Monday, February 12, 2007

A Knitting Army?

Sorry for the lack of new posts of late--I'm frantically finishing one project and also dealing with some other issues that have kept me off-blog for a few days. You'll have to wait a couple more days for pictures of what I've been working on, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share this little tidbit.

I've started reading P. some "chapter books" lately, and he's really latched onto L. Frank Baum's Oz series. Pretty much everybody knows the first book in the series, or at least the movie based on it. But this week, we've been reading the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, which I'm pretty sure I haven't read in 20 years. Anyway, imagine my delight when I rediscovered the scene in which General Jinjur and her "army of girls" conquer the Emerald City armed only with "glittering knitting needles." Here's the army engaged in their bloodless knitting revolt:

Clearly Baum was having some fun at the expense of the suffragist movement! The whole book contains some pretty interesting gender commentaries--General Jinjur's army puts all the men of the Emerald City to work cooking and cleaning, for one thing. And, last but not least, at the end of the book, it's revealed that the book's hero, Tip, is actually none other than Princess Ozma, who's been under enchantment--in the body of a boy--for almost her whole life. Only when she is restored to her female form can she become the rightful ruler of Oz! Gender roles, gender-bending--this is pretty heady stuff for a book that came out in 1904!


Blogger Operakatz said...

I haven't read those books in ages...reminds me I really should go back and do so...I read them when I was a kid and they'd probably be so interesting as an adult.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous thea said...

I totally remember that book - I was a big fan of the series, and Maya was too, for a little bit. (She seems to have literary ADD) I always wonder why the Wizard of Oz that made it to the movies over the other stories - some of the others would have been just as good on the big screen.. Ozma and TikTok and Jack Pumpkinhead and the Flying Horse and the Desert....

8:07 AM  

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