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Grendel SOAPSTone Paper

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SOAPSTone Written Assessment
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SOAPSTone WRITTEN ASSESSMENT 2
SOAPSTone Written Assessment
Speaker
The selected text for this SOAPSTone Written Assessment is “Grendel” by John
Gardner. The author was an American essayist, novelist, university professor, and a literature
critic. Born in New York, Gardner’s place of origin, background, and upbringing played a
critical role in his composition of “Grendel.” According to Gardner (1990), Gardner’s parents
were fond of Shakespeare and would frequently recite his literature works together. Gardner
attended public school where her mother was a teacher. In 1945, Gardner lost his younger
brother to a tractor accident of which Gardner was the driver. The parents’ love for Shakespeare
alongside the flashbacks and nightmares following the sibling’s death informed Gardner's
criticism and fiction seen in his story, “Grendel.” The speaker uses the first person as he narrates,
conveying his inner insights and observations. Precisely, he recounts from another character's
point of view. In this narration, the author attempts to retain a spoof, mocking distance all
through the novel. Also, he uses present tense although he includes substantial flashbacks in
some chapters.
Occasion
The writing of “Grendel” was prompted by Gardner’s inspiration from “Beowul” and his
life’s experiences including the tragic loss of his younger brother in an accident. In the book,
Gardner retells a section of “Beowul” –an Old English poem –from Grendel’s perspective.
Grendel is one of the characters in “Beowul.” Gardner portrays him as an antihero. Arguably, the
Grendel’s fears replicate Gardner’s own inner emotions as he struggled to overcome his feelings
of guilt to find meaning in the world.
Even though the narrative of the novel gambols around chronologically, it is marbled
after the passage of one year. The author opens in the spring of Grendel’s last year of life and
finalizes his demise in the same year during winter. These seasons are critical having that every
season symbolizes particular archetypes or notions. The power of the imaginations and shaper’s
art turns Grendel’s world unbearable, causing Grendel to want what he believes to be an illusion.
He finds the heroic poems so stirring that he desires to be part of them even though it means he
has to be trapped in the villain hole. When he decides to start a war with Hrothgar, he proudly
regards himself as ‘Grendel. Ruiner of Meadhalls. Wrecker of Kings!” (Gardner 1990). He
resorts to the original Anglo-Saxon language of the poet of Beowulf even when he glorifies
himself. Besides, Grendel is influenced not only by tales he gets but also by tales that were
outside his involvement. The previous poem has great power over the novel world for the
occurrences of the classic poem Beowulf preset the Grendel occasions. In this novel, the storyline
of Beowulf works like the hand of fate. Before reading the first page of the novel, the audience
understands that Grendel has to necessarily face Beowulf and die at the hands of Beowulf
because the occasion is recorded already in the previous poem.
Audience
Gardner wrote Grendel late in his career. This book targets young and old human
audiences who enjoy reading and analyzing fictitious stories. For example, the story begins with
a fearsome monster (Grendel) living with his mother underground (Gardner, n.d.). As spring
unfolds, Grendel meets a ram, and exasperated at its stupidity, undertakes to scare the creature
away. This part is mainly fictitious but would be highly engaging and entertaining to young
readers. However, in the subsequent chapter, Gardner focuses on important themes, such as the
conflict between existentialist philosophy and traditional heroic ideals, that would be appealing
to adults.

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SOAPSTone Written Assessment Name Institution Affiliation Author’s Note Class Professor Date SOAPSTone WRITTEN ASSESSMENT 2 SOAPSTone Written Assessment Speaker The selected text for this SOAPSTone Written Assessment is “Grendel” by John Gardner. The author was an American essayist, novelist, university professor, and a literature critic. Born in New York, Gardner’s place of origin, background, and upbringing played a critical role in his composition of “Grendel.” According to Gardner (1990), Gardner’s parents were fond of Shakespeare and would frequently recite his literature works together. Gardner attended public school where her mother was a teacher. In 1945, Gardner lost his younger brother to a tractor accident of which Gardner was the driver. The parents’ love for Shakespeare alongside the flashbacks and nightmares following the sibling’s death informed Gar ...
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