In the novel “Grendel,” by John Gardner, the main character Grendel encounters two other characters who greatly influence his view about the world around him. One of which is “The Sharper” and the other is “the dragon. ” They both influence Grendels views on life in a unique ways especially since he looks at his life as isolation due to his communication. The “Dragon,” is an interesting and intelligent character who claims to know everything. He’s a huge, red/golden dragon that lives in a cave filled with gold and gems. The dragon sees the world as a meaningless place which wore ff onto Grendel after their encounter.
When Grendel arrived at the cave, the dragon was waiting for him and took full advantage of Grendels fear of him. On page 58 the dragon said, “Ah Grendel. YouVe come! ” This shows the dragon was waiting for his arrival. They were talking about the Shaper and such. However, after this encounter with the dragon, Grendel sees the world as a meaningless place. The dragon influenced Grendels overall looks on life by pushing him even more towards isolation. The other character that influences how Grendel views his life of isolation is known s the “Sharper. The Sharper represents the power of art and imagination to the people he tells his tails too. His positive attitude and spirits lifted Grendel up and brought hope into his life. The author gave such an important character very little characterization. Grendel is a very unique character that you need to take time to understand his full character. He views his life as isolation because of his relationships with humans and the way he reacts to others. He lacks communication because every time he tries to interact with humans, it ends in frustration and isappointment.
Unfortunately most of the time he finds himself trapped in a state of mind where it’s a one-way communication or talking to things such as the sky and gets no response. Even his own mother is unable to communicate with him. On page 56, it says “She whimpered one sound: Dool-dool! Dool-dool! ” And the hardest part is that Grendel and humans share a common language however the humans disgust and fear of him overrule all of that. Grendel is Just a character who you truly have to have your eyes and ears open to understand him.