Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 22:01:49 -0400
From: "J. L. Bell" <jnolbell at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [Regalia] John Dough & the Cherub
"Bell Snickle" wrote:
> Also intriguing was Dough's dilemma over giving the Princess a piece
of his body to eat. As far as I can remember, Baum doesn't have any
other character's deal with a similar problem in his other books.>>
The Scarecrow's choice to let the Hip-po-gy-raf eat his straw in TIN
WOODMAN seems like the most similar analogy: giving part of yourself up
to be utterly consumed in order to help a friend.
Most of Baum's living edibles aren't so existentially generous, however,
as we learn in in Bunbury.
I interpret John Dough's choice to let a bit of himself be eaten—the
fate that he, like most previous gingerbread men, has spent his whole
life trying to avoid—is the moment when he becomes a hero worthy of
being a king.
> I wonder if the Princess and her parents were from a fairy country or
if they were from our world? While the text never mentions where they
originally came from, the mother's description ?round as an apple in
form? almost sounds like she could have been comfortable in Loland.>>
In his introduction to the Dover edition, Martin Gardner notes that the
book is full of round ladies: Mme. Grosgrande, Tina on Phreex, the
Princess's mother, and the Lolander baker who helps John feel whole again.
> When John Dough meets the parrot that eats his coattails he says to
the bird "You're a rampsy, that's what you are!" Anyone know what a
Baum used this term one other place, in "Nelebel's Fairyland":
Rampsies, it turns out, are the "smallest of immortals."
J. L. Bell JnoLBell at earthlink.net
Musings about some of my favorite
fantasy literature for young readers.