The Wizard of Oz- Parable on Populism

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Max Lang
2/27/12
History 11

The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism

When Lyman Frank Baum first publicized The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, it had been very popular from the start. The Wizard of Oz is filled with musical comedy and is a warm and touching production. This production was such a hit that it had been turned into three movies and there were a number of plays on it. The Wizard of Oz was not written for the purpose of a sequel, but it was so popular that there had been many demands to do so.

The Wizard of Oz was very family friendly, as many children and parents enjoyed either reading the novel, or watching the musical or movie. For the children, this production was a very exiting fantasy story but to parents and other older aged people there was deeper meaning. There was a connection to real life and society (in the nineteenth century) with the Wizard of Oz between the characters and settings from this production. It was not completely addressed by Lyman Frank Baum as to what these sort of connections were when the production had first been publicized. This was until he wrote and published an article in 1964, which actually gave an inside point of view of the outline of the production and that decoded his own metaphors and symbols between the society (of the nineteenth century) and the novel. Some of these symbols were Dorothy’s par of silver shoes, which represented the silver issue, the yellow brick road, which represented the gold standards. Another interesting this is that “Oz” in the title of this novel is actually an abbreviation of an ounce.

Henry M. Littlefield was an American educator, author and historian who was most notable for his claim that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a political satire, linked the early life of L. Frank Baum to how the play was written. L. Frank Baum had moved to Aberdeen in South Dakota with his family after his success in writing a few plays. At this time there had been a lot of economic and social...
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