John Gardner uses Grendel, anunsightlyand petulantmonster, and his experiences to convey deeper messages that correlate with the purpose and sustainability of life. Grendel is a very pessimistic creature who's tormentedby his environment and experiences. He views the world as a "mechanical chaos" that will cease to exist the moment he does. This creates his indifferent attitude to whatever the world holds. One day, that more or less changed when he came in contact with possibly worse creatures, men.
John Gardner then puts Grendel in many encounters with humans where he would takecoercive measures on them. Gardner builds up these situations in a way that you know somethingominousis going to happen --> death by slaughter. Heliterallybit the head off of one of Hrothgar's soldiers.
Is that his purpose? Because Grendel doesn't know yet who he is, that might be a message Gardner is trying to convey. Maybe our purpose of life is to seek our own identity. Who am I? How much control do I have over my own life? etc etc.
Yet, that isn't easy as we can see with Grendel. Grendel has grown up in such a dark and negative environment that is was quite inevitable for him to turn the same. His actions, which was brutally slaughtering people might've been his outlet of all that negativity. A massacre of Hrothgar's peoples results in a feeling of power and liberation for Grendel. After every slaughter, he gloatson the way back to his dark cave teemingwith just as dark creatures. Also, seeing and killing people stimulates him, thus wanting to continue doing it.
The message behind could be that your actions and decisions define who you are as a person/creature. Grendel's actions in this care could be considered brutal and immoral, yet he did it for a reason that he perceived as intentionally good. He made "us" define ourselves.
John Gardner has done a great job of layering his books and meanings I'm sure, yet I doubt whether or not I've completely understood them. John Gardner used a character and his experiences to convey deeper meaning and that's an interesting way to do so, for the character becomes more interesting while simultaneously conveying a deeper message.
Originality comes from outside sources. I don't believe that anyone in this world nowadays comes up with a new invention completely out of their own minds --> it's always connected to something else or based on something else that's already invented/created. In the world we live in today, creating something original and new is not amenial job. It takes a lot of difficulty and requires strenuous effort. But, basing things of something else and creating something original out of that, is ofcourse "original creation". As always, everything starts and remains with the mind.