Grendel and Frankenstein’s creature are two monsters whose society ignores their emotions and finds them to be burdensome to based on the mere fact that they are not like the rest of their surroundings. Grendel and Frankenstein’s creature both strive to accept their place in the views of their surrounding peoples. Although their sporadic happiness comes from them engaging in fights and killing members of their societies, they learn to accept their place within the societies by coping with their ability to stay loyal to themselves and to fight back with self-devotion.
Grendel, surprisingly, adapts quite well to his society despite its detestation of his existence. Frankenstein’s Creature though is deeply wounded emotionally by the things he hears from Dr. Frankenstein himself.
The monsters in these works are only monsters because they are suppressed by the mob mentality.It seems that a common theme among the novels in which the two are associated with is heroism. Heroism is different in everyone’s views depending on society, the place, the time period, and factors that affected their upbringing.
Both Frankenstein and Grendel have qualities that constitute that of a hero. The definition of a hero differs between the time of Grendel’s existence and the time of Frankenstein’s existence are rather different and unique to the character, but the mobs in the respective novels do not allow them to fully develop into their full potentials as heroes. A hero is someone who protects and earns glory for themselves and for those he represents. Grendel and Frankenstein both exhibit these qualities. It is more like an upheaval for two beings, both uncared for and detested by their people, to reveal such redeeming qualities.Grendel, although he does more harm than good to his community, his persona is what categorizes him as a hero. “The incitement to violence depends upon total transvaluation of the ordinary values.
By a single stroke, the most criminal acts may be converted to heroic and meritorious deeds”(117). He is more like a hero to himself. Grendel’s manner in he handling situations shows great intellect, and the way he fights and doesn’t back down, shows true signs of a hero. Grendel never boasts about his power and his bravery, he merely uses it to fight for himself in a society that rejects his being. A similar way is for Frankenstein; the creature uses his attributes to help himself and at times try to connect with others because he yearns for a bond. The epic poem, Beowulf, also mentions that despite his strength and magnitude, Grendel is not comparable to the devil despite his truly evil ideas, “So times were pleasant for the people there until finally one, a fiend out of hell, began to work his evil in the world.”(99-101) It is made clear that he has no other choice but to be this way, and there must be an evil force in all societies to distinguish the heroes from the cowardly thanes.
Once again the mob affects something in a negative way that cannot be reversed. “If you withdraw, you’ll instantly be replaced. Brute existence, you know, are a dime a dozen.”(73) The dragon is explaining that even if Grendel decides to, or even wants to, change his life and never kill another man, nothing will change. Man will be forced to find a new monster to wage war against, for good cannot exists without some evil.
“The world resists me and I resist the world,” I said. “That’s all there is. The mountains are what I define them as.
” Ah, the monstrous stupidity of childhood, unreasonable hope…The fire in my mother’s eyes brightens and she reaches out as if some current is tearing us apart. “The world is all pointless accident,” I say. Shouting now, my fists clenched.
“I exist, nothing else.” (28) Beowulf also hints at this by referring to Beowulf’s first battle with the nicors in his childhood swimming race against Breca. These part of the epic poem Beowulf alludes to the darkly twisted way humanity is for our lack of sympathy towards things that are different from us.The monster, in the novel Frankenstein, is hated by every person he encounters.
Frankenstein calls his creation a horrible disaster, “I beheld the wretch — the miserable monster whom I had created.” (Volume 1, Chapter 5), which leaves a mark on the monster.Note that in the one brief moment shared between the creator and the created before Frankenstein flees, the monster smiles at him. This gives credibility that Frankenstein was prejudiced against the monster from the moment that he created him, and shunned him where he might otherwise have raised him to be a reasonably well-adapted creature. The creator leaves him for dead and shows little to no sympathy for the abomination that he spent so long to create. The monster had to learn things by himself like the effects of fire and hunger; The creature had to observe what he could of the world and the hatred that was shown to him and mold himself, “You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to have a knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in the detail which he gave you of them, he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured, wasting in impotent passions.
“(Chapter 7) Dr. Frankenstein abandoned the only thing that depended solely on him for that it is the Doctor that should be considered the monster. Heroism is something very evident in the works of Grendel, Beowulf, and Frankenstein. Though the difference is the perspective in which you see them through- you could see Beowulf as the hero or Grendel. You could consider Dr.
Frankenstein a hero of science or the creature for making his way through life alone. Though the hero may not be completely evident to all; the evil is true for all these literature works… humanity. The molds that all of the characters were forced into is something of evil.