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Word Count: 1,111
During the c750s the world was not at all like it is today The land was rugged and wild and the people were just as untamed as the world they lived in The kingdoms and people such as the ones portrayed in poems and stories like Beowulf and Grendel led barbaric lives where war was common death was like a brother and kingdoms came and went as easy as night and day In light of this one can still see vast similarities with what was and what is today mans never ending quest to understand life Gardner uses the character of the Shaper to metaphorically represent the aspects of life that man needs to bring meaning to their lives The book Grendel written by John Gardner is derived from the poem Beowulf only its point of view has changed Instead of seeing the story through the eyes of a human bystander we see it through the murderer the beast and the villain 1 The Shaper in this book is a character who is not understood entirely by Grendel yet who he admires greatly The Shaper according to Grendel tells lies This in part is true because the Shaper does stretch reality as well as with holds many truths to a story But he only does this to shield the ignorant people of the realities of their barbaric lives he redefines reality and makes people believe it Role 1 The Shaper like art is a reflection of the world through the eyes of its beholder As in art and literature the Shaper provides humans with an alternative reality 2 Gardner illustrates this mind control in his book Grendel falls prey to his stories and their warped realities early on I listened huddled in the darkness tormented mistrustful I knew them had watched them yet the things he said seemed trueGardner 47 Grendel like the humans had seen the ugly wars the death of the many young
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