So the first comment I’d like to elaborate on is about how I was affected by Grendel. The project we did for that class came around a time where I was challenging religion in my life. I was trying to figure out exactly what everything meant to me because I was worried I was taking on the same beliefs as my parents and friends and I wanted everything I thought to be something I believed in on my own. I found a lot of parallels with Grendel in his search for meaning. We seemed to be on the same path of investigation in everything around us. Grendel wanted to know his purpose in creation and I was looking for a way to figure out why life is the way it is for me. The path that Grendel and I were on left us at a fork in a yellow wood though, and I took the path more often traveled. Here is where the story of Grendel became “both heart-breaking and soulfully inspiring”. It broke my heart to see a character I had come to love losing his sanity over the questions and motives he had in life. I did however become inspired by his misery, and decided that I could find the answers to my questions through patience and letting things run their course as they should. This is actually some of the advice that Grendel gets from the dragon in chapter six. That’s essentially why I found the book so inspiring and confusing and why it’s still one of my favorite books.
The second comment I’ll address is the one about a misunderstanding later on in the essay. I wasn’t trying to give off a tone that suggested that fantasy was unsophisticated or that it didn’t bear deeper meaning; I was honestly having a hard time reading the material again. I figure now that the reason behind these feelings is that I was still reading the same books I read as a kid. I wasn’t exploring any new fantasies that could have brought me back to the genre in a timelier manner so I guess I thought that the experience wasn’t as genuine as it used to be. This goes on to another comment at the end of the essay about how “the older [I] got the more [I] felt that it wasn’t okay to read fantasy, until [I] discovered a valid argument for why it actually is okay to believe, or love, something fantastic.” I think what happened was that as I was growing up I lost a lot of connections with my fantasy books and it took newer material and a desire to want to be in the fantasy genre again to actually feel like I could love and believe in the fantastic.
Sorry about all the grammatical errors in the essay! I’m trying to work on it but grammar was always my worst subject.