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Literature / Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

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Not a bad man, just a bad wizard.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is the fourth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by John R. Neill. It was published on June 18, 1908 and reunites Dorothy with the humbug Wizard from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Baum, having resigned himself to writing a series of Oz books, set up elements of this book in the prior Ozma of Oz (1907). He was not entirely pleased with this, as the introduction opens with the protest that he knows many tales of many lands, and hoped that children would permit him to tell them those tales.

The plot of the book begins with Dorothy visiting her cousin Zeb in San Francisco when an earthquake hits and she, her kitten Eureka, and Zeb's horse and buggy fall into a crack in the Earth and slowly descend into a city populated by the vegetable-like Mangaboo people. They are soon joined by the Wizard himself, who coincidentally falls into the same crack via his hot air balloon, and the group must escape the wrath of the Mangaboos, and later, the various other perils and hostile creatures that live under the Earth's surface, while coping with the bizarre way the laws of physics apply the further to the center of the Earth one gets. Very little of the book takes place in Oz until the later chapters.

Not to be confused with Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, the 2017 animated series.


  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Mangaboos are highly xenophobic and willing to execute outsiders for petty reasons. In Chapter 6, Dorothy states she doesn't like them, the Wizard then mentions they're cold-blooded, and Zeb says they have no hearts, and thus, cannot feel love. And when they ask the Princess how they can leave, the Mangaboos turn violent. Even the Valley of Voe view them as dreadful creatures.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Dorothy travels with her kitten in a bird cage. That could be deadly to a cat.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The bears of the Valley of Voe are man-eaters and invisible. The residents have to keep eating Dama Fruit just to remain alive.
  • Beauty Is Bad: All of the Mangaboos are described as being beautiful. It's just too bad all of them are vain, xenophobic, and outright evil.
  • Beneath the Earth: Where the majority of the novel takes place.
  • Big Bad: The Princess of the Mangaboos
  • Bloodless Carnage: The Wizard slices the Mangaboo sorcerer in half with a sword, but his two halves just fall to the floor bloodlessly, and need to be "re-planted" in order to grow two sorcerers. Other Mangaboos end up burned alive or kicked by Jim the Cab-horse.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: Mentioned when Eureka is put on trial for eating Ozma's pet piglet; the penalty if found guilty was death, even if she had to be killed nine times.
  • Chased by Angry Natives: The group end up having to flee for their lives when the Mangaboos decide to execute them all for being outsiders.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Wizard just so happened to also be in San Francisco during the Great 1906 Earthquake and fall into the same crack that Dorothy and Zeb fall into. For some reason. Even though he was in a hot air balloon at the time. One gets the feeling Baum was completely giving in to the demands of his fans at this point, whether it made sense or followed continuity or not (he all but confirms as much in his introduction).
  • Convicted by Public Opinion: Dorothy and her friends are immediately blamed for rocks falling from the sky and damaging buildings in the Mangaboo city, which were a byproduct of the earthquake. They're sentenced to death right away despite trying to plead that they're innocent.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first third of the book has Dorothy end up stranded in a Hollow World where the plant residents are Always Chaotic Evil, and ends with her and her friends being chased out. The second location, while much much friendlier, is overrun with invisible man-eating bears. And, finally, to reach the surface, they have to get through a land filled with wooden gargoyles who prey on outsiders.
  • Easily Forgiven: The people of Oz, and Princess Ozma in particular, bear no grudge against the Wizard, despite his being thoroughly debunked as a "humbug" at best, and a tyrant at worst; this having been common enough knowledge by the time of the second book that Tip, the uneducated orphan protagonist, is even aware of it when explaining the events of the first book to Jack Pumpkinhead. Part of this is due to Baum's Retcon of Ozma's backstory absolving the Wizard of guilt in kidnapping Ozma as a baby.
  • The Evil Prince: The Prince of the Mangaboos. The Wizard straight-up calls him heartlessnote , so they opt to overthrow him with the Princess growing in a garden. She provided to be even more evil.
  • Free-Range Children: Dorothy is around 6 to 10 yet is allowed to travel to California by herself.
  • Garden of Evil: The Land of the Mangaboos. While the scenery is beautiful, the entire plant race is rotten to the core.
  • Gravity Screw: Dorothy and her friends float down into Mangaboo, and are able to walk through the air after they land.
  • Hollow World: The Land of the Mangaboos underneath Oz is one, with six artificial suns of different colors, and the population of talking vegetables live in glass houses. It also counts as a Villain World, as the Mangaboos are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • I Fell for Hours: The fall into the land of the Mangaboos. Their descent is slowed thanks to it being close to the center of the Earth, apparently.
  • Invisibility: In the Valley of Voe, there is a fruit that makes one invisible when ingested. The people who live there are all invisible, because it helps them hide from the large bears in the valley, who are also invisible due to eating the fruit.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Wizard does this to the Mangaboos using kerosene from a lantern. The Wizard later uses fire to escape the wooden gargoyles as well.
  • Made of Bologna: When The Wizard cleaves a Mangaboo vertically in two, it's akin to slicing an apple — there's no internal organs, just plant matter.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Sensing that the Mangaboos are unfriendly, the Wizard calls them "Gabazoos" as a insult.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While escaping from the Underworld, the party run into baby Dragons called Dragonettes, who are over 60 years old and waiting for their mother to return. Since the Dragonettes eat humans, they leave them be, having dealt with the evil Mangaboos, the invisible bears, and the territorial wooden gargoyles earlier.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Gargoyles are creatures from the Land of Naught. They are made entirely of wood and stand at less than three feet. They communicate entirely by hand signals and are nocturnal, removing their wings while they sleep. Different indeed.
  • Overly Long Name: The Wizard's full name is revealed to be Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. And as he glumly points out, it's also a case of Embarrassing Initials.
  • Plant People: The Mangaboo, a race of intelligent humanoid plants that grow on bushes, and are very hostile toward outsiders to the point of being Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Portable Hole: How the Braided Man came to live under the earth in the first place.
  • Random Events Plot: Dorothy and company escape an evil Wacky Wayside Tribe, has a few random encounters that have no bearing on the plot, and then has a good time in Oz at the end.
  • Released to Elsewhere: In Chapter 6, the Mangaboo Princess confirms that Dorothy and her friends are not welcomed in their world. When asked for a way out, the Princess states they'll not be exiled, but executed. The Wizard uses a lantern to burn them all, and when they try to kill Zeb and the animals, they make their escape.
  • Retcon: Due to reader complaints, Baum retconned the Wizard's complicity in kidnapping Ozma as a child and handing her over to Mombi, along with a few other details on how he came to rule Oz. Instead the Wizard (allegedly) has no idea who Ozma is when introduced to her, and Ozma was apparently born in Mombi's clutches, since Mombi had imprisoned her family beforehand.
  • The Scapegoat: The evil Mangaboos are willing to blame Dorothy for the earthquake that damaged their city, and order her execution. She's only saved by Wizard, but he can only postpone the execution, forcing them to escape.
  • The Sociopath: The Mangaboos are a whole race of sociopaths who make even Mombi appear benevolent and empathic.
  • Sore Loser: Jim does not take losing a race to the wooden Sawhorse well, bucking him and injuring him in a fit of rage upon losing.
  • Underground City: The glass city of the Mangaboos, and the wooden city of the gargoyles.
  • Talking Animal: Jim the Cab-horse, Eureka the kitten and the Wizard's nine piglets gain the ability to talk when in the underground realm. Another of the strange turns the laws of physics take on Dorothy's journey.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Wizard here is far more of an Action Hero than his first appearance, even wielding a sword.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The inhabitants of the Valley of Voe who eat the dama-fruit become invisible. However, it doesn't grant invulnerability — there are really nasty predators in the Valley of Voe that also eat the fruit, and are also invisible...
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Oz has the Evil Prince of the Mangaboos overthrown in favor of a Princess. Her response to this is to have the whole group murdered out of pettiness.
  • Walk on Water: Dorothy and her friends are able to do this in the Valley of Voe by rubbing a certain plant on their feet, which aids them in escaping the invisible bears.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Mangaboos have no problems with having a 12-year-old girl sentenced to death for a natural disaster she's also a victim of, solidifying their Always Chaotic Evil nature.

Alternative Title(s): Dorothy And The Wizard Of Oz