“He was too amiable; too good-natured; too kindly; too honest, and too fair-minded” (Langley, 23).
Just like in the first chapter, there were a few little instances when Aladdin would do certain things and I couldn’t help noticing. For example,
“for no matter how often Emperor Aladdin rubbed the Lamp, Abdul had never once appeared again” (19).
Does this bother him? How does he feel knowing he can’t do what he did so frivolously before his son was born? (Of course, I don’t think he’s supposed to summon Abdul unless it’s absolutely necessary…)
“‘I therefore suggest that we promise never to mention the subject of the Queen Mother… Have I your approval , Father?’ asked Abu Ali. “May I summon Abdul?’
The Emperor Aladdin, though indulgent to a fault, hesitated. (23).
Did he hesitate because, you know, his mother! Who instigated his match with the princess. Or does he have bad memories with other people rubbing the lamp (like the Moor)?
Speaking of rubbing the lamp, I’ll bet the one rub limit that Abdul allows Abu Ali will be important in the plot. I’m counting on it.
The only thing I have to say about the second chapter is Bedr-el-Budur puzzles me. I can’t figure her out. She obviously dotes on her son and I’m not saying she had the strongest personality in Galland and the translations I’ve read. But the princess in this story doesn’t strike me as someone who’d agree to flirt with a guy so she could poison/drug him in an orchestrated scheme with her husband. She seems like the kind of mother who thinks her son can do no wrong and gives him sweets.
Also, I got the faint sense that she doesn’t like her mother-in-law. Mostly cause when Abdul asks if anyone minds if the Widow Twankey stays frozen as a statue, this is the first response:
“‘Not in the slightest!’ said the Empress Bedr-el-Budur, smiling dotingly at Abu Ali (26).
And that’s the third time “dotingly” has been used to describe how she speaks, always in reference to her son or giving him what he wants.
Oh, and the second chapter introduces the first of the bizarrely named Princes, which I can’t decide if they’re offensive or just absurd: Prince Tintac Ping Foo.
Between the two of them, I think Prince Tintac Ping Foo has a slightly better personality. And by that I mean, his unabashed rudeness and impulse to cheat serves as a pretty clear foil to Abu Ali.
That aside, he kind of amuses me:
“‘Then woe betide Rubdub Ben Thud!’ he vowed vindictively. ‘He’ll rue the day he crossed my path! Ho there, Slaves! My camels! My revenue! My magic sword! My jellybeans! I leave at once for Samarkand!’” (29).
The contrast between his severe language and his cry for jellybeans… Yeah, that’s funny to me.
I’ve edited some for better definitions | source
- riposted: v. 1. to make a quick, sharp return in speech or action; counterstroke. 2. to reply or retaliate.
- confabulation: n. the act of conversing informally; chatting
“The Wicked Prince Tintac Ping Foo went as purple in the face as a stick of jealous rhubarb” (29).
Langley, Noel. The Land of Green Ginger. Jeffrey, NH: David R. Godine Publisher, 1975. Print.