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Mr. Wogglebug, the Clown, Gentleman, and Scholar




The three dimensions of Mr. Wogglebug may be dubbed as "the gentleman" and "the scholar" and "the clown." This makes a lot of sense for good reasons. To paraphrase a statement by his original creator in The Scarecrow of Oz: "Mr. Wogglebug had the body of an enormous bug and wore neat fitting garments. The Wogglebug was an interesting talker and had very polite manners. But had a face so comical it made one smile to look upon it." You can easily see how these attributes describe the three characteristics of the scholar, gentleman, and the clown. This is actually a very well loved and popular character, especially in this day and age, as well as from when the Oz books were new and Baum was alive. For instance, Charlie Chaplin, who put much of his life, his beliefs, and his own personality into his roles in his movies, was like this on and off screen in his own right. This shone through the Little Tramp and his other characters after he turned to sound. Other actors with character styles like this have been found in Sir Richard Attenborough (who directed the bio-pic of Charlie Chaplin, who was his inspiration)and his portrayal of Kris Kringle (a.k.a. Santa Claus) in the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street. As well as the great Robin Williams who portrayed all three of these characterizations and more in some way or another throughout his happy and successful career. While it is true that not all characters who hold these three attributes (individually or all three) are actually good or lovable characters we'd want our children to look to, there are still plenty who are and Mr. Wogglebug is certainly one of them. Mr. Wogglebug is always the perfect gentleman. And as such he is courteous and kind and cares about the well-being of others. Mr. Wogglebug is also like a clown. And as such he loves to laugh and to make others laugh and adores children. Mr. Wogglebug is certainly also very much a scholar and a teacher. And as such he holds a high degree in learning and wants to share his knowledge and love of learning to all and especially children.


And as all three combined he loves to teach everyone about courtesy and kindness and love and laughter, which is what the values of life are all about. The downside of being all three of these are he may sometimes hold a lot of pride in his knowledge, or may try too hard to impress people with his jokes, or have a high opinion of himself with being so dignified. These layers are with him also but he remains as a whole lovable and worthy of respect by all. And he is certainly the kind of character I would have loved to have watched all the time in my childhood.


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