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Exploring The Wizard Of Oz Essay

615 words - 3 pages

During the 19th and 20th century, America became a massive super power of cultural abundance and productivity. As William Leach states in his work The Land of Desire and the Culture of Consumer Capitalism, “the cardinal features of this culture were acquisition and consumption as the means of achieving happiness; the cult of the new; the democratization of desire; and money value as the predominant measure of all value in society” (Leach page 3). With the rise of consumption, Americans would begin to spend their few open hours entering dream worlds of fantasy and enchantment to suppress the bland monotonous confines and shackles of the new modern society. One work of unimaginable enticement that catapulted Americans deep into the realm of imagination and wonder was the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The Wizard of Oz appears to be a magnificent tale about the quest for one’s identity and purpose in a world of ideological liberation and self-expression. However, if one unveils the ubiquitous layer of fantasy ornamented in the story, the mechanisms of capitalism reveal themselves. Furthermore, the story hides the facets of capitalism to depict reality as malevolent, rational, and mundane, and fantasy as benevolent, enchanting and wondrous, consequently separating fantasy from reality as two distinct dichotomies. Inherently, the desires that the main protagonist Dorothy possesses dwells in her own self-interest to obtain objects that she thinks will give her happiness and prosperity. Through Baum’s incorporation of countless details, the process of producing and consuming reveals itself in key moments of adversity in the story to highlight her desires, while simultaneously painting them as innocent. As the story ensues, Dorothy's desires manifest from innocent to materialistic because of the allure of capitalistic commodities...

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