Essay on Gryphon: Tarot and Students

Words: 1225
Pages: 5

The “Gryphon” Experience Gryphon presents a fourth-grade boy, Tommy, and his class’s experience with a peculiar substitute teacher, Miss Ferenczi. Tommy narrates the story as a mature, experienced adult from afar. The students are confronted with more than just a substitute teacher. They are presented with an unaccustomed view of the world and are challenged to open their minds and think for themselves. Do not believe everything you hear and do not be afraid to go against the grain of humdrum normalcy, are central to “Gryphon”, whose key symbol (Miss Ferenczi) support its central theme: life is dreary and uninspiring without a sense of imagination and wonder. Tommy’s classroom is the typical fourth grade setting with …show more content…
Miss Ferenczi is like a gryphon to her students. She is strange and exotic in her dress, food choices, and thoughts. The children cannot take their eyes off her when first introduced and quickly begin to question her mathematical knowledge. Miss Ferenczi states, “In higher mathematics, which you children do not yet understand, six times eleven can be considered to be sixty-eight” (K&M 241). The students feel uncomfortable with Miss F.’s arithmetic analysis because it questions what they already know to be true. They can either go along with Miss F. and imagine the possibility of her thoughts while exercising their own insight and imagination and be no worse (hopefully better) off than they already were, or disregard Miss F.’s thoughts as phony. The latter will not produce genuine thoughts of the students’ own and threaten to hinder their sense of wonder, leaving an uninspired, ordinary individual. Miss Ferenczi draws a tree on the chalkboard that is “…outsized, disproportionate” (K&M 239). The tree represents knowledge and wisdom in many a society’s educational system and does so here as well. Miss F.’s unbalanced tree signifies the imagination factor that is equally, if not more so, essential to learning and wisdom. Miss Ferenczi does a tarot card