Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Cowardly Lion of Oz

From the diary: “May 18, 1981

“It rained today. How strange. The weather forecast is getting warmer though. Jeez! I don’t know if I can stand it any warmer.

“I read The Cowardly Lion of Oz thru to the end.”

This page has thumbnails of the covers of all the Oz books. The Cowardly Lion looks really meek on the cover of The Cowardly Lion of Oz, not just meek, cowering. Typically the Cowardly Lion is depicted, both in the text and the illustrations, as proud and courageous, nonchalant at least. “Cowardly” is meant ironically.

When an Oz book was named after a familiar character I always expected the story to revolve around that character. This was not always the case. In The Scarecrow of Oz the Scarecrow himself doesn’t show up until the book is, what, 50% through? Like Tik-Tok of Oz the book named after the Scarecrow is adapted from one of Baum’s nonbook Oz efforts. In the case of Scarecrow Baum translates to the page a silent movie he directed, His Majesty, the Scarecrow.

Funny the things you find on the web. Here is a breakdown the plot of The Cowardly Lion of Oz:
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 20%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 20%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 10%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 50%

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