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This Article is Updated to Include Propp's Morphology for Jungle Tales of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins

An Application of Propp's Morphology to Minidoka by Edgar Rice Burroughs

by David A. Adams

Introduction

Rather than being a fairy tale in the classic sense, ERB's Minidoka, 937th Earl of One Mile Series M is a comic reversal of the fairy tale form that plays loose and free with all its familiar characters and situations. Nevertheless, Propp's morphology can be applied to the story with good effect, revealing it to be not the loosely structured confusion it may appear to be on the surface but a carefully crafted tale allowed to unravel for a comic purpose. Thus, Minidoka what might be called an anti-fairy tale full of rollicking fun, belly laughs, and broad humor.

ERB painted this little story with the broad brush of American folk humor found in Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill. The story stomps around the barroom floor with a mug of beer in hand and bumps into tables spilling drinks and creating chaos among its listeners, but in the end Minidoka is as good as anything the Grimm Brothers produced. Burroughs takes a swipe at every sacred cow within reach, including the popular view of heaven, but he's only half serious, poking his readers in the ribs with a jabbing finger and laughing out loud, "For crying out loud, fill up my glass again, so's I can spill out some more!"

There are many things about Minidoka that might be mentioned as formative ones since this was ERB's first large scale effort at writing. The thing that struck me upon this reading were the Trickster elements found in the hero, Minidoka. It is true that the Princess was the one turned into a coyote, the standard form of the Trickster in North American Indian folklore, but she is a victim of higher powers that the hero deals with in a typically heroic fashion. Minidoka is the real Trickster in the story and I see him as the spitting image of ERB himself. Burroughs stomps out onto the stage and spinning his lasso tells us a tall one, yet all the while we know who and what these rough characters will become throughout a whole lifetime of writing. It's really an odd situation to get this first story last in the history of this author, Minidoka wasn't published until 1998; yet, in a way it is a form of poetic justice: ERB was fond of these odd reversals of fate -- Minidoka is indeed both the alpha and omega of ERB's career.

The Trickster in some of his manifestations does everything ritually backwards. He was among the Lakota of the great plains known as a Thunder-Dreamer or heyoka, the "clown" of the tribe. He was one who often restored good humor, restraint, and balance to overly serious lives or situations. Perhaps ERB is our heyoka which is why his work has not been taken seriously. ERB became a powerful Thunder-Dreamer, and his gift has been a great one for those who can see and accept the dream.

Those familiar with ERB's biography will easily recognize Minidoka's situation reflecting ERB's own background at the time he wrote his tale. He came from a military family and in 1896 he was a soldier in the 7th U.S. Cavalry at Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. In 1900 he married Emma and spent 1903 in Idaho dredging for gold with his brothers on the Snake River. Minidoka was written at this time -- his first piece of fiction -- 82 pages handwritten on the backs of letterheads and odd sheets of paper. The reversal of roles of cows and horses is a simple comic switch, but one that informs the reader of his intent to turn the world upside down in this tale. It is the method of the classic Trickster tale, and becomes a hallmark of many of his later novels, where it was often used for a biting satire of politics, manners and morals, and the follies of blind belief in organized religions.


Propp's Analysis

A true Propp Analysis only lists narrative events, however, I will take the liberty of commenting upon some of these events to show how ERB used his story to present an upside-down fairy tale filled with comic reversals. My comments are not exhaustive of the riches to be found in this story, yet this analysis is a useful guide to further speculation.

The initial situation: There are two warring kingdoms named Pzvrijhk Brady (called Smith) and Conner Bil. Minidoka (the hero) is a career soldier from a military family -- a member of Own Royal Light Cow Guards on Conner Bil's side.

1. Minidoka receives orders to proceed to the front -- Wapi, the capital of Basalt in Brady Smith's kingdom.
The first of Propp's so called "narrative functions" involves someone leaving home. In this case it is the hero who is given his marching orders.
2. He gets a warning from the Wise Little Horned Toad to not go rashly nor to boast.
The second Propp function is a warning. The Wise Little Horned Toad gives Minidoka the first warning and a number of later ones through his agents, the Hoobodies, who also act as helpers giving him good advice and leading him to useful weapons of power.
3. He sees a beautiful girl captured by Two Face, an Indian.
The first villain of the story is an Indian, Two Face, Chief of the Wild Men of the North, an ally of Smith.
4. He rescues a princess.
Minidoka rescues a princess by his own prowess without the aid of magic weapons. His athletic leaping is echoed later in ERB's first novel, A Princess of Mars, when he comes to the aid of Dejah Thoris.
5. She is Princess Bodine, the daughter of his enemy, and by this act he comes into favor with the opposition.
So too, does John Carter come into the favor the savage Tharks at the beginning of A Princess of Mars.
6. He is dubbed Knight of the Spring Fire.
Minidoka begins his quest for the heavenly treasure of fire. This is a classic sun-snaring feat of the Trickster-Hero.
7. He receives a warning from a Hoobody sent by the Little Horned Toad that he is in danger -- will have to face the hookidooki, a monster.
Treasures are always guarded by monsters in fairy tales. Pzvrtjhk sets this task for Minidoka as an initiation into the Knights of the Spring of Fire.
8. Minidoka accepts the test, even though a hoobody offers to take him home again to avoid the risk.
By defeating the Hookidooki, Minidoka will hold the power of life and death over the entire world, so he is committed and confident.
9. The princess leads him into the cave of the hookidooki.
She is disguised as a young man, which is a reversal role later played by Abigail Prim as the Oskaloosa Kid in ERB's The Oakdale Affair.
10. Minidoka fights the monster, but the Princess slays the beast by cutting off its rattle.
ERB created many strong heroines during his career. Princess Bodine is the first of this long line.
11. Princess Bodine is punished by being transformed into a coyote.
She is wearing a coyote head mask, and the curse of the Hookidooki transforms his slayer into what he most resembled.
12. Minidoka finds a "key" -- a parchment -- a treasure -- which is a magic tool, allowing him to call the chief hoobody.
Rather than being the end of the quest, Minidoka is led on to his second task.
13. The Chief hoobody tells Minidoka how to find the Rhinogazarium, who holds the power of ab -- a transforming power -- the ability to change animal species from one to another.
Here Burroughs seems to be toying with the classic Trickster theme of shape-shifting. The Power of Ab--Ab-solute Power?--is employed by various characters with both positive and negative effects.*
14. The Rhinogazarium is actually Rhi, a prince who has been transformed into a monster
Although he holds the power of Ab and could theoretically change himself back, Rhinogazarium does not do so, and ERB quips, "that's just where the fine and microscopic reasoning come in."
15. The Princess is sought by her father. He does not know she has been transformed into a coyote.
Comically, the newspapers report both her death and abduction at the same time.
16. Minidoka challenges the Rhinogazarium and defeats him.
The Rhinogazarium resides in the Castle in the Air. Minidoka defeats him by lassoing his great left eye.
17. Minidoka wins the power of Ab.
The power of Ab can only be used after sundown.
18. Minidoka transforms the princess back into herself -- the monster back into a prince -- and the snakes into birds and then into collie dogs.
These transformations are both beneficial, Trickster as Hero-Savior, and comic. It might be noted that in 1903 Ed and Emma owned a collie dog, who found a place in this story.
19. In a letter to Pzvrtjhk, Minidoka demands surrender and his rights to wed the princess.
This is an ultimatum delivered by a Hoobody helper.
20. Minidoka visits heaven with Rhi and the princess - a story within a story.
This is a clever parody of Dante's Inferno - later expanded in his GODS OF MARS. Again, everything is reversed, so heaven, called Nevaeh, is actually hell.**
21. The Wise Little Horned Toad himself warns Minidoka of an ambush upon his return home.
In a letter, Pzvrtjhk has agreed to Minidoka's demands, but his helper provides a warning.
22. The horned toad gives Minidoka a magic weapon -- a small golden box.
A gift from his chief helper.
23. Minidoka is captured because he does not have the key to the magic box
Minidoka is a master of weapons, the short-sword and spear-whip. Like his future counterpart, John Carter, he is able to defeat many men "in a circle of flashing steel and stone."
24. Minidoka is saved by the hoobodies.
The Hoobodies are invisible.
25. Minidoka transforms his enemies into bugs.
Including Pa-Pa Pzvrtjhk, who is a big fat one.
26. Rhi turns out to be a traitor/villain who took the key to the golden box, and wooed the princess in Minidoka's absence.
The true blue Princess remains faithful to Minidoka.
27. Minidoka and Rhi battle with swords.
The "greatest fight of ancient history" lasts seven days and seven nights.
28. An eclipse of the sun gives Minidoka the power of ab again, and he transforms Rhi into a jealousy monster --he also turns the bugs into bunnies.
Rhi becomes the "green-eyed monster" called Jealousy. The Princess doesn't like all the bugs around, so Minidoka changes them into the cottontails and jackrabbits that infest Idaho.
29. Rather than claiming the kingdom he has won, he destroys it completely.
Minidoka turns loose the Spring of Fire and covers the Bradydom of Pzvrtjhk with molten rock and glass. The classic Trickster, Prometheus-like, captures the fire from the gods and puts it to his own use.
30. He marries the princess and goes to his own land.
Of course, this is the classic ending to all good fairy tales.

* This power also seems prescient of ERB's own authorial powers to create strangely combined creatures in his later writing. One might also speculate upon ERB's thoughts about reading Darwin's Descent of Man, which he added to his book collection in January 1899. There is a cartoon of an ape on the flyleaf, drawn by his own hand, labeled "Grandpa." Burroughs later wrote an interesting account of evolution in his Caspak trilogy based upon transformations, not in a specifically Trickster fashion but related to this early treatment at least in spirit.

** The literary device of embedding one tale in another can be found in many places, especially the Arabian Nights and in the excellent fantastic tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann. It is usually employed to present a deeper psychological meaning to the story, and indeed works admirably this way in Minidoka. During his long career as a storyteller, ERB was fond of setting his stories into elaborate frames and often wrote at least two tales concurrently, having separated his characters and sending them upon parallel adventures, which were told in alternate chapters.

The End

The Jungle Tales of Tarzan:
A Morphological Study
Based Upon Vladimir Propp's
Structural Theory of Folktales

David Arthur Adams

Foreword

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote two stories intended specifically for children. They are: The Tarzan Twins (1926) and Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion (1928). These have been considered to be among ERB's lesser writings until they were realized to be little masterworks in the genre of fairy tales when I applied Propp's system of structural analysis to them.

The great, Russian folklorist, Vladimir Propp (1895-1970) published his first book, Morphology of the Folktale in 1928. Though well-received, the book remained in relative obscurity until it was translated into English in 1958. It is not my intent to argue the validity of Propp's theories since this article is meant for a popular audience more interested in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs rather than arcane studies on the folktale.

The interesting thing about Propp's work is the fact that he developed a method to study the folktale according to the functions of its dramatis personae. He claims that these "functions" or acts of a character are limited in number and follow a more or less identical sequence. The word "morphology" simply means the study of forms -- the study of component parts in their relationships to each other and to the whole -- in other words, the study of the story's structure.

Since Edgar Rice Burroughs is recognized as being a great story teller, I wondered if Propp's functions could be applied to his two Tarzan Twins stories. After finding them to be exemplary examples of the wondertale , or fairy tale, I turned my attention to his earlier stories, the Jungle Tales of Tarzan of 1916-1917. My findings are outlined in the following article.

Burroughs wrote his Jungle Tales in two batches: (1-8) in 1916, and (9-12) in 1917. These short stories are a rarity with Burroughs the novelist. The stories are related to each other, yet each one is complete in itself. Unlike the Tarzan Twins stories, these tales were not intended specifically for children, however, they do follow the sequence of Propp's functions remarkably well.

A brief summary of the structure of each tale is listed below. It will be useful to notice the range of Propp's functions in each tale before delving into the analysis itself.

Propp employs 31 functions or actions to be found in each story. A folktale in its complete form will use all of these functions. None of the Jungle Tales follow Propp's functions as well as the Tarzan Twins stories, which are both complete examples of folktales since they employ all 31 functions.

Only three of the Jungle Tales (numbers 1-3-10) start with Propp's beginning functions, however, these all end early since the stories are linked and completed in other tales.

A Chart of the Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Showing the Propp Functions Employed
TaleFunctions
11-12
26-31 (missing functions 11-14)
31-10
48a-30
58a-30
68a-31
78a-19
84-20
98a-31
101-20
118a-31
128a-28

Most of the tales begin with function VIIIa. One member of a family either lacks something or desires to have something. This is the place in the folktale that Propp notes as being exceptionally important, since by means of an act of villainy or the desire to eliminate something lacking, the actual movement of the tale is created.

It is remarkable that all of these tales follow the Propp functions in order. Burroughs did not always include the final function XXXI. The hero is married and ascends the throne because they were intended to be open-ended enough for the sequence to continue. We might also assume that in creating this series of linking short stories, Burroughs did not feel the need to go through Propp's introductory steps with each tale.

Although the Jungle Tales of Tarzan do not follow Propp's functions completely, this study reveals that they are closely related to the folktale structure, and demonstrate ERB's innate ability as a natural story teller.

Propp's focus is upon the specific actions of characters. A further thematic analysis can reveal the relationship between these stories in other ways.

Thus, ERB roughly alternates his tales between stories describing Tarzan's relationships with the ape tribe and Tarzan's relationships with the natives.


An Application of
The Functions of Dramatis Personae
in Propp's Morphology of the Folktale
to Jungle Tales of Tarzan

[The items in Roman numerals are Propp's "functions." The small case explanations which sometimes immediately follow the functions are also Propp's own words. These explanations have been greatly reduced for this brief paper.]

Chapter 1 - Tarzan's First Love

Chapter 3 - The Fight for the Balu

Chapter 10 - The Battle for Teeka

I. One of the members of a family absents himself from home.

II. An interdiction is addressed to the hero.

III. The interdiction is violated, and a villain enters the tale

IV. The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance.

Chapter 8 - The Lion

V. The villain receives information about his victim. (Definition: delivery)

Chapter 2 - The Capture of Tarzan

VI. The villain attempts to deceive his victim in order to take possession of him or of his belongings.

VII. The victim submits to deception and thereby unwittingly helps his enemy.

VIII. The villain causes harm or injury to a member of a family.

This function is exceptionally important, since by means of it the actual movement of the tale is created. Absentation, the violation of interdiction, delivery, the success of a deceit, all prepare the way for this function, create its possibility of occurrence, or simply facilitate its happening. Therefore, the first seven functions may be regarded as the preparatory part of the tale, whereas the complication is begun by an act of villainy. The forms of villainy are exceedingly varied.

Chapter 4 - The God of Tarzan

Chapter 5 - Tarzan and the Black Boy

Chapter 6 - The Witch-Doctor Seeks Vengeance

Chapter 7 - The End of Bukawai

Chapter 9 - The Nightmare

Chapter 11 - A Jungle Joke

Chapter 12 - Tarzan Rescues the Moon

These tales begins with Propp's function VIIIa, which is typical of ERB's type of questing story.

VIIIa. One member of a family either lacks something or desires to have something.

IX. Misfortune or lack is made known; the hero is approached with a request or command; he is allowed to go or he is dispatched.

This function brings the hero into the tale.

X. The seeker agrees to or decides upon counteraction.

A volitional decision, of course, precedes the search.

XI. The hero leaves home.

Unlike the first absence element, this one is marked with a search for a goal.

XII. The hero is tested, interrogated, attacked, etc., which prepares the way for his receiving either a magical agent or helper

XIII. The hero reacts to the actions of the future donor.

He performs a service of some kind, such as showing mercy.

XIV. The hero acquires the use of a magical agent.

This may be a capacity, such as the power of transformation into animals, etc., or an agent is eaten or drunk.

XV. The hero is transferred, delivered, or led to the whereabouts of an object of search.

Generally the object of search is located in "another" or "different" kingdom. This kingdom may lie far away horizontally, or else very high up or deep down vertically. He may fly through the air or find a stairway or underground passageway.

XVI. The hero and the villain join in direct combat.

In humorous tales the fight itself sometimes does not occur. The hero and the villain may engage in a competition . The hero wins with the help of cleverness.

  • 6 - Rabba Kega, the local witch doctor engages in a magic contest with Bukawai. Bukawai says that he sees Tibo in great danger, while Rabba Kega says he is already dead at the bottom of the river.

  • 7 - Bukawai finds Tarzan helpless, so he binds him and carries him back to his cave.

  • 8 - Tarzan enters the ape's camp dressed in the lion skin, but Gunto is on guard and spies him.

  • 9 - He has a nightmare about a lion who climbs his tree and follows him into the upper terraces.

  • 10 - Toog strikes Teeka down, and the 3 apes attack Tarzan and Taug. Tarzan kills one with his knife and hurries to Taug's aid, who is fighting the other two. Tarzan loses his knife in his impact with Toog and Teeka picks it up along with his pouch with the cartridges. Before the heroes can kill their adversaries, Toog's whole tribe arrives.

  • 11 - Tarzan binds Rabba Kega with the rope that held the kid, and makes him walk back down the trail.

  • 12 - A black warrior unwittingly enters the territory of the apes. They want to kill him, but Tarzan recognizes him as the man who faced the lion with a firebrand the previous night. Tarzan admires courage, so he tells the apes to let him go in peace. The apes are very angry, and want to kill both the warrior and Tarzan. Gozan says that Tarzan is "no ape at all; but a Gomangani (a black man) with his skin off." Taug joins Tarzan, and the apes circle, growling to work themselves into the proper pitch for battle. The black man, Bulabantu, guesses that Tarzan is defending him.

    XVII. The hero is branded.

    XVIII. The villain is defeated.

    XIX. The initial misfortune or lack is liquidated.

    XX. The hero returns. Sometimes return has the nature of fleeing.

    XXI. The hero is pursued.

    XXII. Rescue of the hero from pursuit.

    From this point onward, the development of the narrative proceeds differently, and the tale gives new functions.

    XXIII. The hero, unrecognized, arrives home or in another country.

    Sometimes the initial villainy is repeated, sometimes in the same forms as in the beginning.

    XXIV. A false hero presents unfounded claims.

    A special case . . .

    XXV. A difficult task is proposed to the hero.

    These ordeals are so varied that each would need a special designation.

    XXVI. The task is resolved.

    XXVII. The hero is recognized.

    This may be a special mark or a simple recognition of accomplishments.

    XXVIII. The false hero or villain is exposed.

    XXIX. The hero is given a new appearance.

    Transfiguration. Sometimes a change of dress.

    XXX. The villain is punished.

    In parallel with this we sometimes have a magnanimous pardon. Usually only the villain of the second move and the false hero are punished, while the first villain is punished only in those cases in which a battle and pursuit are absent from the story.

    XXXI. The hero is married and ascends the throne.

    The Tarzan Twins:
    A Morphological Study
    Based Upon Vladimir Propp's
    Structural Theory of Folktales

    David Arthur Adams

    Foreword

    The Tarzan Twins is the first of two fairy tales written about Dick and Doc, the "Tarzan Twins." This story along with Tarzan and The Tarzan Twins with Jad-bal-Ja the Golden Lion were written specifically for an audience of children rather than for adults, as were the other 24 Tarzan novels.

    Edgar Rice Burroughs is recognized as being a great story teller, in fact, this is nearly the only critical point about his writing that is agreed upon without question. Since ERB wrote at least these two stories specifically for children, I thought it be interesting to see if these tales fall within the typical structures of the folktale or fairy tale as outlined by academic folklorists.

    A great deal has been written about the folktale in general, especially about a popular branch of this genre -- the fairy tale. The study of this type of literature is an important academic area that falls under the headings of anthropology, folklore, and linguistics. In fact, so many studies have been written about folklore alone that to fully understand it all would take a lifetime of specialized concentration.

    Scholars who collect the thousands of folktales throughout the world have developed many systems of classifications for these stores. Antti Aarne, the great Finnish folklorist, even constructed an index for the classification of folktales that attempts a scientific method akin to ones used by biologists in labeling flora and fauna.

    This article concerns itself with but one of these many works called the Morphology of the Folktale by the great, Russian folklorist, Vladimir Propp (1895-1970). It is not my purpose to argue the validity of Propp's theories since this article is written for a popular audience that is more interested in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs rather than arcane studies on the folktale. The interesting thing about Propp's work is the fact that he developed a method to study the tale according to the functions of its dramatis personae. He claims that these "functions" or acts of a character are limited in number and follow a more or less identical sequence. This outline can easily be applied to the Tarzan Twins stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    The word "morphology" simply means the study of forms -- the study of component parts in their relationships to each other and to the whole -- in other words, the study of the story's structure. An application of Propp's list of "functions" to The Tarzan Twins reveals that this story does indeed follow the system to a remarkable degree, as you will see in the following analysis. Perhaps this formal study may reveal some of the reasons why Burroughs, was such a great natural storyteller.

    I have used Propp's outline for a study of the second of ERB's "children's stories," Tarzan and The Tarzan Twins with Jad-bal-ja the Golden Lion , and it works remarkable well in that case as well. However, the interesting things about The Tarzan Twins is the fact that not a single substitution of functions is necessary. Even though Propp does allow functions from the middle of the tale to occur earlier, such a break in the "pure" form does not happen in this Burroughs story.

    A Morphological Study of
    Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins and the Golden Lion
    According to Propp's "Functions of Dramatis Personae"

    [The numbered items are Propp's "functions". The small case explanations which sometimes immediately follow the functions are also Propp's own words.]

    Introducing the Tarzan Twins

    Dick and Doc are not really twins, but cousins born to twin sisters. The sisters were American girls, but Dick's mother married an Englishman, a distant relative to Lord Greystoke. Dick and Doc looked alike but for their hair - - Dick had "a shock of the blackest sort of hair, while Doc's "was the sunny hue of molasses candy." They both had blue eyes.

    At the age of 14, the boys attended school in England together where they picked up the title of "The Tarzan Twins" due to Dick's heritage.

    I. One of the members of a family absents himself from home. Sometimes members of the younger generation absent themselves -- they go visiting.

    The boys are invited to spend two months on Tarzan's African estate. They are allowed to go by themselves when their parents are unable to accompany them. Tarzan is to meet them at the end of the railway with 50 Waziri warriors.

    II. An interdiction is addressed to the hero.

    On the train, Doc passes the time by doing magic tricks, slight of hand coin maneuvers. Their railway carriage is derailed, and the boys are warned not to go into the jungle by a train guard, but they do so anyway.

    III. The interdiction is violated, and a villain enters the tale

    They wander some distance, then hearing a terrific roar, run back along the wrong trail. Retracing their steps, the boys meet a Numa, a great black-maned lion. .

    IV. The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance.

    The lion attacks them, and the boys run for the trees

    V. The villain receives information about his victim. (Definition: delivery)

    Dick saves Doc by turning back to help him when he is tripped by a root. The boys start off through the trees, hoping to reach the train. but night falls.

    VI. The villain attempts to deceive his victim in order to take possession of him or of his belongings.

    They find a game trail which leads to a cannibal village. They are followed by Zopinga, a Mugalla of the Bagalla tribe, the all-powerful ones in Ugalla.

    VII. The victim submits to deception and thereby unwittingly helps his enemy.

    Seeing the village, the boys turn back .. .

    VIII. The villain causes harm or injury to a member of a family. This may be an abduction. This function is exceptionally important, since by means of it the actual movement of the tale is created. The first seven functions may be regarded as the preparatory part of the tale, whereas the complication is begun by an act of villainy. The forms of villainy are exceedingly varied.

    ...but they are herded at spear-point into the enclosure by Zopinga.

    IX. Misfortune or lack is made known; the hero is approached with a request or command; he is allowed to go or he is dispatched. This function brings the hero into the tale.

    Dick saves Doc from a blow from a heavy stick by punching a native boy in the face. Dick is the hero of this tale, whereas Doc becomes the hero in the second story, TTTJGL.

    X. The seeker agrees to or decides upon counteraction. A volitional decision, of course, precedes the search.

    They try to communicate with the chief without success.

    XI. The hero leaves home. The departure is intensified.

    The boys are kicked into a stinking bee-hive shaped hut.

    XII. The hero is tested, interrogated, attacked, etc., which prepares the way for his receiving either a magical agent or helper

    In the hut the boys meet two other captives. One is Bulala, "a densely ignorant, but happy-natured West Coast black" who was captured while running away from a safari where he had been a cook. The other is Ukundo, a clever pygmy.

    XIII. The hero reacts to the actions of the future donor. He performs a service of some kind, such as showing mercy.

    The boys quickly make friends with the captives.

    XIV. The hero acquires the use of a magical agent. This may be a capacity.

    They learn a West Coast native language with a pygmy dialect, which proves to be useful.

    XV. The hero is transferred, delivered, or led to the whereabouts of an object of search. Generally the object of search is located in "another" or "different" kingdom. This kingdom may lie far away horizontally, or else very high up or deep down vertically. He may fly through the air or find a stairway or underground passageway.

    They fall asleep that night knowing they are in the midst of cannibals.

    XVI. The hero and the villain join in direct combat. In humorous tales the fight itself sometimes does not occur. The hero and the villain may engage in a competition . The hero wins with the help of cleverness.

    In the morning the boys are taken before Chief Galla Galla. He promises to release them in a few days if they will give him their clothes. (Bulala is the translator in this exchange.) While changing into filthy calico rags, the chief demands Doc's fountain pen. Doc tells him it is something to drink, and the chief spits blue. They try to hide their knives, but the chief demands them also. Doc does his disappearing trick, pulling the knife out of Galla Galla's left ear, and this surprises him so much that he falls off his stool. When he still demands the knives, Doc tells him they are hidden in the head of the boy whom Dick had struck the day before.

    XVII. The hero is branded.

    The sign that the boys have changed their status is of course the filthy calico rags they are forced to wear instead of their "civilized" clothes. The Chief is literally "branded" in a comic reversal by the ink from Doc's fountain pen.

    XVIII. The villain is defeated.

    The Chief is defeated in his effort to have the boy's knives. They are kept prisoner for many hot days and cold nights. The boys are allowed the freedom of the village compound during the day due to the threats of the white boy witch-doctor -- Doc.

    In chapter seven "The Knives Reappear" the combat scene with the Chief is given another twist, and the clever Doc again plays a reversal to defeat his enemy.

    Paabu, the boy whose head holds Doc's magic, fears that Galla Galla will harm him to find the secret. Intamo, the ugly, evil witch-doctor of the Bagalla, has persuaded Galla Galla to crack open Paabu's head like a nut. However, Doc pulls the knives out of Paabu's ear before Intamo can strike him with his knobkerrie.

    XIX. The initial misfortune or lack is liquidated.

    He then places the knives in the witch-doctor's head, suggesting that the war club could be used on him as well. The boys have a dangerous enemy.

    XX. The hero returns. A return takes place immediately and, for the most part, in the same forms as an arrival. Sometimes return has the nature of fleeing.

    That same afternoon guests arrive for the cannibal feast. Bulala is taken away to another hut, and the boys ask Ukundo to help them escape. Doc promises to prevent the night demons from harming them.

    XXI. The hero is pursued. An attempt may be made to kill the hero.

    That evening, as the cannibals are getting the cooking pots ready, Paabu warns them that Intamo, the evil witch-doctor, intends to poison them.

    Chapter Eight - Plotting An Escape

    Paabu promises to bring them four knives, four spears, and four bows and some arrows in exchange for one of Doc's magic knives. They bury the poison food and wait for Paabu to return.

    XXII. Rescue of the hero from pursuit. From this point onward, the development of the narrative proceeds differently, and the tale gives new functions.

    Paabu returns with the weapons. The cannibals are preparing for the feast, which will happen the following evening. As soon as the natives retire for the night, Intamo comes to their hut and tries to kill Doc with his knobkerrie. Dick intervenes with a spear, but it is Ukundo who kills the evil one with his knife.

    They go to the hut that holds Bulala, and Ukundo enters the gloom and brings him out. They remove the chain from the village gates, but the noise awakens the village dogs. The cannibals come with their spears but are afraid to go into the jungle at night as the four prisoners run away amidst the demons of the darkness.

    XXIII. The hero, unrecognized, arrives home or in another country. Sometimes the initial villainy is repeated, sometimes in the same forms as in the beginning.

    Ukundo, master of jungle craft, leads them through the mass of tangled vegetation. Ukundo tells them a lion is coming, and they run through the absolute darkness. The boys find a tree but no branches to climb. Dick jabs his spear into the darkness and feels a heavy body strike, throwing him to the ground. Doc finds a tree they can climb, and they listen to the angry lion thrashing about in the underbrush. Ukundo and Bulala have also found trees to climb, so they decide to stay there until morning.

    The interesting twist of the lion reappearing in this story fits Propp's thesis of an initial villainy being repeated, as the boys were chased by a lion in Function IV above.

    XXIV. A false hero presents unfounded claims.

    At first light, they find a dead lion impaled by Dick's spear. Dick wants at least the head, but he settles for taking the lion's tail.

    Since this is a comic tale, or at least a tale with comic elements, Dick is put in the position of a comic hero rather than introducing a new, false one. He only gets the tail of the lion, and as Doc wryly notes, "it's about all of it you'll feel like carrying after an hour or so."

    XXV. A difficult task is proposed to the hero.

    The boys proceed with bleeding feet and bodies torn and scratched by thorns. When they reach a clearing, they are attacked by three-score Bagalla warriors. They all decide to stand and fight. The boys can't shoot the native bows well enough to do any harm, but Ukundo kills one of the cannibals.

    XXVI. The task is resolved.

    Just as they are about to be captured again, Tarzan and his Waziri arrive. The cannibals run away like frightened rabbits.

    XXVII. The hero is recognized. This may be a special mark or a simple recognition of accomplishments.

    Tarzan calls them "brave lads." And continues, "In the jungle only the brave may live. I am very proud of you."

    XXVIII. The false hero or villain is exposed.

    Since there is no real false hero in this tale, the exposure is revealed in the simple fact that the boys could not really shoot the bows; they could not really save themselves.

    XXIX. The hero is given a new appearance. Transfiguration. Sometimes a change of dress.

    The real heroes arrive on the scene, Tarzan with his Waziri warriors. There is a transformation of sorts in that the boys think more of the enemy is arriving. "And sure enough, with waving plumes there came what seemed a veritable horde of mighty warriors, grim and savage . . ."

    XXX. The villain is punished.

    The cannibals are pursued by the Waziri warriors, "who showered arrows and spears among them." We may assume they were sufficiently punished.

    XXXI. The hero is married and ascends the throne.

    The boys introduce Ukundo and Bulala to Tarzan, who promises them a reward. Doc asks for a whole apple pie.

    The ending is an example of ERB's tongue-in-cheek humor. Instead of marrying the princess or gaining a kingdom, the boys ultimate reward is an apple pie.

    Afterword

    The application of Propp's functions to the short stories in the Jungle Tales of Tarzan reveals that not only do they fit these tales, but they also uncover some interesting new aspects in their fundamental structures. I have found Propp's functions to be an enlightening method of structural analysis and a particularly fruitful one for dealing with the typical folktale structures in the "Tarzan Twins" tales. Burroughs was able to create perfect fairy tales with apparent ease, which may explain at least in part his fame as a "natural storyteller."

    Bibliography

    Burroughs, Edgar Rice. Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins, Canaveral Press, 1963.

    Propp, V., Morphology of the Folktale, University of Texas Press, 1990.