What techniques does Baxton use to create humor in "Gryphon" while also conveying ideas implied in the story?

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Charles Baxter’s short story “Gryphon” is both humorous and thought-provoking. The narrator is a fourth-grade boy, and much of the action in the story takes place in his classroom during the course of three consecutive days when a substitute teacher, the very eccentric and imaginative Miss Ferenczi, is in charge. A new and surprising addition to the usual four substitutes who work at the rural school, no one quite knows where Miss Ferenczi comes from. One of the narrator’s classmates, Harold Knardahl, suggests “Mars.”

Miss Ferenczi believes that there are far more important things to be accomplished in a classroom than reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and adhering to the textbook version of history—or even math for that matter. Her stories are so far-fetched and inventive that the children listen to her in rapt attention. Some of the accounts prove to be true, such as the existence of plants that eat animals, and others resemble the outrageous claims that, as one child...

(The entire section contains 803 words.)

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