“A Kidnapped Santa Claus” by L. Frank Baum Reading Questions
1. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist?
-The protagonist would be Santa Claus; the antagonist would be the five daemons.
2. What is the conflict?
-Because Santa Claus causes children to behave properly, the five daemons resent him for they are unable to have children visit their caves if they are not filled with hatred, envy, selfishness, malice, and repentance. Due to this resentment the five daemons plan on kidnapping Santa in order to bring a revival to their caves.
3. What is the setting?
-The story takes place in Laughing Valley, and the five caves. It also takes place in Christmas Eve.
4. To what genre would you say this story belongs? Why?
-This story belongs in the fantasy genre because fantasy is a genre where internal problems are externalized, and in the story the five daemons represent internal problems which are externalized in their characters.
5. What do you notice about Baum’s writing style?
-Baum's style is meant for children; it is simple and contains a fairytale-like flow.
6. Who are the Daemons? How are they labeled? Why are they named so?
-The daemons are five are five creatures who resent Santa. They are called the daemon of selfishness, the daemon of malice, the daemon of hatred, the daemon of repentance, and the daemon of envy. Each daemon represents internal problems that each human can embody.
7. What familiar seasonal elements are used in the story? What unfamiliar elements are there?
-Sleighs, reindeers, and a christmas trees were all elements mentioned in the story that we recognized. However, in the story his little helpers are different than what we are used to. Also we are introduced to Santa Claus' castle in the Laughing Valley, contrary to what we are used to, the north pole.
8. What are some variations of this story that have been retold in the last few years?
-The Grinch and the Nightmare before Christmas are just a few stories that have been retold in the last few years.
9. Are there any parts of the story that help to define Santa Claus as a character? Does he make any tough decisions or risk something valuable?
-Santa Claus' sadness for not getting to the children, and his reluctancy to see any bad qualities in people show Santa Claus' true qualities.
-One of the daemons lets him go.