Grendel Good vs.s Evil

Essay by bitemebbyHigh School, 12th gradeB-, March 2009

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Grendel written by John Gardner gives the reader a new perspective on Grendel. It is told from his point of view and the reader is able to see Grendel’s thoughts and feelings, through his thoughts and feelingsGrendel, no matter how he may despise himself or seek to change, can be seen as representing the forces of evil. In the novel Beowulf, Grendel is seen as evil. In the novel Grendel the reader is able to see the many sides of Grendel’s character. However, in both novels the towns’ people see Grendel as the embodiment of all that is evil and dark. He is a descendant of Cain, and much like Cain he is an outcast of society. He is always outside looking in; he is doomed to roam in the shadows. He is an outside threat to the order of society and all that is good.

Grendel's first encounter with mankind is not a pleasant one. After accidentally trapping himself in a tree he is discovered by a group of thanes out on patrol. Grendel expresses absolutely no hostile intentions towards these "ridiculous" creatures that "moved by clicks." (page.24) the thanes do not understand what Grendel is and are very uneasy about the whole situation. Like animals they are frightened of anything that is different from what they are used to. When Grendel attempts to communicate they show their ignorance and simple-mindedness. Instead of taking the time to understand the abnormal creature in their world they panic and decide to destroy it. This Interaction shows that Grendel is not evil by nature because during their first encounter he does' not attack or behave in a violent manner. Grendel expressed a longing to be a part of their society and be able to socialize. If...