier in the book he is not too bothered by it.  I think he is used to fighting interactions.  He knows any other animal will fight him, but he is rattled when the goat and the ram stand still and do not approach him.  It seems like the goat can be representing jealousy that grendel has.  Maybe this goat is portrayed to be a beautiful creature so this makes Grendel upset because when he looks down at his own hands he knows he appeals to no one and there is no one out there for him.

The stranger at the end of the book pretends that he is sleeping only to trick Grendel in order to defeat him.  Grendel continuously is going on killing sprees in the mead hall  because he can.  He is not afraid of the humans like he use to be, maybe it's because of the dragon's charm which might not even be real in the first place.  Something has to be done about Grendel's killing sprees.  Unferth could not defeat the mighty beast so I believe that the king had to call in a favor from this random stranger.  Grendel is killing people while they are sleeping, than grabs the wrist of this stranger.  The stranger opens his eyes and grabs Grendel's arm with the tightest grip imaginable.  Grendel tries to convince himself that he is only human and he can easily be defeated but Grendel was no match.  I believe the author included the stranger having wings and fire breath in order to remind Grendel of the dragon.  The dragon has seen everything, and now Grendel is fighting a man with the same qualities of the dragon.  In order to defeat a beast you need to have a vision of everything, like this man might have.  The stranger rips Grendels arm off and Grendel knows he is going to die.  He looks down into pure darkness.  He is no more, and the world is no more, the world is nothing without Grendel and he realizes that everyone will die or slip up eventually.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 12

Grendel meets with the Dragon that he has mentioned several times throughout the book.  It seems as though the dragon was expecting Grendel.  There also seems to be a continuous thing happening throughout these chapters with Grendel.  He is about to attack the dragon, but then a second later he merely decides not too.  Later in these chapters he is about to kill the queen, he was so convinced that he was going to do it, but then again he merely decides not too.  The dragon explains to Grendel that he is so beyond the thought process of Grendel and the humans.  He sees the world for what it is and what it has been.  Grendel thinks he is a step above the humans, and wants to be more like the dragon, so he tries his best not to attack and kill like the humans normally would.

The dragon gives Grendel a charm, i'm not sure if this is a literal charm or a figurative charm but either way Grendel feels invincible.  He can walk into the mead hall and kill whoever the fuck he wants without any consequence.  A hero amongst the humans, known as Unferth challenges Grendel after he already killed several others in the mead hall.  Unferth tells Grendel that he will kill him, and to say hello to the people in Hell for him.  Grendel is laughing hysterically at this and easily damages Unferth.  The thing that I really got out of this chapter was that Grendel did not end up killing Unferth.  Grendel, as you can see is really becoming less and less of a monster, and more of a saint.  Unferth comes crawling into Grendels cave three days later and he protects Unferth from his mother, and then brings him back to the mead hall.  Why can Grendel easily kill the two guards at the door without a problem but not Unferth and the Queen?

Chapter 8 makes the reader question life and society.  Hrogarth is talking to the Prince about how the law is corrupt, and how the government is corrupt, a theory some still have to this day.  Hrogarth says that if there was any need to take down this government, him and his people would not have a problem in doing so.  I don't even think Grendel has this mindset, he is probably unaware of the law, because he has no regard for it.  He kills whoever he wants and doesn't have to worry about it.  But I would say the same goes for the humans.  They kill whomever they want as well and they do not seem to get in trouble, so is the government really a bother for them?  Does Grendel fit into the group of the childlike human, or is he more like the evolved dragon?  It's tough to say right now but eventually the answer will be uncovered.    

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 11

Reading the first four chapters of Grendel you can see that this book is like any other other book we have read throughout our Outsider class.  The only difference is in this book our character is a monster. Our main character, Grendel lives with his mom in a cave and has to deal with the creatures and the environment around him.  The most annoying and intimidating creatures around him are in fact humans.  Grendel describes humans as ruthless creatures that will stop at nothing to get what they want.  The brutally beat and kill animals, even their own horses.  You would think that distinguishing a monster from a man would be pretty simple, but in this book the author, John Gardner plays with your perceptions on monsters and makes the humans seem more like monsters than Grendel.

Grendel is a very deep character.  He describes his emotions like a normal matured human being.  Like he has progressed more than the cavemen like people around him.  At the end of the fourth chapter he describes a feeling of emptiness.  He sits in the cave in the pitch black while his mother is sleeping, he is alone in the dark and he feels secluded from society and his heart is tearing into pieces.  He says, "I made my mind a blank and fell, sank away like a stone through earth and sea, toward the dragon." (Pg. 56)  He describes his feelings throughout the book, how he feels about the ram in the beginning of the book, how he feels about the drunk humans, and how he feels about the creatures of the mead halls.

I greatly appreciate the way John Gardner writes this book.  Reading it from Grendels perspective makes you think he is an innocent human being and the things around him are evil, even though he is a monster killing other animals and people.  He talks about eating people, and this is how he survives.  Although he seems like a very innocent creature, and cannot do much harm to anyone or anything, he does.  Maybe eventually Grendel will become somewhat soft and have a respect for others.  Maybe he will stop killing and eating people, or maybe he will become even worse, who knows...