The Grinch Who Stole Herot Essay, Research Paper
Once upon a time many years ago there lived a monster in a cave. He was a hideous beast with green fur and yellow teeth. The townspeople feared him and would never approach his cave, he in turn would never venture out to the town for he new he was not wanted and didn t like the people much anyhow. There was one particular day of the year that he couldn t stand, and on this day he vowed to ruin the towsnfolk s fun, for if he could not have any, why should they. This story should sound somewhat familiar, it is the story of the Grinch, but it seems to have a lot in common with Beowulf, in specific Grendel. Both Characters were outcasts from society, symbolic of a displaced people, and even though Grendel is portrayed as an evil monster, he is not just a simple killer. His is a tale of loss, sorrow, resistance, and death, and has been seen in cultures throughout the centuries.
Grendel s tale of displacement stems back to the time of Adam and Eve and their children Cain and Able. When Cain killed Able, God banished him far from mankind . Grendel is a descendant of Cain, so he shares Cain s banishment. He is displaced not only from whatever land or wealth he would have if he were human but he is also displaced from God. It is this loss of human emotion that causes Grendel to destroy. Since he cannot approach the throne like other people, he chooses to try to destroy the throne, because he has no love for him . This is the main reason Grendel is a symbol of displaced peoples. After all, he is a direct descendent of the very first displaced people, Adam and Eve. Unlike Adam and Eve, Grendel is doomed to an eternity of banishment from God s light because of Cain s sin against his brother. Grendel is not only banished from God s light, but from the light in general. Throughout the text, references are made to Grendel as the walker in darkness . This kind of imagery further shows how displaced Grendel has become.
Grendels sorrow is derivative from his banishment from the light as well as his appearance as a monster. He is a bane to all those that live under Hrothgar’s rule. He is called the enemy of mankind and the people all hate him. He has been banished from the light, and now the people are going to banish him from all human contact. Like other misunderstood people in society, he has now been forced into the role of the outcast. He did not fit in so the people kicked him out. Think of him as the little ugly red headed, freckle faced kid in the third grade that you made fun of, or as Rudolf, who just like Grendel, did not look like everyone else, and therefore could not participate in the normal activities of the society. Grendel has been cheated out of one thing that God could not take away, and that was the joy of life. The text refers to him as a creature deprived of joy , and also refers to Grendel s dwelling as his joyless home . Where there is no joy, there is only sorrow.
Grendel s sorrow soon gives way to his rage, and just like any other person that has ever been displaced from a place they feel they belong, he chooses to fight. Grendel does not like the way that God has placed him in the world, and he chooses to resist the role that has been pre ordained to him.
Like other displaced peoples, he has nowhere that is a refuge to him, because he has been removed from his home, or in Grendel s case, the love of the Lord. Grendel did not accept his banishment without a fight. The reason behind Grendel s slaughter is not because he is a mindless beast, but because he is jealous over not being able to share in the Geat s feasting and celebrating under God s love. Grendel has been permanently kicked out of the light. And like any race that has lost its land or home, he fought back, if not to get back in the light, then to at least make sure no one else can enjoy it. Grendel can have no peace as long as he sees God s people celebrating and living in a way he will never be able to. That s why Grendel, driven by evil desire and swollen with rage , worked so hard at attempting to destroy Herot. In Grendel s mind, if he could deprive the Geats of their meadhall, which they loved so much, then they would be like him: a people with no home and with no joy.
Grendel was the first in a class of outsiders, he was one of the fellows that just didn t fit in, and was never given the opportunity to show his true worth, or at least share in the joy that surrounded him. Grendel s actions were more severe than the Grinch s, after all the Grinch only stole Christmas, Grendel would have killed it and all the little Who s. It is the reasons for his actions that were the same as the Grinch s. Grendel wanted to fit in, to have a place in the world, or at least be judged for his own actions not for those of his kinfolks. Grendel is a symbol of displaced people everywhere, people that tried to fight back to gain the place they deserved in the world, or at least an opportunity to prove themselves worthy of our friendship.