Art by John R. Neill
|First appearance||The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)|
|Last appearance||Lucky Bucky in Oz (1942)|
|Created by||L. Frank Baum|
|Occupation||General, Army of Revolt; later, candy farmer|
|Spouse(s)||mentioned but unnamed|
General Jinjur is an antagonist in The Marvelous Land of Oz. She is a character in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum and his successors. She first appears in The Marvelous Land of Oz as a self-appointed general leading an "Army of Revolt"—an all-woman force seeking to end the reign of the Scarecrow and take over Emerald City.
The revolt is a parody of the contemporaneous movement for women's suffrage, which Baum supported. (His mother-in-law was prominent suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage.) General Jinjur's followers use both violence (sharp knitting needles) and their feminine privileges to gain advantage: no man will hit a pretty girl, and Jinjur boasts "there is not an ugly face in my entire Army." Yet those same young women are temporarily routed by an incursion of mice. Jinjur's regime assigns Emerald City husbands to domestic tasks thought to be women's work, such as cooking and cleaning; the men quickly get worn out, and eventually their wives are happy to take over those tasks and do them competently again.
Jinjur's name, pronounced as "ginger," implies that she has a rather volatile nature; however, she is not evil, but misguided. She is also cowardly, and dances on the throne when she sees the field mice. While she works with the witch Mombi, Jinjur is secretly afraid of her, and quickly pledges loyalty to Princess Ozma after she loses the throne to Glinda and her army (which is also made up entirely of female soldiers).
In Ozma of Oz Jinjur makes a brief appearance as a dairy farmer's wife. She says she is happy and contented, but also reports that her (unseen) husband is nursing a black eye after milking the wrong cow. The Patchwork Girl of Oz reports that Jinjur is a talented painter who helps to restore her old nemesis, the Scarecrow.
In The Tin Woodman of Oz, Jinjur makes her most significant reappearance in the series. She still lives on a farm in the Munchkin Country, but her husband is nowhere to be seen. She is startled at first by the incursion of the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and their companions, who have been transformed into animals by a wicked sorceress, Mrs. Yoop, but when the situation is explained, she calms down and is helpful and friendly.
Jinjur is illustrated in The Marvelous Land of Oz wearing a feminized version of a military dress uniform of the period before World War I, with a skirt in place of trousers, high boots, a military-style frogged tunic, and a tall shako. Her army, in similar uniforms, looks like a crack drill team or chorus line. In Ozma of Oz she is described as a pretty dairy maid, and Princess Ozma has to look a second time, more closely, to recognize her.
In other print works
Caroline Berner plays Jinjur in The Wonderful Land of Oz. She has long dark hair, wears a green uniform, and generally acts impertinent while her army acts lackadaisical.
Julee Cruise portrayed her in a stage version performed by The Children's Theatre Company and School of Minneapolis that was released on home video by MCA, though she sings in a much lower register than she does for David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti.
- Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; pp. 109-10.
|Ruler of the Emerald City||Succeeded by