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Literature / The Marvelous Land of Oz

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The Marvelous Land of Oz (subsequently republished as The Land of Oz) is the second of L. Frank Baum's Oz books. It was first published in 1904 to capitalize on the popularity of the theater adaptation of the first book, before the publisher convinced Baum to write at least four more Oz books.

Dorothy, the protagonist of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is never seen. Instead, the protagonist is a native of Oz, an orphan called Tippetarius (or "Tip" for short). After escaping his abusive caretaker, the old witch Mombi, Tip sets out to seek his fortune along with his two companions: Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw-Horse, both of which he created and brought to life with Mombi's "Powder of Life".

Much like Dorothy before him, Tip also has a "Wicked Witch" to deal with: General Jinjur, the commander of the all-female Army of Revolt, who means to ransack the Emerald City and take over Oz on the grounds that (what with the Wizard and the many kings before him) it's about time a woman had a turn on the throne.

Tip also becomes involved in the search for Princess Ozma, the long-lost daughter of the last king of Oz, who disappeared as an infant shortly after the Wizard arrived in Oz. Tip's search, like Dorothy's, ends with the discovery that what he was looking for was under his nose (perhaps more accurately, behind his nose) the whole time, had he only known it. Princess Ozma is acclaimed the ruler of Oz, and goes on to become a major character in the rest of the series.

Adapted to the screen as a kiddie matinee cheapie by shlockmeister Barry Mahon as The Wonderful Land Of Oz. Parts of this book (and the next, Ozma of Oz) were incorporated into the film Return to Oz. It was also adapted as the second story arc in the anime The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

This book provides examples of:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: When the party are searching the Emerald City for Mombi, the Tin Woodman plucks a rose from a bush, and places it inside his buttonhole. The rose happens to be Mombi, who has transformed herself. The party leaves the City, unaware that they have succeeded in their quest.
  • Adopt-a-Servant: Mombi is Tip's guardian and has raised him since infancy, but she treats him like a slave.
  • The Alleged Steed: The Saw-horse, who has no joints in his legs and, at first at least, has no ears and can't follow directions, starts out as this. Later, he is revealed to be completely tireless and the fastest ride in Oz.
  • Amazon Brigade: Both Jinjur's Army of Revolt and the army Glinda makes. Played with in that the former just thought they were; the Emerald City's army wouldn't hit a girl and was less than a match for Dorothy by herself anyway. Even so, the all-female armies in this book are the most effective armies in Baum's Oz books — all the rest are either evil and menacing but are foiled before they do much harm, e.g. the Nome King's army; or are too small to be threatening (these will include exactly one private soldier, but may have a large number of officers who do not fight), e.g. the Army of Oz. Jinjur's and Glinda's armies are the only ones that accomplish the missions they set out to accomplish.
  • And Then What?: The aftermath of Jinjur's conquest. She conquered the Emerald City, chiefly because there was no opposition... but she has no idea how to rule Oz.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: For Ozma, at the end of the book.
  • Characterization Marches On: The Wizard taught Mombi witchcraft, usurped King Pastoria, stole his infant daughter Ozma, and gave her to Mombi. Readers complained that the Wizard was cruel and evil, so the very next book retconned him into never having even met Ozma.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Played for laughs when Jack Pumpkinhead arrives in the Emerald City. Jack, a Gillikin, claims he can't understand the Scarecrow, a Munchkin, so the Scarecrow calls in Jellia Jamb to translate. However, there's only one language in Oz, and neither of them realize they just casually discussed their inability to understand each other (Jack is The Ditz). Jellia catches on and gleefully misinterprets them until it finally hits both that they don't need translation.
  • Crossing the Desert: Mombi tries this to escape Glinda. Glinda catches her.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: The penalty for damaging a palm frond is to be put to death seven times, then imprisoned for life.
  • A Day in Her Apron: After Jinjur successfully took the throne, men were forced to do all the chores women were doing. They were unable to handle the stress of housework, and the women couldn’t stand their cooking.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jinjur's plan to lead feminist revolts in all the kingdoms ran into the slight snag that one of them was already completely matriarchal, heavily militarized, and good friends with the others. Oops.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Ozma's design is described as very different than her design in the books from Ozma of Oz and onwards. Her clothes are different, her hair is blonde instead of brunette, and her ringlet is different. This is reflected in her character design in the original illustrations. It's unknown if Niell changed Ozma's design himself in Ozma of Oz or if he had input from Baum.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Ozma is crowned queen at the end. All other books treat her as a princess.
    • Tip aged up into a child. Future books establish that no one ages in Oz.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: The Scarecrow recruits some of the Field Mice to scare off Jinjur's army, with even Jinjur herself being frightened of them. Unfortunately, it only gains the heroes a temporary respite.
  • Extreme Omnigoat: Referenced, with General Jinjur threatening to have the Tin Man fed to a goat.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, as there is exactly one gun, though it is never loaded nor shot. The gun belongs to the Royal Army of Oz. The other armies have no guns.
  • Foreshadowing: Tip uses some unisex language even prior to The Reveal that he's Ozma, such as calling himself Jack's "inventor".
  • Foul Flower: The characters find themselves in a field of sunflowers, with spinning heads and a hypnotic gaze, with faces which look strangely like those of the Army of Revolt.
  • Fruit Cart: The Saw-Horse upsets one during the mad dash out of the Palace.
  • Gender Bender: Tip is really Princess Ozma, who was transformed into a boy when she was hidden away as an infant to make her harder to find.
  • Giant Flyer: The Gump, a magically-assembled creature whose body is formed from furniture so that it can carry people around in comfort.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Ozma is described with the outdated term "ruddy blonde". This has lead people to interpret her a strawberry blonde, but the term is also used to describe auburn hair.
  • It Was with You All Along: Tip's quest to find the lost Princess Ozma requires, in the end, that they force out of the wicked witch Mombi the information that Tip is Ozma, transformed into a boy.
  • Lady Land: Jinjur tries to turn Oz into a Lady Land, forcing men to do all the cooking and housework while women live lives of leisure. Her all-female army is defeated by Glinda the Good’s all-female army, Princess Ozma takes the throne, and from then on the genders are basically equal in Oz.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: H.M. Wogglebug T.E.'s puns are sometimes quite bad.
    • He jokes about the Sawhorse, noting that if he rode him, it would be a "horse-and-buggie". Jack Pumpkinhead covers up his permanently-smiling mouth, and the Tin Woodsman threatens the Wogglebug with his axe.
    • While flying in the Gump, the Wogglebug comments that if Jack Pumpkinhead's head fell off, it would no longer be a pumpkin, but a squash. Tip tells him off for his insensitive puns.
  • Logic Bomb: Tip tries one of the wishing pills, and gets such a painful reaction that his exclamations of pain end in, "I wish I hadn't swallowed that pill!" The pain vanishes, and the Wogglebug argues that since he never swallowed the pill, he clearly never felt any pain. Tip isn't persuaded.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Mombi tries this in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid Glinda's questions.
    Glinda: Why did the Wizard pay you three visits?
    Mombi: Because I would not come to him.
  • Meaningful Name: Professor Nowitall, the Wogglebug's schoolteacher.
  • Menacing Mask: Jack Pumpkinhead, the man which Tip builds out of wood and with a pumpkin head to scare Mombi. A face with a huge smile is carved into the head. Later, when Jack is brought to life, he is a melancholic character, and his fixed smile makes him all the more creepy to others. (This example might not strictly be a mask, but is about a fixed expression.)
  • Men Can't Keep House: Once order is restored and the women return to the kitchen, they cook such a delicious meal that all is forgiven.
    And it is said that the women were so tired eating of their husbands' cooking that they all hailed the conquest of Jinjur with Joy.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Gump, magically assembled from two couches for a body, palm leaves for wings, a broom for a tail, and the stuffed and mounted head of a dead animal.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Ozma
  • Muggle in Mage Custody: A negative example. The main character Tip is raised by the wicked witch Mombi who constantly abuses him.
  • Mundane Wish: With the wishing pills, they could have wished to be teleported straight to Glinda, they would have wished for Jinjur's instant defeat, but instead they just wish for the Gump to be repaired so they can continue their journey.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The entire Royal Army of Oz is one person, The Man With the Green Whiskers who first appeared in the original book.
  • Phony Degree: Professor H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. — "T.E.", for "Thoroughly Educated", is a self-assigned distinction, and in fact the sum total of his education was spending three years in a one-room schoolhouse as a non-Magnified bug surreptitiously listening to Professor Nowitall's lectures.
    Mr H. M. Wogglebug, T.E.: It isn't a question of education: it's merely a question of mathematics. I've seen the professor work out lots of sums on the board, saying that anything can be worked out by x's, y's and a's, by mixing them up with plenty of pluses and minuses, and so forth.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Inverted; it's been suggested that, following the great success of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz's stage adaptation, Baum wrote this sequel with one eye on what would look good on stage. The element that's most often singled out is the Army of Revolt, composed of good-looking women whose uniforms are described in detail. Another element that may have been affected by the stage prospects is Tip turning out to really be female, since in a stage production a young boy would be played by a woman anyway. The emphasis on the Tin Man and the Scarecrow at the expense of the Lion and Dorothy reflects which characters had been most successful on stage. (In the event, the stage adaptation that followed a year later was a flop, at least partly because many of the people and elements that had made the first show such a success were unavailable because the show was still running.)
  • Princess Protagonist: The Farm Boy Tip turns out to be the lost princess Ozma.
  • Pumpkin Person: The book has a rare non-evil version with Jack Pumpkinhead, who is basically a wooden scarecrow with a carved pumpkin head brought to life by a magic powder.
  • Pungeon Master: The Wogglebug firmly believes that the ability to create puns is a sign of a strong intellect. His companions disagree.
  • Random Events Plot: Most everything that happens in the story either comes out of nowhere or has virtually no impact on anything that happens afterwards. Perhaps the best example is when the main characters accidentally fly out of Oz, land in a jackdaw nest, use some magical wish-granting pills to fly back to Oz, but forget to take the pills with them. What does this episode add to the story? The world may never know.
  • Refugee from TV Land: The Wogglebug was originally a tiny insect, but was caught by Professor Nowital and magnified by a projector on a screen — from which he promptly escaped.
  • Retcon: Apparently there were several things the Wizard neglected to mention when he told Dorothy how he came to be in charge in Oz...
  • Royal Blood: Princess Ozma
  • Servile Snarker: Jellia Jamb has great fun teasing the Scarecrow.
  • Some Call Me "Tim": Tip's full name is declared by Mombi to be Tippetarius, but it is such a long name that "Tip" will do just as well.
  • Straw Feminist: General Jinjur. Note this in contrast to the matriarchal army of the South, composed entirely of women, who came to overthrow her rule of the Emerald City. An army relying on your enemies not hitting girls had some serious drawbacks in retrospect. It is interesting to note that Baum's wife was herself the daughter of a prominent early feminist, Matilda Gage. Jinjur is an obvious poke at the sort of pie in the sky "suffragette" who thought feminism meant "women in charge" while preserving the Double Standard where it suited them.
  • Taken for Granite: Tip escapes the clutches of the sorceress Mombi before she can turn him into a statue.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Subverted; Tip openly recognizes himself as the "creator" of Jack Pumpkinhead, and does his best to look out for him when appropriate. He does feel uncomfortable with Jack's insistence in calling him "father".
  • Trolling Translator: Jellia Jamb realizes right away that she's a Completely Unnecessary Translator, and hilariously takes the opportunity to troll the Scarecrow and Jack Pumpkinhead mercilessly. Jellia claims to speak both "languages" and volunteers to translate, but instead makes up wild insults to tell each one that the other is saying. It's only after several cycles of both Jack and Scarecrow complaining that she's not translating accurately that she gets them to see the obvious fact that if they can understand her "translations", they can understand each other just fine without any help.
  • Vague Age: Illustrations depict Ozma as a teenager at youngest but her boy form Tip sounds and is treated like a young boy.
  • Velvet Revolution: General Jinjur's Army of Revolt overtake the Emerald City and force the Scarecrow to abdicate the throne using nothing but sewing needles and relying on the fact that Oz's (single person) army Wouldn't Hit a Girl. A few people get poked with needles but that is the extent of the violence. Later in the story, the armies of Glinda the Good surround the city in a standoff, but Jinjur surrenders without violence, allowing the rightful Princess Ozma to take the throne.