Grendel

Grendel's Darkness 12th Grade

Smother light, and the world becomes perfect. The sun cedes no mercy; it shines upon everything and everyone, unflinchingly exposing the flaws of humanity. Night on the other hand does not judge; it does not discern the beautiful from the ugly, the corrupt from the pure. Grendel by John Gardner is a presentation of the dark, the misunderstood, and the ugly, speaking always for itself, urging empathy for its pain, and claiming some rightful place in the shaping of whatever is real. Or perhaps human.

Light in humanity corrupts reality, adopting evil as a false connotation for darkness, undeterred by the pain it causes. Artists, such as the Shaper, “stare strange-eyed at the mindless world and turn dry sticks to gold” (Gardner 48). They set the darkest of places ablaze, and enliven the inanimate. Instead of seeing the world in all its ugliness, they choose to morph it in their eyes to form a dazzling image, an illusion far from reality. As Grendel watches and listens to the shaper, he sees the lies and the corruption, and knows that “all he said was ridiculous, not light for their darkness but flattery, illusion, a vortex pulling them from sunlight to heat…” (Gardner 48). Grendel knows the light to be false, yet even he cannot...

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