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Diction in Grendel.

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Michael Waller 8/26/03 Grendel #2 Diction in Grendel In Grendel, John Gardner uses a dark pessimistic tone and menacing diction to examine the world of the monster, Grendel. In addition, Grendel is written in first person point of view, which enables introspection on Grendel's feelings. Gardner's diction clearly illustrates Grendel's frustrations and unhappiness toward the world. Grendel bawled, "Mama! Waa! Waa! I bellowed to the sky, the forest, the cliff, until I was weak from loss of blood." Grendel often expressed his pessimistic views about the world in general, "I seemed to see the whole world even the sun and sky decomposing." In addition, after Grendel meets the bull he laments over his solitude, "I understood that, finally and absolutely I alone exist." ...read more.


The imagery used in the description facilitates the image of the initially puerile Grendel. The author uses figurative language to create a lucid image of the dark surroundings. As Grendel is trapped he notices, "A black rock balanced at the edge of the cliff, a dead tree casting a long-armed shadow." Additionally Grendel says, "I lie there resting in the steaming grass, the old lake hissing and gurgling behind me, whispering patterns of words my sanity resist." Grendel is feeling lonesome and his desperation is conveyed through the somber word choices. Gardner's specific diction not only featured Grendel, but also included the dragon. His physical image is so vividly described, "Vast, red-golden, huge tail coiled, limbs sprawled over his treasure-hoard, eyes nor firey but cold as the memory family deaths. ...read more.


For example, in the scene in which the goat insists on climbing towards Grendel's cave, despite Grendel's attempts to prevent the its course, Gardner accentuates Grendel's lack of enthusiasm for living through this horrid depiction. Grendel's association with darkness and evil was apparent through his everyday activities. He was continually in the presence of with darkness. Opposed to simply moving around, Grendel "lurked", "slinked", and "haunted". His preying upon victims while they were unknowing and asleep corroborated this gloomy diction. Furthermore, after the night's rampage, he returned to his "lair", suggesting that Grendel was a wild animal. His monster-like qualities and actions contributed to his constant association with evil. Through his cynical diction and enlightening point of view, Gardner successfully illustrates Grendel's nature and his decline. John Gardner's tone is dark, which conveys Grendel's pessimistic outlook of the world. ...read more.

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