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Killing Mr. Griffin

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Essay title: Killing Mr. Griffin


The name of my book is Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. This is a mystery thriller about five teens who plan to kidnap their English teacher to teach him a lesson. Their teacher is very hard on them and does not allow any room for slacking. But instead of just kidnapping him for a while, they decide to abandon him for a while by a deserted lake in the middle of nowhere. Two of the teens come back to find that he is dead. Now they must decide what to do with the body and how to explain his death.

There are six main characters in this story: Mark, David, Susan, Jeff, Betsy, and Mr. Griffin. The most influential would be Mark. He is the one who comes up with the plan to kidnap Mr. Griffin. He is not a very good student and has a reputation of being a “bad boy.” Next there is David. David is supposed to be one of the better kids in the story. He is a senior who is in the same class as Mark and the other characters. His role in the kidnapping is to get Susan to go along with the plan., and to help with the kidnapping itself. He seems to be a rather good kid in the beginning of the story but he progresses to be one of the bad ones. He has a very stressful home life with his mom and grandma. Then there is Susan. Susan is the good student and kid of the group. She is thought of as unpopular and a geek. She is very bright considering that she is a junior and is taking an English IV class. She is supposed to distract Mr. Griffin by having a meeting with him after school on the day of the event. She then gets pulled into the conflict even further when she wants to go to the police when Mr. Griffin dies. She almost gets


killed by Mark for wanting to do the right thing and tell the truth. Jeff is one of the guys who helps with the kidnapping, He does whatever Mark tells him to do. Jeff is also a poor student in Mr. Griffin’s class. He thinks that the plan will work to shake up the teacher enough to make him ease up on them. Mark tells Jeff to keep Griffin’s car in his garage and to give it a new paint job and he does, after a little debate about it. Then, there is Betsy. Not a lot is told about her except that she is the one who is going to provide everyone with alibis and drive the getaway car for the boys after they get Griffin. Lastly, Mr. Griffin. He is the teacher that all the teens hate. He is a very strict and structured teacher. He does not allow room for slacking and likes to see kids really get into English. He seems to be very hard on the teens at times, or so they think. He is especially hard on Mark, making him beg to be put back in class after he was kicked out. He is a man in his middle age, around 40 years old. He is married with a baby on the way. He takes his job very seriously and wants the teens to always do their best.

There a many conflicts in this story. The most evident is man vs. man. The students plan to kidnap Mr. Griffin to make him ease up in the classroom. Another conflict is man vs. nature. The kids leave Mr. Griffin out by the lake at night with no way of getting help or helping himself. He is bound so that he can not move, this means that he can not get to his heart medication either. Then there is man vs. society. The students committed a crime the moment the took him against his will. They also commit 2nd degree murder when he dies after they leave him there alone at night. The last conflict is man vs. himself. Susan and David begin to have feelings of guilt and fear for what they have done. They go back to get Mr. Griffin only to find that he is dead. Susan


wants to go the police but she does not because Mark convinced her otherwise.

This story starts when Susan is walking across her school’s parking lot, thinking about their new teacher, Mr. Griffin. As she was walking across the parking lot, she thought about how she hated spring, and how she wished that she lived on a lake somewhere She then thought about how her realist father had put it. He had asked her how she was going to pay the property taxes. After that, she started realizing that of all the times that she had said someday, they would probably mean never. Just then, David, her crush, came along, and was a bit angry at the fact that his paper had been lost, except for the piece that Susan had caught. They then commented about all of the things that Mr. Griffin did and how he was not a very good teacher, at least to them.

After reaching the school building, David struggled with the door, and found his way inside; the crowd immediately swallowed him up, before Susan could catch up and start to walk beside him. She then gave up, after his friends, Jeff and Mark joined him at his side. After she had been

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