Global Issue Discussed in Chapter 1 of ‘Grendel’

 

In chapter one Gardner addresses the issue of racial discrimination. He reveals and emphasizes this idea in the paragraph where Grendel meets the doe and, despite the fact that Grendel has “never killed a deer in all his life”, the doe immediately runs away after it recollects its consciousness. This scene is a sarcasm towards the racial discrimination that is happening in our world nowadays, where Grendel was judged and labelled a “monster” simply by his appearance and identity. This judgement outlines the unfairness of how certain groups of people are being treated. Furthermore, Grendel, in this scene, had no harmful intention towards the doe even after he was repelled; all Grendel did was “bawl at the splintered sunlight” for the “blind prejudice” that acted upon him. The word “bawl” carries a connotation of helplessness, where Grendel craves for the acceptance and acts in the best way he could, but eventually receives nothing. This choice of word reveals how Gardner is sympathizing with the isolated race and wants to bring awareness to this issue. Moreover, Gardner highlights Grendel’s way of treating different species through the phrase, “but no more dislike than I feel for other natural things”. The author emphasizes the innocence of Grendel, in this case representing the innocence of the discriminated group. With the above description, Gardner’s concern towards the discriminated group is revealed.

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