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grendel

"Nihil ex nihilo, I always say"(Gardner 150). These are the words of the infamous Grendel from the novel, titled that same character, by John Gardner. They represent the phrase "life itself is meaningless" which is taught to Grendel by a few different people throughout this novel. In the following essay, the explanation of this phrase, the way Grendel learns about nihilism, and how Grendel develops the concept of nihilism, as it is known, will be discussed.First, we attack the nihilism itself. What is Nihilism? Well, this is one of the main components of the book. It means life itself is meaningless. What is meant by that phrase is that anything you do or decide to do, means nothing. For example, if you make a huge decision that you think will affect you for the rest of your life, according to a nihilist it means nothing. To them, it will all turn out how it is supposed to turn out and that is that. Nihilism also refers to people who do not believe they should be told how to live their life by the government. One major example of a nihilism uprise was in Russia during the 1860's. During this decade, nihilism was primarily a rejection of tradition and authoritarianism in favor of rationalism and individualism. In Lament's terms, live your lives how you want to live it and do not let anyone tell you how.In the novel, Grendel first learns this theory indirectly from the hypocrisy of man. This starts in chapter three where Grendel is observing man for the very first time. He watches in horror as they fight and scream over land and treasure. After all of this nonsense and chaos, they still have the nerve to make speeches about how honorable or great they or their king is, even though they still kill one another. This is an early sign in the book of the hypocrisy of man. From chapter three: "Terrible threats, from the few words I could catch. Things about their fathers, and their fathers' fathers, things about justice and...

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