Wonderful Wizard of Oz as Allegory

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Donovan Conner
Mrs. Collins
College Prep American Literature
February 9 2009
In Lyman Frank Baum’s, more commonly known as Frank L. Baum, novel The Wonderful wizard of Oz Baum describes a story in which a young girl Dorothy and her dog, Toto go on a magical journey from the dull, gray land of Kansas to the colorful, magical land of Oz. This girl and her dog meet three companions, a Cowardly Lion, a Brainless Scarecrow, and a Heartless Tin Man and have adventure in the Land of Oz and untimely help Dorothy get home. In Baum’s allegorical The Wonderful Wizard of Oz he uses satire and symbols, such as the regions of Oz, the characters of Oz and the Witches of Oz as to represent the Populist movement.

Baum himself was fit to write a novel that was an allegory for the populist movement. As a young man he had shared a passion for the stage (Applebaum 1). It was also said that he was “born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth” and that the “one occupation in which Baum seemed to excel at was story telling” (Discovering Authors 1). These traits that Baum had would have made him a great satirist, and he was familiar with the utopian issues because he worked at a newspaper (Karp 1) and commented on many political and social affairs (Discovering Authors 1). So with the knowledge Baum made a classic allegorical novel that even starts with a satire “The old-time fairy tale, having served for generation ,may now be classified…Having this thought in mind, the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written solely to pleasure the children of today” (Westfaul 1). In the interdiction to his novel he sets in the mind that there is more to his book, because if not why else state something as obvious as that, unless trying to give a clue that his introduction is not all true but has a hidden meaning all its own. When Dorothy came to Oz trough a cyclone in which her house falls and kills the Wicked Witch of the West and gets the Witch’s silver slippers. She comes from a place described as “dull and gray”(Baum,19), to the magical, colorful Land of Oz In Oz Dorothy meet three companions, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion and they all go to meet the great wizard of Oz so that they can have their problems solved. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Lion wants courage, the Tin Man wants a heart, and Dorothy want a way home to Kansas. They go down the yellow brick road and go through challenges and they meet the Wizard in the Emerald City and go through and are told to go and kill the second Wicked Witch, the Witch of the East. They go through challenges to get this witch. Dorothy and the Lion are the only ones who get to the witch; the Scarecrow and the Tin Man are maimed and left on the way. The Witch imprisons the Lion and Dorothy and attempts to take Dorothy’s silver slipper but is unable, and in the end is doused by water, and this ends up being her ultimate demise because “her greatest fear …was of water because it’s a conventional symbol of life and purity” (Bellman 1). After the Witch’s demise they use her golden cap to summon flying monkeys to get the scarecrow and recruit the people that the Witch had enslaved to repair the Tin Man. Dorothy also uses the monkeys to get back to the Wizard at the Emerald City. When they do the Wizard gives the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion fake solutions to their problems since they already had the solution to their problems all along, but is unable to give a solution to Dorothy and it is revealed that he is a fake wizard and is unable to send her home, but attempts by using a hot air balloon but fails and leaves Dorothy. Dorothy now goes to the Good Witch of the south and trades the Good Witch the golden cap, which the Witch uses too send back the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man and then frees the monkeys by giving them the golden cap. She tell Dorothy that she can use the silver shoes to get home and so Dorothy taps the shoes and wishes she was home and is swept away to Kansas,...
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