Chapter 9. The Queen of the Field Mice
Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Straight away this chapter has Tin-man saving the life of the Queen. He does this act by attacking and killing her pursuer, a great Wildcat.
Baum seems to swing back & forth with Tin-man’s character. At first he has him abhorring violence & killing, but will easily throw out the pacifist ideals whenever he, and subsequently Tin-man feels like it. Yes, his actions are for a good cause, but does that make it the right thing to do. Debatable. Tin-man could have used his axe to frighten off the Wildcat instead of killing him.
Utilising mouse-power to save Lion from the toxic poppies was an expected course of action. As soon as Tin-man saved the Queen, I knew what was going to happen.
Overall, not much plot, just a stopgap to save Lion.
Tin-man’s character is becoming somewhat anomalous, to the point where I’m no longer certain about him. Morality is a tricky beast in real life, where nothing is ever black & white.
I may not be as sure of Tin-man as I was in the beginning but the author has since succeeded in making the character most complex and intriguing. Remember, this is fiction for children and Baum’s fairytale has surprising depth & complexity.