Character Analysis of Miss Ferenczi in Gryphon.
“Gryphon” by Charles Baxter places us to the school class where the narrator, one of the students, gets an extraordinary substitute teacher for his classes, Miss Ferenczi, , who lives in her own fantasy world full of mysteries.
From the first minutes of introducing Miss Ferenczi to the reader, she makes an impression of unusual person. Carrying a purple purse and checkerboard lunchbox she starts with drawing a tree with a chalk on the board before saying “good morning” to the class, explaining that this room needs trees. That makes everyone realize the class is going to be different. Miss Ferenczi has specific appearance that is hard to tell her age. Her face has to prominent lines, descending vertically from the sides of her mouth to the chin and narrator compare her to Pinocchio. Comparing Miss Ferenczi to Pinocchio, narrator gives us a key of her character.
To show her unique personality not comparable to normal people she tells students about her family roots, upper class people. Her behavior out of normal, she feels comfortable to talk students the way she wants: “I want no cabals this time of the day”, “It is impolite to stare, and a sign of bad breeding”. Eating lunch away from other teachers shows her feeling of being a new person in this community. Eating habits say about her personality as well. She doesn’t eat sloppy joes, peaches in heavy syrup, coconut cookies and milk but prefers stuffed fig, smoked sturgeon and raw spinach. Eating healthy is another reason that stand her out of the crowd. Same time she gives a good example to the students, encourage them to look at their food habits more attentively.
Miss Ferenczi has her own method to teach students. She does not follow the plan assigned for the class. She tells lie, unreal or half real facts. During geography class she told about gryphon, half bird and half lion”, she saw with her own eyes. It was half real and half lie. Stories about this creature can be found in mythology but nobody proves it was existed. Miss Ferenczi believes in abnormal phenomenon as “the nature of pyramid is to guide cosmic energy forces into concentrated point”. It is fantastic world she believes in she shares with students. During arithmetic she tells students that six times eleven is sixty-eight and calls it ” substitute fact. Miss Ferenczi teaches student to see and think more, no matter if there any rules created by somebody. She want them to have their own opinion about world and certain things.