English 101 Acousta-Mata
April 9th, 2013
In Grendel, by John Gardner, there is considerable some uneasy parts throughout the story, however, there are also moments of pleasure as well. The cause of these feelings happens with Grendel. As he changes from a semi-nice and almost kind creature to a very cruel monster that kills hope, we find ourselves feeling both happy and upset at the same time. In this element, lies a much superior principle than simply good writing and that principle helps the audience understand the significance of Human morals.
Happiness in the book comes mainly in realizing how much Grendel acts like a human being, and how much more normal he is than one would expect for an unkind monster. After seeing the deer in the beginning of the novel, Grendel points out why he kills cows instead of deer because they have more meat and are easier to catch. Although it's not necessarily a pleasant thinking, it's somewhat comforting to know that Grendel appears to kill for the practical benefits which is food and not purely for the sake of murder. This is no worse than humans do. He seems especially human-like when he listens to human music which is the Shaper's song. He cried and says that he was "filled with sorrow and tenderness" and that he was "torn apart by poetry". Another moment of happiness comes as he is talking to the dragon and expresses a sort of hopefulness and purpose. In protecting his purpose not to scare humans so much just for fun, Grendel says, "Why shouldn't one change one's ways, improve one's character?". In all the dragon's firmness that everything is worth nothing, Grendel refuses to trust the Dragon’s opinion. He even says, "Nevertheless, something will come of all this". His optimism makes the audience have a better liking to him.
At first, Grendel seems kind, and the reader is pleased with his character, he soon becomes more and more evil, and his actions bring about a feeling of nervousness. The killing of people for no apparent reason disgusted Grendel. However, when he brings Unferth home, he killed the two guards so he wouldn't be misunderstood. Later on, in my opinion the most troubling scene of the book, we see how meaningless killing has become to Grendel. He viciously attacks the queen and wanted to kill her. However, he chooses not to because he says, "It would be pointless, killing her. As meaningless as letting her live." Another scene that brings feelings of unease in the readers is when Grendel kills the goat in chapter 10. The goat's nature was to keep climbing which made Grendel extremely angry so he threw stones at him until he died. Grendel probably does this because he resents the goat like he resents humans. Grendel felt it was a reasonable purpose, but, it is still upsetting that he kills an innocent animal, something that he