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Grendel Essay | Critical Essay #3

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Critical Essay #3

In the following excerpt, Stromme examines how Gardner uses each chapter of Grendel to illustrate a different philosophical principle. The critic suggests that the circular nature of the novel's astrological motif is mirrored in Grendel's philosophical experience, as he travels from believing that only he exists to accepting that all external things he experiences also exist.

In an interview [in The New Fiction by Joe David Bellamy, 1974] John Gardner says of Grendel that he "wanted to go through the main ideas of Western Civilization .. and go through them in the voice of the monster, with the story already taken care of, with the various philosophical attitudes (though with Sartre in particular), and see what I could do." Gardner goes even further to explain the organization of the novel: "It's got twelve chapters. They're all hooked up to astrological signs, for instance, and that gives you nice easy clues...

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This section contains 3,978 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Grendel Study Guide
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Grendel from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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