Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

When I try to explain the Hungry Tiger to people who haven't read the Oz books, the conversation often goes something like this:

Me: He wants to eat fat babies, but his conscience won't let him.
Other Person: What kind of books ARE these?

I guess it IS kind of a messed-up character trait, isn't it? Especially since he has a particular preference for FAT babies in particular. I guess he should never go anywhere near Maury's show. {g} While he pretends that having a conscience is a burden, some of his friends suspect he's just maintaining an image. The Tiger is officially introduced in Ozma, but there's a minor appearance by a tiger in Wizard that many readers (myself among them) think is the same cat. He's a friend and companion of the Cowardly Lion, assisting him in bodyguard and chariot-pulling duties for Ozma, but he tends not to appear in the spotlight as much as his famous friend. His two most significant (dare I say "meatiest"?) roles are in the short story "The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger" and (of course) his own book, both of which involve his almost giving in to the temptation to eat people, but not going through with it. In terms of appearance, he's described as "a great Tiger with purple stripes around his lithe body, powerful limbs, and eyes that showed through the half closed lids like coals of fire."

While largely living in the shadow of his cowardly compatriot, the Tiger is still a pretty popular character, enough so that David Maxine's small publishing company is named after him. There are apparently also a few restaurants called "The Hungry Tiger," but it's not entirely clear whether they have any relation to our famished feline friend from Oz.

Tags: books, oz

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