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ch11 - himself when he realizes that order doesn’t exist...

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Saba Nafees 1B 13 th October, 2010 Grendel: Ch 11 Questions Q1. Why does Grendel say that “theology does not thrive in the world of action and reaction, change: it grows on calm, like the scum on a stagnant pool”(159)? Ans. As this chapter comprises of elements of all previous theories, here, Grendel is affected by Nietzsche’s philosophies. His theory of “God is dead”, implies that due to the rapid industrialization, secularization and technological advances of the Western world, society was isolating itself from God. Action and reaction mirror Newton’s laws which are the basis of all mechanics and technology. Q2. How is Grendel a consummate existentialist at this point in the novel? Ans. The idea of freedom (“Am I not free?”), possessedness (“my possessedness”), and existence (“I alone exist”) are all the core of existentialism. God (symbolized by the Shaper in this case) is dead. Now, finally, Grendel is able to give meaning to things
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Unformatted text preview: himself when he realizes that order doesn’t exist, “all order I’ve come to understand, is theoretical, unreal…”(157). Grendel is ultimately trapped in his determinism which ultimately leads to his isolation from God, other people and imagination. Q3. How does Sartre’s personal conflict with religion resemble the religion of Ork? Ans. According to Ork, the Great Destroyer would come and kill the evil beast. But, “now here were these foreigner upstarts unmasking religion”(159). The foreigners are the Geats who have come to save Hrothgar’s land by ultimately demolishing Grendel. This resembles Sartre’s personal life as in 1948 the Roman Catholic Church was vehemently against Marxism and had put Sartre’s works on the Index of Prohibited Books. Sartre, in this novel, is Beowulf because he is coming to defy Ork’s religion as in reality his works defied Christianity....
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