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...

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