Dr. Ethna Lay
The Wonderful Worlds of Utopia
Americans crave Oz because of it's utopian vision. On the surface, Oz appears to be a perfect utopia to Dorothy. When she first arrives, Oz is bright, colorful and full of magic and wonder while her home in Kansas is dull, lifeless and devoid of hope. In Kansas, it's as if the citizens are stuck with no real plans or goals for the future. In Oz, traveling down the elaborate, intertwined yellow brick road offers Dorothy a great chance for adventure and hope and magic. This also goes for Elphaba from the Broadway show, Wicked. Bot of their desire is to go home. The end of the yellow brick road and the Wizard offers a chance for both of their prayers to be answered.
Dorothy's adventures along the yellow brick road prove to be completely different than her expectations when she finds herself in many difficult and dangerous situations. The road, as she meets new companions and runs into the Wicked Witch of the West, slowly becomes darker. While far more interesting and more full of life than Kansas, Dorothy's adventure through Oz shows her how much she longs for the security and familiarness of her home in Kansas. It is only after she sees the true corrupt nature of Oz that she realizes what Kansas really means to her. The situation of Elphaba in Wicked is ironically similar to Dorothy's in Oz. Elphaba travels to Emerald City in search of a utopia of her own. However, when she reaches the city, she finds that it is corrupt and not what she thought it would be.
America started off with the same utopian vision as the writers of The Wizard of Oz and Wicked imagined their utopia. In the beginning, the land of Oz held opportunity, hope, and dreams. It's not until one travels to Emerald City and sees that things are not manifested the way that they had previously imagined. There is a sense of false hope and deceit waiting in the dark, which is a common theme in fairy tales to begin with. Behind The...