Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Killing Mr. Griffin study guide dq's

Killing Mr. Griffin Study Guide 1

1. Briefly identify the children in the McConnell family.
There is Susan, Craig, and the twins.

2. What does Susan mean by “someday”?
Later in life things will be different.

3. Who is David Ruggles? How does Susan feel about him?
He is the senior class president. Susan has a crush on him.

4. Several other students of Room 117 are introduced. Briefly identify them.
David is a good student and is class president. Mark is observant, crazy, and manipulative. Betsy is popular, and cute.

5. In the classroom scene, what emphasizes Susan’s feelings of being an outsider?
She likes David alot but has never talked to him.

6. Two teachers are introduced. Briefly identify them.
Dolly is nice and makes it easy for the students. Mr. Griffin is a strict, harsh teacher who wants it to be hard on the students.

7. Mr. Griffin is very strict and stern with the students. Do you think these qualities make
him a good teacher? Briefly explain your answer.
No he's too hard on his students and doesn't grade the papers fairly.

8. An allusion is when a writer refers to a person, place, poem, book, or movie that the
reader, is expected to recognize. Find an example of allusion in this chapter.
Writing a song for Ophelia.

9. In what ways does Susan think she and the dying female in Hamlet are similar?
they're both alone and sad.

10. A metaphor is a comparison of two things that are basically unlike, in order to create a
sharp picture. In this first chapter find the metaphor involving a bird that helps the author
define how Susan is feeling about her life.
Dropped like a feather. Showered stone to the sound below.
11. Jeff says, “That Griffin’s the sort of guy you’d like to kill.” Why doesn’t Susan think he is serious? Because he's been talking about it all day. Mr. Griffin keeps being too strict on assignments.

12. Frequently, objects which seem inconsequential when first mentioned become an
important part of the plot later. In the last six paragraphs do you notice any object that might be foreshadowed?
Because he's not doing good enough work.

1. Why does Mark say the following? “Jeff’s done a neat job of lining us up for a mass flunkout.”
Jeff got in an argument with Mr. Griffin.

2. Explain Mark’s special dislike of Mr. Griffin.
Mr. Griffin flunked him the previous year. Mr. Griffin made him beg to come back in the classroom.

3. “Jeff had seen that look before, and it always meant something.” What look does Jeff see? What does Jeff think it means? Mark's gaze that something is on his mind. he thinks he has a plan.

Why do Jeff and Betsy go along with Mark’s plan to kidnap Mr. Griffin?
Mark pursuades them through manipulation.

Why does Mark believe Dave will go along with the plan?
He thinks he has him all figured out.

What does Mark know about Susan that makes him think she will be their decoy?
She likes Dave.

7. A flashback is a scene that interrupts the ongoing action to show an event that happens
earlier. Briefly describe the flashback in this chapter. Explain why the author chooses to
include it.
The flashback goes to seventh grade and shows a self conscious Jeff. The author chooses it to show how Mark has always been the same and can manipulate people easily.

What is implied, but never stated, about Mark’s “transformation”?
He has gotten more violent.
The members of David’s family are introduced. Briefly identify them.
David's mom is average looking. She works all day to support the family. His grandma is frail and kind of lazy. His dad was short and strong with a very handesome face.

Why does David think he needs a good education?
He needs to get the best job he can to support his family.

Find the metaphor in this chapter that helps illustrate the emptiness of David’s life.
His day includes watching game shows with his grandmother. he needs to support his family.

Support or refute the following statement:
David goes along with Mark because he dislikes Mr. Griffin and needs a better English
grade to get into law school.
Disagree he goes along to get some excitement out of life.

Why are Saturday’s special for Susan?
she gets to sleep in and relax.

2. Find a quotation in the chapter that illustrates the idea that Susan feels a part of the picnic
It's such a hent dog out.

Who is Lana?
Mark's ex girlfriend.

How does Susan feel about Mark before the picnic?
She think he is wierd and crazy.

A symbol is an object, person, or place that has a meaning in itself and that also stands
for something larger than itself. How may the eyeglasses be a symbol in this chapter?
They show her looks, she is homely and nerdy, when she takes them off she looks different.

6. Foreshadowing is also used to create interest and build suspense. Since this is a mystery
story, there are many examples of foreshadowing. Find an example of foreshadowing in
this chapter that lets the reader know Susan is going to have problems.
She is at this moment as happy as shre will ever be.
How does the author illustrate Kathy Griffin’s stubborn personality?
She decided to cook breakfast just to do the opposite of what Mr. Griffin told her to do.

Briefly explain Mr. Griffin’s reason for leaving Stanford to teach high school.
He thought the kids weere too lazy by the time they get to college and by then it's too late.

What does Mr. Griffin think about Susan?
he thinks she is a good student and a good writer.

Why is Kathy Griffin upset by her husband’s description of Dolly?
She wonders if he thinks of her the same way.

How does her husband make her feel better?
He tells you are you and she thinks he will be more loving after the baby is born.

Why does Mrs. Griffin want Brian to compliment Susan on her writing?
She thinks she needs positive reinforcement.

Find an example of foreshadowing in this chapter.
When Mr. Griffin mentions his after school conference with susan it tells the plan of kidnapping was to bring him to the place.

8. Why do you suppose the pills are mentioned again? Why does the author bother
mentioning his tie?
she's becoming addicted to the pills, or she is still sick. None of the other teachers dress like that.

We learn that Mrs. Griffin is pregnant. How does she hope having a child will change her husband? Why might the author have added the pregnancy into the story. She hopes he will become more loving after the baby is born. To show that he is just a man, not a monster.


What little things go wrong with the kidnapping?
Betsy gets pulled over.
With David’s alibi?
His grandma saw him at the house with her and then she fell asleep because he drugged her.

With Betsy’s alibi?
She had it set up to look like they ate cake and listened to records at her house.

In what way does Mr. Griffin earn the respect of his kidnappers?
He doesn't give in or beg for his life.

Why is Susan especially upset about her part in the kidnapping?
He wanted to protect her, he was more worried about her than himself.

Why does Betsy say the following to Susan? “Honestly, I don’t understand you.”
She wondered why she would help if she didn't want to watch.
What do Mr. Griffin and Mark have in common?
They are both stubborn. They both have dark hair.

Find a flashback in this chapter. What important facts about Mark do we learn?
Lana stole a paper for Mark. He manipulated Lana and didn't seem to care when she moved.

What mistake(s) does Betsy make with the police officer?
She had to explain that she was driving her boyfriends car.

Why do you think Betsy participates in the kidnapping?
She wants to impress Mark.

Why do you suppose the incident with Shauna Berman is included?
To show that everyone liked Betsy and nobody wanted to cross her.

Who finds the container of pills? Where?
Betsy, on the ground.

How does Mr. Griffin’s tie appear here?
Perfectly knotted

What does Mr. Griffin think of his kidnappers?
Ridiculous, five year olds

What question does David ask him?
How does it feel to be on the ground?

Who wants to let Mr. Griffin go? Why don’t they?
Dave and Susan, He's dead


Explain, with examples from the story, how David begins to see Susan as a real person.
She's sick and gets close to him, she cares about people.

Why does David doubt that Mark and Jeff are going to release Mr. Griffin after the game?
He doesn't think they will come back until the morning.

How does David know Mr. Griffin is dead?
His eyes are open.

What is the implied but never stated cause of Mr. Griffin’s death?
He needed his pills.


Betsy and Susan both have fathers to turn to for help. Why do you suppose Susan wants
to go to her father for help, but Betsy doesn’t suggest going to her father?
susan trusts her father and wants to go to him for help. Betsy doesn't want to go to her father because he will be upset. They don't want susan to tell anyone else because it increases their chances of being caught.

What two things does Mark say that they need to do to be safe?
the body and the car.

How does Mark convince Susan they need to bury the body?
He tells her that if they bury the body then her parents won't have to find out. They don't have to wreck their lives.

How does Mark’s father die?
The house burned down while he was sleeping.

What does David’s father have to do with his decision to go along with Mark’s plan to bury the body?
Mr. Griffins hands remind Dave of his fathers hands. Dave steals his ring.

Why does Mark comfort Susan?
He doesn't want her to tell people because she's scared.


How do Mark’s aunt and uncle feel about him?

Why do you suppose Mark’s mother has a nervous breakdown and says she never wants
to see her son again?

What does David’s grandmother remember about the day before that upsets David?

In the conversation with his grandmother, what mistakes does David make that may hurt
his alibi?

Why does Lt. Baca ask Mrs. Griffin if there is trouble in their marriage?

What does Mrs. Griffin say that convinces Lt. Baca to begin searching for Brian?


Why isn’t Susan surprised to hear her name over the loudspeaker?

2. Compare Susan’s attitude toward her family at the beginning of the story with her attitude

Why does Susan agree to Mark’s lie?

Why does Mark want her to lie?

Do you think Mark really believes everything will be all right? Why?


What is the real reason Betsy says nasty things about Susan?

Find an example of allusion in this chapter.

Briefly describe Mark’s mood during the burial. Jeff? David? Betsy?

4. Why does David recite the Lord’s prayer?
5. Why does Mark keep Mr. Griffin’s credit cards?
6. Why does Mark tell them to leave the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition?
7. What mistakes do the four make burying Mr. Griffin?
8. What is the implied but not stated reason that the policeman recognizes Betsy at the
1. What surprises Mrs. McConnell about Mrs. Griffin’s visit?
2. How does Mrs. Griffin surprise Susan?
3. Mrs. Griffin is certain Susan is lying about her teacher conference with Mr. Griffin. List
her reasons.
4. How do Susan’s parents react when Mrs. Griffin accuses her of lying?
5. What does Mrs. Griffin know about David? Mark?
1. Why does David’s Grandmother believe he is secretly seeing his Daddy? What proof do
you think she has?
2. Lana tells Lt. Baca about the turned-up ground and gives him the prescription bottle.
What else does she say to expose the kidnappers?
3. What new plans do they make for the car?
4. Why does Mark think the news report is false?
1. Why does David take the ring?
2. The blowing wind may be a symbol of freedom in this novel. Explain its possible
importance in the following events:
David and Susan’s first meeting
the picnic by the waterfall
the inscription on the ring
3. Why does the lady from the other house smile through the window at Susan?
4. What is Susan’s opinion of David’s grandmother?
5. Why does Susan call Jeff’s house?
1. In what ways do we see that the Garrett’s do not see their son Jeff as a real person?
2. Mystery stories rely on inference, the act of drawing a conclusion that is not actually
stated. Using inference, what information will Mrs. Griffin learn from the newspaper?
3. Why does David’s grandmother refuse to attend church?
4. Explain what David’s grandmother means in the following quotation. “The winds of
freedom are filled with laughter.”
5. What clue in the story reveals the identity of Irma Ruggle’s visitor?
1. Why do Betsy and Jeff stop by to see Susan?
2. What is surprising about David’s grandmother’s death?
3. Do you think Betsy and Jeff believe Mark has killed the old woman?
4. The first paragraph of the chapter discusses the wind. Why do you suppose the author
writes about the wind blowing again at this point in the story?
1. What are the implications of Susan’s statement “I did that” on page 208?
2. What is Jeff worried about?
3. Why doesn’t Mark gag Susan?
4. How does Mark feel after he sets the fire?
5. How does Susan feel about Mark?
6. Why does Susan scream, “I’m going to die, You’re glad, aren’t you?”
7. How does Mrs. Griffin respond?
1. Mrs. McConnell tells Susan, “It is only by facing things that you ever put them behind
you.” What do you think is good or bad about this advice?
2. How does Mrs. Griffin recognize the car?
3. Why is the whole family going to counseling?
4. Do you think the proposed penalties are fair? Explain.
5. How does the last verse in Susan’s, “Song for Ophelia,” explain why she becomes involved
with Mark and the others?
6. What may the reader infer from the last paragraph?
7. “Coming-of-Age” stories are usually about “Loss of Innocence” or “Rite of Passage.” State
what kind of story this is and why.