How The Wizard Of Oz Relates To History

Topics: The Wizard of Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Land of Oz Pages: 7 (1437 words) Published: May 28, 2014
If you look deeper into everyday things, you may find that some characters or objects in a story represent real-life people or scenarios. When I was a young child, I watched the “The Wizard of Oz,” all the time; but when we watched it together in my U.S. History Class, I realized that the meaning is much deeper than it seems. Many of the characters and significant places or things in the movie can represent people, places, things and ideas from American history. There are many ways to connect “The Wizard of Oz,” to history.

In “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy is a simple girl who gets caught up in a huge scenario involving wizards, flying monkeys, and many other strange creatures. I believe that she represents African Americans and their struggle for freedom. From the beginning of her journey in the Land of Oz; which could be seen as American is this case, Dorothy faces disapproval from the Witch of the West. She, like African Americans, also faces much more hardship before she is accepted. She must follow a path that she has been told will lead her to freedom. This may represent the Underground Railroad that African American slaves followed to freedom. After traveling for what seems like forever on the yellow brick road, Dorothy finally reaches the one that she hopes will finally be able to send her home, the Wizard of Oz. This is similar to when President Lincoln officially abolished slavery on December 18, 1865 and all African American slaves could finally be free, like Dorothy would be free of Oz and the Wicked Witch. In the movie, nevertheless, the Wizard of Oz still requires one more task to be completed. This shows the racism and segregation that still took place even after slavery was ended. The task that Dorothy had to complete to gain the ability to get home seemed almost impossible at first; to retrieve the broom stick from the Wicked Witch. Considering the group she was with; a cowardly lion, a heartless tin man and a brainless scarecrow, didn’t seem like much help. These characters however led to a great success of the mission. This group of characters signifies the different groups/races of people in American that all worked together to end slavery and create an almost equal society for American citizens. This illustrates when Dorothy finally makes it home to her loving family who believe that all she went through was a dream.

The Ruby slippers that Dorothy wears could represent many things; I think they could signify the flesh and blood of those who fought in the many wars. The slippers were the color of the blood that ran through their veins as they fought for our freedom. A soldier’s blood and flesh are a part of their body, just like the ruby slippers become a part of Dorothy’s body when the Wicked Witch of the West tired to take them off her. The ruby slippers could also represent hope. Escaped slaves had hope for a better life and home, just like Dorothy had more hope to get back home when she was wearing the slippers. I also think they could represent America as a whole; the slippers are ruby colored just like the red in the American Flag. Dorothy and all her new friends worked as a whole and helped each other to get what each one needed. The ruby slippers could also signify the women of the 1920s that felt beautiful when they embraced a style of their own. Overall, the ruby slippers could represent many large parts of history, just like the large role they played in “The Wizard of Oz.”

I believe that the yellow brick road represents everyone’s personal goals in life. Dorothy’s trip down this road was filled with many challenges and dangers, just as everyone’s life is filled with hardships and challenges. The first challenge Dorothy encountered was the fork in the yellow brick road. If the scarecrow wouldn’t have known the right way, Dorothy may have been lost in Oz forever. Another event that happened on the yellow brick road was the field of poppies that Dorothy and her friends came across....
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