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Grendel Project Chapter 2, Solipsism and the Allegory of the

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Emily Ortego

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Grendel Project Chapter 2, Solipsism and the Allegory of the

Taurus and Grendel
A bull attacks Grendel and forces him to flee up into a tree, bull is representative of Taurus
Grendel obsesses over exploring the world in order to to find out who he really is (like Taurus who pursues self worth)
Once Grendel begins exploring the world outside his cave, he is so curious that he doesn't stop and continues to sneak out every night (hard to stop Taurus once it gets moving)
"I came out again inevitably. I played my way farther out into the world"
Grendel Project Chapter 2, Solipsism and the Allegory of the Cave
Solipsism is the belief that existence is everything that "I" experience
Thinks that there are no emotions, thoughts, and experiences other than his own
A solipsist thinks the world revolves around him, literally and they often grapple with fundamental issues in the philosophy of the mind
Example: "My mental states are the only mental states"
One of the merits of solipsism is that it reveals how not to make connections between unexceptionable and common sense beliefs
Solipsism is clearly very far removed from common sense
The Allegory of the Cave
Second sign of the zodiac and represents human evolution
Taurus is concerned with sustaining and maintaining the physical and material aspects of life
Fixed earth sign and is mostly concerned with self worth
Slowest moving sign and carries greatest amount of inertia, so once Taurus gets moving, its very difficult to stop it again
Relates to middle of springtime in Northern Hemisphere, and associated with steady growth
Grendel and Solipsism
"I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist...I create the whole universe, blink by blink... I exist and nothing else"
Grendel clearly thinks that existence is everything he perceives it to be
"The mountains are what I define them as"
"the meaninglessness, objectness of the world, the universal bruteness... the world is all pointless accident."
Grendel's lack of understanding about the world is a result of his solipsistic nature
Chapter 2
Taurus and the Allegory of the Cave
Since Taurus is so fixated on self worth, Grendel leaves the "dark of his cave", much like the imprisoning cave in the Allegory of the Cave, to become enlightened and discover more about himself
The allegory shows that objects are not identified with physical aspects that we see but are identified with things not visible to us, things that we can only grasp with the mind, an imagination. Since Taurus operates on the physical plane it fails to see through the imaginative aspects of objects and sees them superficially, just at the surface
Solipsism and Taurus
Solipsists are very stubborn and reluctant to change, much like a bull
"What I know most certainly are the contents of my own mind"
"The world resists me and I resist the world" proof of inertia, Taurus has a lot of inertia and here Grendel exhibits solipsistic behavior by thinking that physical forces revolve around him
Grendel and the Allegory of the Cave
"The pool of fire snakes... I knew they were there to guard something"
The fire snakes are like the chain that restrict the prisoners in the cave, they are used to keep Grendel away from enlightenment
Grendel recognizes the "old shapes with smoldering eyes...gazing through my body... slightly indifferent to my obstruction of the darkness" when he returns to his cave where "the other prisoners trapped in the dark" reside, they don't seem to comprehend Grendel's ascent into the light and do not understand something they have yet to experience (the ascension in to the light)
Solipsism and the Allegory of the cave
"When he finally sees the sun... he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is" the stage of understanding that the solipsist usually doesn't surpass because the solipsist rationalizes through "I, me, my" experiences
"the prison house is the world of sight" represent our own misconceptions of reality, if we remain solipsistic then we can't escape the prison and limitation of our own minds
We must look past our selves in order to escape the prison and to see the world for how it is
Chapter 2 is a reference to Grendel's youth where he explores the world with childlike curiosity
As a pup, Grendel was alone in his cave and felt separated from the other figures in the cave who stare at him indifferently
He stumbles across a pool of fire snakes and jumps in, surfacing to the new and unexplored world
After many adventures outside his cave, Grendel smells the blood of a newborn calf, and is quickly attacked by a bull and maimed in a tree
the bull injures Grendel badly and he passes out in the tree (the bull still trying to attack him), coming to a revelation that the world is nothing but a chaotic mess of casual, brute violence
Grendel awakens to his first sight of man where he notices they speak the same language. The humans think Grendel is a fungus or a tree spirit and offer him food. He realizes that the humans are not dumb animals, but thinking, pattern-making beings, and are more dangerous than any creatures he's ever seen
But Grendel scares them with his cries for food and his mom comes and saves him
After his mom saves him, he tries to explain to her his revelations of life, but she doesn't understand him and he feels alone and suffocated in the world
The Allegory of the Cave is an extended metaphor that contrasts the way we perceive reality. The main idea behind Plato's allegory is the idea that all we perceive are imperfect reflections based on our personal experiences and thoughts
A conversation between Socrates and Glaucon
Two elements of the story: fictional metaphor of prisoners and philosophical ideas that the story is supposed to represent, presenting us with the allegory itself
Continued Summary
Starts off with presence of our prisoners whom are chained within the darkness of the cave.
The prisoners are bound to the floor and forced to look towards the front of the cave unable to see whats behind them. To the back of the prisoners are the puppeteers who cast the shadows on the wall in which the prisoners perceive as reality
Prisoners are mistaken to what really is reality and lack their own imaginations
Once the prisoner climbs out of the cave and is fully immersed in the sun's rays, the prisoner naturally recognizes the shadows and reflections (It s described as the vision of real truth)
Upon returning to the cave the prisoner is immersed again into darkness (literally and figuratively) and faces the ridicule of the other prisoners who have only been exposed to the darkness
It is up to the enlightened prisoner to assume leadership and lead them out of the darkness
Full transcript