The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Not So Wonderful
In Frank Baum’s famous work, The Wizard of Oz, there was more meaning behind the tale besides a fragile girl and her dog embarking on a journey with a scarecrow, a tin woodsman and a lion to see the Wizard. Baum claims that this story is absolute children’s literature but scholars and critics believe otherwise. There were several comments calling Baum a “socialist” and that his characters and the setting represented the whereabouts of the United States. In other words it somehow mocked the United States in a way that is almost clear when diving into this tale. One can comment that this story is utopian literature, but there are several reasons to support that it is the complete opposite of utopian literature. In utopian literature, society is “perfect.” The idea of utopia is for society to have perfect laws, perfect atmosphere, perfect people, and perfect government. The Wizard of Oz lacks that perfection.
As mentioned, in order to maintain a perfect, utopian society, there must be a strong leader. The leader in this story is Oz the Wizard. This character claims himself as the “great and terrible” wizard he is. Instead of presenting himself to the public, he is hidden away with his experiments and “magic” in Emerald City. He does an excellent job at convincing the land that he is powerful. Once Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion are called forth one at a time to Oz, Oz would utilize his experiments to create huge, intimidating, and one beautiful images in order to carry his message across to each of the friends. His images may be an unusual and “mystical” sight, but he cannot prove that he is a powerful wizard and leader if he was cooped in his shelter. Instead of addressing any military action, he sends Dorothy and her friends out to kill the Wicked Witch of the West themselves. He is hidden and uses massive illusions in order to mask his true identity. He is nothing but a coward...
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