Is there a hidden political allegory in the wizard of oz. The wizard of oz film symbols, allegory and motifs. The wonderful wizard of oz is a deliberate work of political symbolism. Academics like quentin taylor still find enough parallels to argue that the book is a deliberate work of political symbolism. In the book, a cyclone appears to come and takes dorothy and toto to this magical land named the land of oz. The secret political symbolism you never knew was hidden. Similar to parties on our political landscape today, the populist. Frank baums the wonderful wizard of oz was a smash hit of a childrens. What is the deeper meaning of the wonderful wizard of oz.
Frank baums book the wonderful wizard of oz, upon which the movie is based, was a political allegory. Frank baum interlaced some very gentle social comments throughout his childrens books. Wizard of oz allegory characters flashcards quizlet. Or at least she was, until her house is swept up in a cyclone and sent hurtling through the air. Many things in this world arent always what they seem to be at first glance, and childrens books are no exception. Having watched many of them, i think the most important aspect is not the nwoillumunaticontrol systemman behind the curtain thingbut the end where dorothy discovers she has the power. The wizard of oz also functions as a spiritual allegory, showing people how they can make miracles happen in even the most difficult of circumstances just by relying on the natural gifts they. The postmortem on the symbolic reading of baum soon followed. Frank baums book the wonderful wizard of oz, published in 1900, sold. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Political symbolism in the wonderful wizard of oz rare oz books. Judy garland as dorothy gale, in the 1939 film the wizard of oz.
Learn about the different symbols such as cyclone in the wonderful wizard of oz and how they contribute to the plot of the book. In his introduction to the wonderful wizard of oz, l. The secret political symbolism you never knew was hidden within. It turns out dorothys house landed and killed the wicked witch of the east.
The wizard of oz symbolism goes incredibly deep, from the main characters to the cyclone, those famous slippers, and even toto. The bad wizard of oz is a childrens novel written by l. The political and economic symbols hidden inside the wizard of oz many things in this world arent always what they seem to be at first glance, and childrens books are no exception. Oct 22, 2015 dorothy literally died in the wizard of oz. Political interpretations of the wonderful wizard of oz.
Benjamin blankenbehler october 27, 2015 october 19, 2016 0. This represents, again, how the main focus of the wizard of oz is on the people of america. His name was a play on the word teetotaler, because prohibitionists were political allies of populists. Yet the original oz book conceals an unsuspected depth. Frank baum had indeed aspired to write a fairy tale that was different from the older, mostly european ones. Frank baum, who went on to write fourteen fulllength oz books. The coded movie of what really happened to america. Literary scholars and critics, of course, have long interpreted the wonderful wizard of oz as a fable of populism, arguing that baum disparaged the social, political, economic, and moral order of the gilded age.
Political interpretations of the wonderful wizard of oz study the influences of the modern fairy tale written by l. Wizard of oz friday, 12 september 2014 by bruce rawles any movie, just as any life experience from our spacetime projected cinema, can be interpreted by our inner kindness teacher in a way that leads us home to where weve never left. What i didnt know as a child most adults i meet are similarly oblivious is that l. This symbolizes the cynicism that exists in politics due to the fact that politicians tend to change face with different people.
On that image alone we could rest our case that the wonderful wizard of oz is a fanciful book. The wizard of oz as a satirical allegory of money and. In general frank baum, oz books can be priced from ten to thousands of dollars and. Hill company in chicago on may 17, 1900, and has since been reprinted countless times, most often under the name the wizard of oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the extremely popular, highly acclaimed. Political interpretations of the wonderful wizard of oz wikipedia. Five alternative readings the classic film was first shown 75 years ago. American politics in the 1890s, when baum was writing the book. This symbolizes the cynicism that exists in politics due to the fact that politicians tend to change face. The wonderful wizard of oz, the book that made baum a household name at the turn of the 20th. Many scholars have interpreted the book as an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic and social events of america of the 1890s. Most analyses of oz describe the story as a political allegory. In spite of this fact, the oz claims his promises to the lion, the scarecrow and the tin woodsman have been kept. The struggles and wonders in the land of oz represented her journey toward rebirth.
Hugh rockoff suggested in 1990 that the novel was an allegory about the demonetization of silver in 1873, whereby the cyclone that carried dorothy to the land of oz represents the economic and political upheaval, the yellow brick road stands for the gold standard, and the silver shoes dorothy inherits from the wicked witch of the east represents the prosilver movement. How is this story the same as or different from, for example, those by the brothers grimm. Political interpretation of the wonderful wizard of oz. All of the baum written books are in the public domain in the united states. Explain the symbols in the wizard of oz and why each.
Dec 04, 2012 wizard of oz symbolism the wizard of oz is a nostalgic tale of dorothy, a young farm girl from kansas, who is swept away to a magical land by a tornado. For anyone looking for an oz gift, they might consider purchase either an individual book or a wizard of oz book series set. Apr 15, 20 following the yellow brick road back to the origins of oz before the movies, broadway musicals and halloween costumes, l. Frank baums classic childrens novel the wonderful wizard of oz was published in 1900. Political interpretations of the wonderful wizard of oz include treatments of the modern fairy tale written by l. Like dorothy said in the film, but it wasnt a dream, it was a place this was a real, truly live place. Dec 02, 2008 political interpretations of the wonderful wizard of oz study the influences of the modern fairy tale written by l. A monetary reformers brief symbol glossary by patrick s. Poppies are the flowers that give off the poisonous fragrance that puts dorothy, toto, and the lion. Although the wizard of oz is widely perceived as an innocent childrens fairy tale, it is almost impossible not to attribute symbolic meaning to dorothys quest. The wizard of oz is a fantasyadventure movie, based on a single book in a large collection of stories, thats set in a largely unexplored world.
However, one of the most significant intakes is in relevant to the political situation and condition of america in the 1930s. They find that oz is only a common man who came from the same world as dorothy. The cyclone is supposed to represent the populist movement and the political upheaval it brought involving william jennings bryan, and the granger movement. The wizard of oz is a beloved childrens story that includes both the book, published in 1900, and the movie, which came out in 1939. Jul 21, 2010 the wonderful wizard of oz is a modern fairy tale published in 1900, that was written by frank baum who loved editorial cartoons from the newspaper he used the universal symbols of his day to. Symbolism of the wizard of oz scarecrow, tin man, and the cowardly lion witches other interpretations overall dorothy where does the yellow brick road really lead to. So obsessed was the era with this policy debate that a line of scholarship in the latter half of the 20th century argues the wellknown childrens book, the wizard of oz originally titled the wonderful wizard of oz, is an allegory of the eras political conflict over bimetallism. The rusted tin man, stuck in the same position for a year before dorothy oils his joints. The historians wizard of oz synthesizes four decades of scholarly interpretations of l.
Its the bestselling childrens story of the 1900 christmas season. Since then, there have been many interpretations, from religious allegory to an acid trip. And the central message in the book is all about the rise of populism and the debate over gold versus silver. Political symbolism in the wonderful wizard of oz many people are not aware that the wonderful wizard of oz is suspected to have referenced several political issues of the late 1800s. The political and economic symbols hidden inside the. Political symbolism the wizard represents political leaders, particularly any of the us presidents during the late 19th century. The symbolism of the wizard of oz came to light again recently after the famous filmmaker, bill still, produced a twohour documentary film, the secret of oz, in which he shakes up the existing economic paradigms and contends that the book contains a solution. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the wizard of oz by victor fleming. By robert kelly copied from the julyaugust issue of the americans bulletin just as you can read between the gory lines in the newspaper on any given day in america, you can discover clues and truths slipped in by the powers that be.
Start studying political parties the wizard of oz a political allegory. The wizard of oz as an allegory for the 1896 presidential. Although bowing to the evidence, parker attempted to salvage the allegorical interpretation as a useful pedagogical device. The sad, centurylong history of terrible wizard of oz. In the original book, the wonderful wizard of oz, by frank baum, published 39 years before the movie came out in 1939, and three years before the crash, the slippers were not rubyred, but silver. What is the symbolic meaning of the wizard of oz answers. Dorothy gale is a farm girl whos living a quiet life in kansas with her uncle henry and aunt em, her miserable, but loving, relatives. In the rise and fall of the wonderful wizard of oz as a parable on populism, david parker recounted the curious interpretive history of the first oz book. The wonderful wizard of oz the wonderful wizard of oz is a modern fairy tale novel written by l. The heart of the book is an annotated version of the wizard of oz that highlights the possible political and monetary symbolism in the book by relating characters, settings, and. Harburg told john lahr for his book notes on a cowardly lion, i wanted him bert lahr for the part of the cowardly lion because the role was one of the things the wizard of oz stands for, the search for some basic human necessity.
But some scholars have found hidden criticisms of late. There are many editions available of the wonderful wizard of oz, but the original was very much a team effort of author baum and illustator w. Populism and the world of oz national museum of american history. Dorothy gale, the lead character of the wonderful wizard. In his reading of the wizard of oz, littlefield believed that dorothy was a standin for the average american, and that the magic silver shoes represented the late 1890s free silver movement. Wizard of oz political allegory essay example graduateway. Frank baum and first published in 1900 as an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic, and social events of america in the 1890s. Nov 25, 2012 there are lots of wizard of oz symbolism videos. Frank baum claims that the book is simply an innocent childrens story. Speculation of the parallels between the characters in the book and history of the united states began with a history teacher by the name of henry littlefield. Wizard of oz symbolism the wizard of oz is a nostalgic tale of dorothy, a young farm girl from kansas, who is swept away to a magical land by a tornado.
Does the wonderful wizard of oz have a hidden message. As in all great stories, the characters and the symbols of the wizard of oz can be given a second layer of interpretation, which may vary depending on the readers perception. The symbolic meaning of the wizard of oz depends upon the inclinations of the reader of the original 1900 book edition or the viewer of the beloved 1939 film version. The wonderful wizard of oz is said to be the first american fairy tale, and l. And the central message in the book is all about the rise of populism and the debate over gold versus. In the book, the tin man, scarecrow and dorothy all saw the wizard quite differently. As a theosophist, baum believed in a literal afterlife. Are dorothy, the wizard, the scarecrow, and the rest of the characters in oz symbols for a set of political beliefs. The symbolism hidden within the wizard of oz many people believe that the wizard of oz was and is an allegory for the radically new state of affairs that existed in america in the 1930s, following the stock market crash and the bankruptcy of the united states. What does the yellow brick road represent in the wonderful. The wizard of oz remains a symbol of social progress.
Frank baum put hidden symbols in his book the wonderful wizard of oz. Frank baums book the wonderful wizard of oz, upon which the movie is based, was a political allegory for american politics at the dawn of. For the scarecrow, oz gives him a brain which was mixed with pins and needles. The 1939 film starring a young judy garland was based on lyman frank baums book, the wonderful wizard of oz, published in 1900. The occult roots of the wizard of oz vigilant citizen. Does the yellow brick road actually lead to a political hierarchy. In a 1964 article, educator and historian henry littlefield outlined an allegory in the book of the late19th.
It was from the collective unconscious, a bubbling cauldron of archetypal images, that the wizard of oz was birthed into existence in 1900 as a book and later reincarnated as a movie in 1939. Frank baum wrote 14 wizard of oz books, but his biggest home run was 1900s the wonderful wizard of oz, which mgm turned into a wonderful wizard of oz movie. The scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion together, make up the american society during the time period of the late 1800s, early 1900s. In the book and the play the shoes are silver, not ruby as they were famously depicted in the 1939 film. The lead character, dorothy gale, symbolizes the average american. Dorothy and the wizards head from the book, the wonderful wizard of oz. But there are loads of other imaginative touches, including a talking scarecrow, a man made of tin, armless men with projectile headsthe list goes on. Frank baum was a theosophist who believed in rebirth. The book had an impact on american culture through the adaptations, popular culture, and readers. Many of the immigrants setting about making a new life for themselves in america had a saying the streets ar. The wizard of oz symbols, allegory and motifs gradesaver. Garland won the role of dorothy despite substantial competition. Following the yellow brick road back to the origins of oz.
Harburg felt strongly that lahr could effectively combine the pathos of longing and innocence with comic bravura. For the novice, collectors will be a good start to learn about the collectible wizard of oz book series by frank baum and oz books guide. The symbolism hidden within the wizard of oz many people believe that the wizard of oz was and is an allegory for the radically new state of affairs that existed in america in the 1930s, following the stock market crash and the bankruptcy of the united states government which occurred immediately thereafter. It told of an orphaned kansas girl swept by a tornado into a fantastical world, but who wants to return home to her aunt and uncle. The political and economic symbols hidden inside the wizard of oz.
Baum himself has adamantly stated that he wrote the wonderful wizard of oz solely to pleasure the children. Here are 16 hidden symbols and messages that you might never have noticed before in l. But while the wizard of oz as a political satire makes fun of politics and the pomposity it breeds, there is something more to the book than just this. Mar 08, 20 this is much more peculiar than it seems. Its movie adaptation, one of the first in color, premiered in 1939 starring judy garland, margaret hamilton ray bolger and jack haley. He wrote thirteen additional oz books, and the film. Wizard of oz political symbolism democratic underground. The novel the wonderful wizard of oz has deep and underlying meanings that. The wonderful wizard of oz as a fable of modern america. The wizard of oz essays are academic essays for citation.
The wizard of oz explains our economic crisis like a modern. Frank baums classic children s novel the wonderful wizard of oz was published in 1900. During her travels she encounters a number of characters, some good, some bad. Many people are not aware that the wonderful wizard of oz is suspected to have referenced several political issues of the late 1800s. According to author and oz series originator lyman frank baum may 15, 1856may 5, 1919, the wizard of oz is an american fairy tale for the enjoyment of children.
Frank baum wrote the childrens fantasy book the wonderful wizard of oz in 1900. Dorothy, the main character in the novel, is said to represent the. There are many speculations about representation in the wizard of oz and particular aspects of the film can be interpreted in many different ways. Populism and the world of oz national museum of american. The wonderful wizard of oz 1939, like many fairy tales depicting a series of fantastic adventures, is really the story of an individuals inner journeya story of personality integration and coming of age. The book was a huge hit as soon as it was published in 1900 and was followed by more than a dozen sequels. Over the rainbow symbol dorothy gale is bored by her life on the farm, and she lives in a world literally without color. The wizard of oz and political symbolism sophies tale. The atheist approach to the wonderful wizard of oz. Some historians believe oz stands for an abbreviation of the weight measure, ounce. Wizard of oz political allegory essay 1291 words cram. The following is a compilation of several views of the monetary reform symbolism used by l.
The oz books form a book series that begins with the wonderful wizard of oz 1900 and relate the fictional history of the land of oz. Dorothys journey in oz symbolized the golden path in the afterlife. Symbolism of te wizard of oz by caroline caudle on prezi. Over the decades, the wizard of oz has been seen by many christians and used often in sermons see here for one example as an allegory of faith. Longing for a more exciting life, dorothy sings the nowclassic american standard over the rainbow about her dream of going somewhere more exciting than kansas. The movie, released the same year as gone with the wind, was the product of five different directors and a myriad of studio writers, continually assigned. Frank baum has been an american icon, beloved since it was first published in 1900. Munchkin symbolism in wizard of oz architecture revived. Both versions tell the story of dorothy gale and her adorable dog toto getting stranded in a fantastical land by a tornado, and both include the iconic characters of the scarecrow. It was adapted into a broadway musical by baum in 1902, and then into its first. This study guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of the wonderful wizard of oz.
The symbolism hidden within the wizard of oz jabajabba. Denslow, and the 100th anniverary edition pictured here replicates that one. He wrote thirteen additional oz books, and the film adaptation staring judy garland was released in 1939. Broadways the wiz opened in 1975 on the seventyfifth anniversary of the original book. The symbolic quest to find your inner heroes, face your worst enemy, and attain wholeness. But is the wonderful wizard of oz, a purely partisan creation with a distinct hardwired political. Historians have found a number of symbols in the wizard of oz, and they all point to one thing. As the foregoing reconstruction shows, the evidence from the text is overwhelming, and, in light of baums political background, trickster personality, and subsequent work, it is all but conclusive.393 1297 1540 1249 459 1117 249 1380 522 747 791 604 237 1201 604 1107 547 1064 157 585 912 1147 1306 865 1536 650 1430 1299 590 893 232 631 1058 1419 459 672 1377 1436 734 963