What is the theme of Frindle with examples?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The primary theme of the book Frindle is that words have power.  Nick asks his teacher, Mrs. Granger, who invents words.  He asks who decided that the word "dog" referred to the pet.  Mrs. Granger tells him that she, him, and "'everyone in this class and this school and this town and this state and this country'" are the ones who decide what words mean.  She tells him that people "'decide what goes in that [dictionary].'"

With this information in mind, Nick invents a new word, frindle.  This word describes a pen.  He and his classmates start calling "pens" "frindles," much to the annoyance of their teacher.  The word becomes more and more popular.  Soon all the kids at school are using the word frindle.  Nick becomes famous.  He goes on the radio and television to talk about frindles.  There is frindle merchandise and a licensing deal.  Nick becomes wealthy from frindles.

Nick proves that words have power.  He starts with a simple word, but in the end he becomes a person of influence.  He becomes wealthy and powerful because of one word.

sm63002 | Student

The main theme of Frindle by Andrew Clements is the fluidity of the English language and how one word can surpass the structures of tradition and educational authority if adopted by enough people.

Though Nick only creates the word as a way to rebel against Mrs. Granger and her love of the dictionary, the term frindle actually catches on with his classmates and his elementary school as a whole. By the time Nick's principal asks him to stop using the word in an attempt to end the conflict between Mrs. Granger and her students, the word has become so popular that it has started to gain media attention and is eventually spread nationwide.

While Nick does become famous for creating the word Frindle, the true value of his success comes from taking a concept and making it so recognizable that it can't be censored or suppressed. In the epilogue, it is revealed that Mrs. Granger fought against the term so bitterly in the hopes that she could prove exactly how powerful language truly is.