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Word Count: 752
The first part of this essay refers to the Novel Grendel by John Gardner the latter delves into Nihilism in the real world and then combines the two For those that dont know Grendel was the monster in Beowolf One of the most prominent themes in the novel Grendel by John Gardner is whether or not virtues such as faith love truth and justice actually exist or if they are simply illusions Baby Grendel that is Grendel before he becomes jaded and hardened by his experiences with men and the dragon believes in these virtues On the other hand the dragon who is portrayed as possessing infinite wisdom to the extent that he can see the future rejects this argument He believes that men contrive these principles they do not exist they are simply false human conventions His is a philosophy of nihilism I believe that for the most part the above feelings and principles do exist in men they are inherent Life both in and outside of Gardners novel provides many examples of this When Grendel begins in the world he is fully aware of his darker side however there is another softer side to Grendel A side that embraces the false conventions of men Throughout the book this side of him argues with his other cold and logical side When the shaper plays his songs though Grendel knows the words to be mostly false he is filled with awe and wonder This joy which ironically is agonizing for the monster is real Grendel does feel it Later when he attacks the meadhall in his plan to abduct Wealthow he suddenly stops experiencing a feeling that he cant describe- love He sees Wealthows beauty and her goodness and he realizes that he loves her While Grendels nihilistic other self immediately pushes the feeling away logically downplays it it was real it did exist and Grendel felt it Ironically in the real
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