Author John Gardner stated that a philosophical novel begins with a fundamental

Author John Gardner stated that a philosophical novel begins with a fundamental philosophical question (FPQ). 
Gardner’s FPQ for Grendel is: 
If life has no inherent meaning, how should one live? 
With that question at the forefront of your thinking, individually evaluate/analyze John Gardner’s Grendel as a philosophical novel [as seen through one or more  ISMs].
*ISMs in play for reading and the essay: Nihilism (Meta.), Solipsism (Meta.), Hedonism (Ethics), Egoism (Ethics), and Monologism; [existentialism, absurdism, skepticism for teacher]
Assignment Expectations:
*Focus on one or more ISMs and evaluate it/them as the driving philosophy behind the novel 
*Incorporate direct evidence showing the ISM throughout the 12 chapters (where applicable – grading based on pertinent inclusions)
*An analysis and explanation of the ISM’s importance to the novel AND how that ISM contributes to Gardner’s FPQ
Essay Particulars: 
double-spaced with multiple paragraphs (intro, bodies, closing)
contain an original thesis statement (don’t just rehash the topic as your thesis)
use support/evidence (# determined by writer parenthetically cited and analyzed/explained)
MLA format
Work Cited 
*Complex and precise thesis statement establishing what will be proven in the essay
*Thorough coverage of all components of the prompt, especially emphasizing ISM
*Text seamlessly embedded into the paragraph
*Much more (i.e. insight, analysis, much, more . . . )
Academic Purpose: 
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. 
To maintain a clear pattern of support through the use of primary and secondary texts
To revise as a critical stage of the writing process