Discussion Topic

Mrs. Granger's opposition to and feelings about the word "frindle."

Summary:

Mrs. Granger opposes the word "frindle" because she believes in the importance of maintaining the integrity of the English language. She feels that words should have clear, established meanings and that introducing a new, made-up word undermines this principle. Despite her opposition, she respects the creativity and initiative behind the creation of the word.

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What actions does Mrs. Granger take to prevent "frindle" from becoming a word in Frindle?

In Andrew Clements' Frindle, to stop "frindle," Mrs. Granger first tries to explain that it cannot be a word because it has no meaning. Next she threatens the students who use the word. Each student has to stay after school and write 100 times that they are writing the assignment with a pen. (Some of the students get creative and start substituting the word "frindle" instead of "pen." There is a contest among them to see who can get away with it the most times.) One afternoon, there are so many kids after school that they cannot fit in Mrs. Granger's classroom. Mrs. Granger also puts up a poster warning students about using the word.

There are two ironies. The first is that by trying to "contain" the word, it gets used more and more and spreads throughout the country. The second irony is that ten years after the "frindle" frenzy, Nick gets a letter that he had sealed, which Mrs. Granger had written to him when the "war" of the words took place. Inside Mrs. Granger explains that she was rooting for him the whole time, but played the villain because she believed it would help the word to grow.

Mrs. Granger loves language. Nick invents a word to test Mrs. Granger's theory about who controls what words are used and placed in the dictionary. Mrs. Granger covertly helps Nick realize that he (and others) can be those people who use words and that their use decides which words make it into the dictionary. Mrs. Granger admits that she was a little aggravated at first, but later she was in complete support of what Nick was doing.

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What are Mrs. Granger's feelings towards the word "frindle"?

In the novel Frindle, a fifth-grade language arts student named Nick wants to upset his teacher, Mrs. Granger. Known as a smart kid but a troublemaker in the classroom, Nick comes up with a plan. He approaches his teacher and questions her about the meaning of words in general. He decides to change the name for a pen and creates the word "frindle."

Mrs. Granger objects in an outright manner to his tactics and decides that changing the name of the word "pen" is not acceptable. She appears to be a very strict teacher and is unwavering in her classroom rules. Yet, the more she objects, the more popular "frindle" becomes. With the help of a businessman to market the word "frindle" and a journalist who reports the news, Nick becomes famous all over the country.

Ironically, in the end, neither Nick nor Mrs. Granger turn out as a reader might have expected. The formerly disruptive student, who is turning twenty-one, uses some of his business profits to "give back" to his elementary school by donating a million dollars. After Nick becomes famous, Mrs. Granger interestingly states that she disagreed with Nick’s use of the word "frindle" because she knew that it would become popular and powerful if she strongly objected to the name change. It looks like the teacher knew what she was doing all along.

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What are Mrs. Granger's feelings towards the word "frindle"?

In Andrew Clement’s first novel, Frindle, a fifth grader named Nick Allen creates a new word for “pen” to challenge his new teacher, who has a reputation throughout the school for being strict and is not well-liked by the students. Now calling all pens by the name "frindle," Nick must deal with the newfound popularity of the word amongst his classmates while also contending with Mrs. Granger, who outwardly dislikes the word and goes as far as to punish students for using it.

Eventually, the popularity of the word begins to spread, and "frindle" becomes known throughout the country, which makes curtailing its use in Nick’s school impossible.

The story ends with Nick as an adult. He has become wealthy due to the popularity of the word frindle. He receives a letter from Mrs. Granger in which she explains that she was hostile to the use of his new word because she knew her opposition would increase its popularity.

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