Emma Heavy College Writing September 15, 2013 “Gryphon” by Charles Baxter and “Everything But The Truth” by Fern Keeper In humanity, there is a very thin line of similarity between lying and telling the truth. In a fiction book, for example, the author is making up a story based on their own imaginative thoughts, interests, and events that they hope will happen in the future. Also, when someone is trying to write about something that happened to them as a child, and they do not remember specific details of the situation, they have to make it up to make the story sound interesting.
These are all lies. Although we could not normally perceive them as lies, subconsciously, a humans mind is Just one big fallacy. At this point in time, people should know that if someone is telling a person a story about something that happened to them, the story is not the real version. If a person asks someone about a memory they had, they definitely have not told that person every detail. The human body can smell, hear, taste, see, and touch- which are extraordinary aspects of human life; but cannot distinguish the subtle differences between a lie and the truth.
Something that seems almost too simple is actually more complex than one could ever put into words. Think about what you wore last Wednesday, for instance; a pair a Scares, a red t-shirt, and a gold necklace. The only truth in that response is you did not tell us what shoes you wore, and that is not a lie. In the story “Gryphon” by Charles Baxter the notion of telling the truth or a lie is merely the same.
The point of the tale is to broaden one’s horizons, arouse one’s curiosity, and to question and wonder things that may or may not be true. The protagonist of the story, a substitute teacher for a fourth grade class, is a kooky lady whose teaching style is not what most nine year-olds are used to. During one point of the story, Ms. Preference contradicts the common math equation of six times eleven. Instead of agreeing with the factual answer of sixty-six, she says that “it could sometimes be sixty-eight”. Ms.
Fervency’s point of opposing what was obviously right was not to give the students of the class wrong information, but to expose the class to extraordinary facts, some of which were true, mythic, or simple not true at all, as a way to broaden their sense of wonder, imagination, and creativity. The appearance of Ms. Preference, too, contributes to her “weird” teaching style. In the beginning of the story a student describes Ms. Preference as having marionette nines on her face, and thinks of Pinochle. Pinochle was famous for lying, which is exactly what all the students thought the teacher was doing in the beginning of the story.
However, in the end, the role of Ms. Fervency’s “lies” in the story actually helped blossom each student into more worldly people. For example, the title of the story “Gryphon” is actually an animal Ms. Preference “saw’ in Egypt. The animal is half lion half eagle, and made up from different parts of the world. Although this animal is completely made up, the teacher thinks that these young students should be exposed to exotic facts and weird phenomenon. Also, the animal could be used to describe Ms. Preference as anal in this world and anal elsewhere.
As ridiculous as Ms. Preference was, she showed her students how to look at the world in a more worldly way. She took widely known claims and questioned them, broadening her students’ imagination and their curiosity level. Even though the students were puzzled at Ms. Fervency’s teaching style at first, they learned to appreciate what she actually did teach them, which is actually beneficial in life. Questioning and wondering different things in life really cultivates you and shapes you into a more complete person.