Grendel Chapter 9 Questions Q1. Why is snow a recurrent motif in this chapter and how does it relate to mysticism? Ans. Gardner presents snow as a recurrent idea because it related directly to mystic theories and ideals. Snow is one of the forms of water. Water’s archetypal meaning is knowledge. In the mystic world, falling snow is a metaphor for God’s way of trying to convey, with the tenderness and purity characteristic of snow, some knowledge to his people. In this case, the snow is God trying to warn Grendel about the inevitable danger to his life. The snow is also a sign of winter and coldness which parallels Grendel’s gloomy mindset at this point as he is troubled by this foreboding atmosphere. Snow is typically mentioned when Grendel is observing the gods or priests, as further evidence of the relationship between God and snow. Towards the end of the chapter the snow is “whispering” to Grendel, paralleling the action of perhaps a mystic god’s endeavor to convey a message (137).
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