Analysis Of ' Grendel ' By Jean Paul Sartre Essay example

1135 Words Oct 7th, 2014 5 Pages
“Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance” (Sartre). These grim words are spoken by Jean-Paul Sartre, a French philosopher, who was a major figure in the study of existentialism. This term describes the philosophy that one is born without a purpose and the individual has to find purpose in their own lives by themselves. Much like Sartre, John Gardner’s protagonist from the novel Grendel is an existentialist that evolves into a beast with cynical, nihilistic, and sarcastic points of view. He has faced different truths and turmoil that have caused him to have this outlook on life. Because of the many events in his life, he has developed these blunt and mostly negative perspectives of the world around him. Cynicism is the belief that human actions are completely self-motivated and that people do things just for personal gain; accordingly, through Grendel’s interactions with Hrothgar and his Thanes he has developed a cynical attitude. Also being a misanthrope, Grendel has had a major hatred of humanity since he was younger. In his youth, Grendel tries to become friends with humans but it only ends with him being attacked by Hrothgar’s men. His misanthropy goes hand-in-hand with his cynicism. He has seen them try to bring honor unto themselves in a desperate attempt to make their names live on throughout the rest of time. Living in a world centered on the glory driven culture of the Anglo-Saxons, Grendel has good reason to…

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