Dualities of Good vs. Evil in The Wizard of Oz
Through the expression of literature within the elementary school classroom, young children can become exposed to endless lesson’s regarding life and growing. “Realistic” stories have been criticized for being dull, too complex, and psychologically empty. For example, it is practically impossible to find any meaning within literature such as “See Dick. See Jane.” Nonetheless, fantasy restores this meaning within the reading process. As expressed by Bruno Bettelheim, author of The Uses of Enchantment, fantasy allows children to identify with heroes who ultimately win, offering confidence to believe that negative aspects in one’s life can be successfully dealt with. The Wizard of Oz is a leading example of this perception. Thus, in my opinion, a child might be comforted and experience growth and awareness through the viewing of fantasy stories like The Wizard of Oz due to the journey of the protagonist, character polarities, and the profound meaning of the fable itself.
The Wizard of Oz features Dorothy Gale, the protagonist, on a quest throughout the wonderful fantasy land of Oz. Although it may not be clearly evident, Dorothy’s journey is in fact quite similar to our very own journey of life. Dorothy is an ordinary individual. In Kansas, her life is decent, however once she arrives in Oz, she begins her magical adventure. Within the foreign city, Dorothy follows the yellow brick road to assist her in reaching the Emerald City. This road, in my opinion, is the metaphoric path we take throughout life. In reality, the road is long and complex but eventually leads to the awaited destination. Along the yellow brick road, Dorothy befriends various characters including the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, who aid in her pursuit. These characters represent the individuals within our lives which help and support us. Still, Dorothy is forced to manage and confront the Wicked Witch who is symbolic of the struggles we...
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