The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and it’s relation to populism
Frank Baum first published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1930. The book later became an extremely popular motion picture film. Frank Baum was a supporter of William Jennings Bryan who stood three times, unsuccessfully, as a U.S. Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. Henry Littlefield proposed the idea The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a parable about Populism, money reform, and the 1890’s Midwestern political movement led by William Jennings Bryan. The Populist Era ended with the election of 1896. People who supported the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle against the higher classes were considered Populists. Many would say that Baum’s purpose of writing this book was to write a political allegory. The movie begins in Kansas, where Littlefield had said was the center of America. At the time, Kansas was a very rural and scarcely populated area that was riddled with natural disasters and hardship. As the story progresses, we see Emerald City in which Littlefield compares to Washington DC. Because the Wizard of Oz has immense power and authority he represents the President. Dorothy is the proverbial main character in the film that becomes lost and is searching everywhere for a way to get home. She represents America’s people when she is directed to go down the Yellow Brick Road, in this case represents The Gold Standard, towards Oz to ask the Wizard if he can send her home. She sets off wearing the Evil Witch of the East’s silver slippers. The Evil Witch’s silver slippers represented the Silver Standard. The Witch of the North explains to Dorothy that by clicking her heels together three times she will be able to go wherever she wants. The first person she meets on her journey to Emerald City is the Scarecrow who wishes he had a brain. Littlefield compares him to the farmers because the farmers were not very intelligent and were getting poorer day by day, while the rich were...
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