Grendel Character Analysis Essay

Words: 1372
Pages: 6

What made Grendel the way he was? Why was he devoted to “being the monster”? Sometimes certain pivotal moments occur in ones life that changes everything they ever knew, puts life into a different perspective, and makes the person, or thing, who they are in the present. In the book Grendel, by John Gardner, the pivotal event in which the protagonist, Grendel, comes of age and forms an identity is when he meets the dragon, a beast even more terrifying than him.
Before the his interaction with the dragon, Grendel is completely alone and completely lost. With no guidance and a beastly mother (figuratively and literally), Grendel wanders the world with no direction. He finds the human world, is fascinated by their interesting yet similar ways, and is once again left completely alone when they interpret him as a beast; a monster. He is only a child at this point, and in his most vulnerable state, curiosity turns to hatred through jealousy and angrier of neglect. He has no happiness; no meaning to life. This complete and utter lostness results in the ever growing feeling of hopelessness and sorrow. This is Grendel’s youth. He is not mature, he has not yet found he purpose or the meaning to his life. He is waiting for the thing that makes life matter and worth living to be dropped in front
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The book seems to be divided into three sections; first his child hood building the intensity before meeting the Dragon, then his actual interaction with the Dragon, and then all things that follow, which can inevitably be traced back to the purpose the Dragon gave him. Grendel is a coming of age book, and seeing as though the book seems to revolve around that one event in regards to purpose, it is fair to say that the moment in which Grendel, the protagonist, went from youth to maturity was the moment he was told what to