Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Grendel the Existentialist Monster :: Grendel Essays

Grendel the existential philosopher Monster   The monster Grendel is the ironic eye through which the action is viewed and from this sight he provides the lecturer with never-ending examples of buffoonery and self-parody. Often his claims reveal the Sartrean chemical element in his makeup I create the whole universe, blink by blink(Gardner 22). Gardner,of course,wants to make a point here about solipsism. in that location is more to the markive world than Grendels ego. Naturally the universe still exists when Grendel closes his eyes. Likewise, when Grendel says I observe myself observing what I observe, (Gardner 29) ,he reminds us of Sartres view of the self-reflective constitution of spirit. As he said in his interview, Gardner planned to parody Sartres ideas in Being and Nothingess in these sections of the novel. When Grendel says then I am not that which observes I am lack. Alack. (Gardner 29) he plays on the French verb manquer(to lack) that Sartre uses in his descrip tion of the scatty quality of consciousness. This ability to observe his observing is a clue to the philosophical underpinnings of the early chapters. Gardners irony should be crystal clear--Grendel is amusing himself with Sartres phenomenology.   Now what is the reader to make of all this? A brief summary of Sartres description of consciousness may help. According toSartre man exists on the level of being-in-itself(as a eubstance in a world of objects) and on the level of being-for-itself(consciousness ). The key to rationality Grendels view of the world is this distinction between the in-itself and the for-itself.Since, for Sartre, being-in-itself is uncreated(he can find no evidence of a creating God) and superfluous(de trop), it reveals itself as a sort of absurd, meaningless outer(a) reality. But being-for-itself, on the other hand, is the sentiency that consciousness is not the being of the in-itself. Its being is revealed in a more paradoxical way-- as an nullity i n the center of being. How can it be aware of itself as an object?Impossible says Sartre. Simply put, the for-itself is the absence or the lack(thus Grendels lack) of the objectness of the in-itself . It reveals itself as the hint that remains when you realize that your consciousness is not an awareness of an object(such as your body), and rather an awareness of the lack of an object or,to put it another way, it is an awareness of a nihilated presence.Grendel is proof that only an

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