Shaggy Man

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The Shaggy Man
Oz character
Shaggy man cover.jpg
First appearance The Road to Oz (1909)
Created by L. Frank Baum
Information
Nickname(s) Shaggy
Aliases Shagrick Mann
Species Human
Gender male
Occupation wireless telegraph operator
Title Governor of the Royal Storehouses
Family Brother, sometimes known as "Ugly One" or "Wiggy"
Nationality United States

The Shaggy Man is a character in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum.1 He first appeared in the book The Road to Oz in 1909.

He is a kindly old wandering hobo dressed in rags whose philosophy of life centers on love and an aversion to material possessions. His one possession of value is the Love Magnet. His individuality is not welcome in America, but is accorded respect in Oz, where Ozma provides him with a fine wardrobe of silks, satins, and velvets, but as shaggy as his old rags.2

Character biography

The Shaggy Man appeared at the Kansas home of Dorothy Gale one day in August, asking for directions to the nearby town of Butterfield so as to avoid going there by accident, for he wants to avoid a man who would return a loan of fifteen cents: as "Money...makes people proud and haughty. I don't want to be proud and haughty." Dorothy agreed to show him the way, but after a short time the two became inexplicably lost. The Shaggy Man told Dorothy about a magical device he has called the Love Magnet, which causes the owner to be loved by everyone he meets. He claimed that this artifact was given to him by "an Eskimo in the Sandwich Islands."

Eventually Dorothy and the Shaggy Man realized that they were wandering in an unknown fairyland. After a series of adventures, he and Dorothy reach the Deadly Desert, where his ingenuity lets them pass safely over the sands.3 Arriving in the Land of Oz, they found that their journey was prearranged so that Dorothy could attend a birthday party for Princess Ozma. The Shaggy Man was awed by the splendor of the fairy-realm, and resolved to live there permanently. Upon being questioned by Ozma, he revealed that he actually stole the Love Magnet from a girl in Butterfield, but was without remorse because doing so had allowed him to travel to Oz with Dorothy. Nevertheless, eager to be a good subject to the princess, he agreed to Ozma's decree that the Love Magnet be donated to the Emerald City and hung over the city gates.

In The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the Shaggy Man serendipitously arrived to rescue Ojo and his traveling companions from man-eating plants that attacked them along a yellow brick road in the Munchkin Country.4 In Tik-Tok of Oz, it was revealed that the Shaggy Man had a long-lost brother who was being held prisoner by the Nome King.5 Much of that book revolves about his efforts and those of his companions to rescue and disenchant this brother. Finally, the Shaggy Man decides to give up Oz to remain with his brother and other companions; the prospect of losing him from Oz persuades Ozma to allow these others to enter Oz.6 Much like the Shaggy Man himself, this brother has no name which is ever revealed to the readers, and is simply identified as "the Shaggy Man's brother." He was called Wiggy in the stage version.

In The Shaggy Man of Oz, the love magnet has worn through the nail and broken, and the Shaggy Man must go to the creator of the love magnet, Conjo (a retcon) in order to have it fixed. To get there, he visits many of the places visited in John Dough and the Cherub.

In the modern Oz book Queen Ann in Oz (1993), authors Carlson and Gjovaag give the Shaggy Man a personal name — Shagrick Mann.7

Portrayal

Although Baum used The Shaggy Man a great deal in his books from his first appearance onward, he did not appear in any productions of The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, nor did he appear much in the work of Baum's successors other than Jack Snow. Frank F. Moore would portray the role on the Los Angeles stage opposite James C. Morton as Tik-Tok in the 1913 play, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz. The role was modeled on Fred Stone's Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and Moore would go on to play the Scarecrow in His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz. In comics, appeared briefly in Eric Shanower's The Ice King of Oz and in issue #19 of Oz.

References

  1. ^ Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; p. 188. ISBN 0-87226-188-3
  2. ^ Michael O. Riley, Oz and Beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum, Lawrence, KS, University Press of Kansas, 1997; p 154. ISBN 0-7006-0832-X
  3. ^ Riley, p. 155.
  4. ^ Riley, p. 173.
  5. ^ Riley, p. 182.
  6. ^ Riley, p. 184.
  7. ^ Karyl Carlson and Eric Gjovaag, Queen Ann in Oz, New York, Emerald City Press, 1993; p. 114. ISBN 0-929605-25-X

External links