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Symbolism On The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

2198 words - 9 pages

Lyman Frank Baum has written many children’s books throughout his life. Baum was born May 15, 1856 in New York. As a teenager, Baum wrote for the New York World and acted in local theater; then he moved on to be publisher of other agencies and papers. He later published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in May 1900. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was so well liked by the public that they wrote thirteen sequels to it. Some of Baum’s sequels included The Marvelous Land of Oz 1904, Ozma of Oz 1907, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz 1908, The Road to Oz 1909, The Emerald City of Oz 1910, The Patchwork Girl of Oz 1913, Tik-Tok of Oz 1914, The Scarecrow of Oz 1915, and Rinkitink in Oz 1916. According to a reader, “Oz so captivated the public’s fancy that a succession of writes continued the series long after Baum’s death” (“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a Monetary Allegory of Gilded Age” n.p.). L. Frank Baum died in 1919. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is about a young, orphaned girl named Dorothy from Kansas who gets swept away by a cyclone, along with her dog named Toto. Dorothy and Toto are dropped into the Land of Oz, a world they have never known before. While in Oz, Dorothy encounters many new people and obstacles. The only way Dorothy can get home is if she follows the yellow brick road that leads to the Emerald city to visit the Great Wizard, so he can grant her a wish. Along her journey to Emerald City to speak to the wizard, she meets three companions: the scarecrow that is brainless, the tin man who is heartless, and the lion that lacks courage. All three of her companions also seek to have a wish granted to them by the Wizard; so they all embark on the adventure together down the yellow brick road. When they arrive at the Emerald City and speak to the Wizard, they find out that he is not magical; the Wizard is just a normal person with no powers. The Wizard was pretending to be powerful, but, in reality, he was just another human being like them. Dorothy finds out that her silver slippers are magical; they could have taken her home at anytime. In the end, she finally arrives back safely to her home in Kansas. The novel exemplifies that “With the Witch’s silver slippers (the silver standard), Dorothy sets out on the yellow brick road (the gold standard) to the Emerald City (Washington), where they meet the Wizard (the president)....”that it is related to the silver exchange and populist movement (“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- A Monetary Reform Parable” n.p.). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz allegorically represents aspects of the populist movement and the silver exchange.
In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy symbolizes a populist from Kansas and the overall “…ideal of the American people” (Taylor n.p.). A populist is a liberal person who believes in giving power and rights to everyone and not just the more established people in America. In the novel, Dorothy is from Kansas which is located in the Mid-West. According to Baum, “Dorothy lived in...

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