Analysis Of ' Grendel 's ' The Dragon ' Essays

835 Words Feb 17th, 2015 4 Pages
In Grendel, John Gardner delves into the purpose of existence. Grendel 's role in the universe causes him continuous psychological turmoil. The Dragon symbolizes Grendel 's subconscious and confronts all the doubts he has about the universe. Gardner utilizes the Dragon to convey the consequences of having a negative perspective of the reason for existence. The purpose of life is driven by one 's character, what one focuses on, and where one is headed. Despite the Dragon 's omniscience, he leads Grendel in the wrong direction. The Dragon 's advice to Grendel is to conform to society 's view of him, collect money, and that life is ultimately meaningless. Through the Dragon, Gardner confronts issues such as identity, materialism, and the fate of the universe. The Dragon shifts Grendel 's character from an optimistic creature trying to relate to the world to a self-loathing monster who adheres to his vicious role in society. Psychologically, the mind creates an identity based on the opinion of others. Gardner addresses this with the Dragon 's bleak advice for Grendel, which instigates an internal change. By comparing Grendel to himself, "Now you know how they feel when they see you, eh? Scared enough to pee in their pants!" the Dragon destroys Grendel 's self-image (59). Grendel now believes that his appearance stunts his ability to befriend the Danes, and as the two converse, Grendel 's hopes for a relationship with the Danes continuously decreases. When the Dragon…

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