Grendel In American Society In today's society, the evil that is represented by the monster Grendel, is seen through the actions of people, when they display hatred and anger in the forms of terrorism, and racism. Though there is no real monster to terrorize the people of our society, the real evils prove themselves to be much more real and terrifying to the victims which they consume, and to the people directly effected by their actions.
In the novel Grendel, by John Gardner, Hrothgar and his people are terrorized by an evil monster named the Grendel. Though the Grendel did indeed kill and many of Hrothgar's people, it seems to me, that they brought this horror upon themselves. Early in his life, the Grendel did not despise or wish to kill humans at all. He wished in fact to become friends with them, at one point in the novel, he walked into their mead hall, and begged them to accept him.
Though he meant no harm to them, the people in the mead hall judged him by his fearsome appearance, and instantly attacked him. He saw this, and how they never could accept him because of what he was, and it enraged him. The same thing happens in our society today. People judge and reject and hate others merely because of their appearance, and this usually leads to violence on both sides of the conflict. If Hrothgars men could have killed Grendel for what he was, then they surely would have. Grendel merely reflected the hatred that was shown to him back up the people that hated him. He did no more or less than they would have done if they had had the power.
In the novel, Grendel also wished to harm Hrothgar, and decided to do this by killing his people, knowing that Hrothgar could do nothing but watch. Hrothgar was forced to live in fear and anguish, living from day to day, wondering when the next attack would come. The same thing happened less than a week ago in New York, when terrorist attacks killed thousands of innocent American victims.
Grendel wished to destroy the image of Hrothgar, much in the same way that the terrorists wish to destroy the image that America represents. Hrothgar was the most powerful human in the land, and America is the most powerful nation, and with power comes the envy and hatred of others. The terrorists knew that they could not destroy America, but they wanted to pick at what it stands for, and make it question how powerful it really was. Grendel in much the same way, made Hrothgar realize his own true weakness, and his powerlessness to stop the horrible attacks that plagued his people.
In society today, hatred and racism both play their roll in bringing out the very worst in people. In the novel, the Grendel was forced into a life which caused him to terrorize Hrothgar and his men because he could be nothing else. To Hrothgar and his people, Grendel was a monster, and they hated him for that, not knowing that he only wished for their acceptance. Had they looked past his physical appearance, and showed him kindness, Grendel would not have attacked and killed any of the innocent people. Their hatred was answered with Grendels. If learned to look past physical appearance as a society, I think that kindness would prevail, and many innocent lives would be spared as a result of it.