Essay on English: Thought and Grendel Evil John

Submitted By mjmtigers
Words: 785
Pages: 4

Michael Mayeaux
Mrs. Harris
Eng. IV (H)
7/12/14
Is Grendel Evil John Gardner’s novel Grendel gives the reader a different perspective of Grendel. The reader gets a first person view of Grendel, so the reader gets to ride along and really gets to be in Grendel’s shoes. Now one of the big questions about the novel is, Is Grendel Evil? In the book Beowulf we see that Grendel is just a scary and weird monster that the reader feels right about what the protagonist does to Grendel, due to the fact that Grendel is a “Monster”. But that is only in the eyes of the men and protagonist in Beowulf. The book Grendel enlightens the reader with a different view, Grendel’s view. In the view of Grendel the reader gets to see the first interaction of Grendel and the humans. Grendel traps himself in a tree on accident and some thanes walk up and see him. Grendel does not show or express and hostile or any action to attacking the men, but describe the men as “ridiculous” (ch.2, pp. 24). The thanes do not understand what Grendel is and are uncomfortable with Grendel. The thanes have the same thought that almost all people have, “that thing is a monster and we better kill it, because it is scary and different then us.” But the thanes did not give Grendel a chance to inform or describe himself to the men. This is like when you’re walking in the woods and you see a black runner (snake). The black runner is a harmless snake and is known to not attack humans, but you’re human instincts kick in and all of these thoughts come flying into your head. Then all of a sudden you’re scarred to death and you have this unnatural feeling of survivor mode and that your life is threaten. So you say to yourself, “I have to act before he does, because he might hurt me.” Without the view of Grendel, the reader would agree with what the men did to Grendel, due to the fact that Grendel is a “Monster”. The reader also sees another time when Grendel could have killed a group of men, but chose not to. This premature attack happened by some drunken men who misunderstand what Grendel was saying, “Mercy! Peace!” (ch.4 pp.50). Instead of killing the men, which would have been very easy for Grendel, he runs away in the dark of the night. This action by the men, Grendel is seen as the victim and the men are the “beasts or monster”. One could say that the reader feels sympathy for Grendel. Grendel was abused and viewed the wrong way. Grendel never got a chance to explain himself to the men and others. People just saw him as different and due to that Grendel was different and not the same as others, Grendel was bashed and hated. The way one would have sympathy for Grendel is due…