Throughout time people have wished to understand what animals want and to understand what they are saying. In Grendel, by John Gardner, the humans had the opportunity to understand the monster Grendel, but wouldn”t give him a chance because he was different. The humans just assumed Grendel was driven by animal instinct, and because of this, they shunned him. What they didn”t realize about Grendel was the fact that he thought the same as them and went through all the emotions they did. Grendel is more human than animal because he thinks and shows emotions on the same level as humans.Order now
The biggest thing that separated Grendel from the rest of the animals was the fact that he tried to apply reason to everything. All of the animals were stupid and didn”t really study anything. They all just acted based on hormones and instinct. This was evident when Grendel was trapped in a tree stump and was facing a charging bull. The bull could have easily killed Grendel had it thought of where to strike, but instead “he fought by instinct, blind mechanism ages old. He”d have fought the same way against an earthquake or an eagle.
The bull would strike the same place over and over and all Grendel had to do was move his leg to avoid injury. Grendel knew the bull was no danger to him and was able to relax and even sleep while the bull was charging. Most of the animals in that situation would have continually struggled to break free of the tree even after the bull missed them multiple times. Grendel thought through everything and tried to truly understand why things were the way they were, and why people acted in the strange ways they did.
He even tried to reason through why he was attracted to the Queen Wealtheow. He treated her more as a mathematical equation than he treated her as a person. He described her as “Not easy to define. Mathematically, perhaps a torus, loosely cylindrical, with swellings and constrictions at intervals- This kind of made Grendel more human than most humans were. When a human is attracted to another they normally just accept it as natural, natural instinct. Grendel became attracted to Wealtheow and his reasoning came in over his instinct.
Another thing that made Grendel more human than animal was the fact that he needed to do things to keep himself from getting bored. The animals in the book, as usual, acted on instinct and this drove them throughout the day. They never thought, so they never realized they weren”t really accomplishing anything, and never realized that they should be bored. Grendel on the other hand needed to constantly do something to amuse himself. He spied on the people and when that wasn”t enough he interacted with them.
At one point, Grendel becomes bored with constantly coming and eating the humans, that when one keeps attacking him, Grendel keeps him alive just to have fun with him. The person that constantly tried to attack Grendel was named Unferth, and he was trying to make a name for himself. Instead of eating Unferth, Grendel toys with him. The first time they met Grendel was throwing apples at him. “He lifted his sword to make a run at me, and I laughed-howled-and threw and apple at him.
He dogged, and then his mouth dropped open “Hey! ” he yelled. A forgivable lapse. And now I was raining apples at him and laughing myself weak. “. Grendel basically demonstrated human thought process. A cat will toy with a mouse before it eats it, but only a human will toy with something then not kill it. Grendel had no intention of killing Unferth. Grendel also had fun with the priest Ork when he decided to act like the God of destruction. ” “Is somebody here? ” he whimpers. “It is I. ” I say. “The destroyer. “”.
The final thing that makes Grendel more human than animal is the fact that he kills out of anger and not instinct. The only reasons animals try to kill things are because they need to eat or they are defending their young. Grendel also plays with a goat before he kills it, he stays away from it using weapons to kill it instead of his hands. Right before his death, Grendel is sitting on a mere when a goat climbs up towards him. At first he is amused by how stupid the goat is for climbing when he will really reach nothing at the top.
But as the goat gets closer Grendel becomes more and more annoyed, until he finally becomes so angry that he kills him. “I tip a boulder and let it fall thundering toward him I lay the tree sideways, wait for the goat to be in better range, then shove Death shakes his body the way high wind shakes trees. He climbs towards me. I snatch up a stone. “. By the time Grendel had picked up the final stone, the goat was already going to die, but Grendel kept at it because of his hate and anger directed at it, those two emotions are human and not animal.
Grendel is more of a person than an animal, because he has more human traits than animals. The trait that seems to draw him closer to being a human than any other, is his ability to hate. Animals don”t hate, because they act on instinct and not thought. The ability to think and reason like a human is also Grendel’s downfall. If Grendel had never thought about how similar he was to humans he would never have been involved with them. He would be running around mountains with goats and mounting trees with bulls, instead of being killed in a mead hall by Beowulf.