PoliticalInterpretations ofThe Wizard of Oz LauryN gaines

Dorothy—naïve, young and simple—represents the American people. She is Everyman, led astray and seeking the way back home. Moreover, following the road of gold leads eventually only to the Emerald City, which may symbolize the fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretends to have value.

The Cowardly Lion as a metaphor for William Jennings BryanCowardly Lion: In the late 1800s William Jennings Bryan, a politician, was a supporter of the free silver movement. Smeone having a load roar, but no power or bite.

Scarecrow represents the midwestern farmers whose years of hardship and subjection to ridicule had created a sense of inferiority and self-doubt.. He complained about not having a brain but wound up as the most adept problem solver among the four travelers.

Tin Man representing the industrial workers, especially those of American steel industries who often experienced being dehumanized. The Tin Man was immobile and rusted, which is something many factory workers felt when many businesses began to shut down due to a national depression. They felt helpless after they lost their jobs.

Toto: a small dog that seems to go unnoticed, it is Toto who reveals what a fraud the Wizard is. It is thought that Toto also represents average Americans. Toto, is also a pun, a play on teetotaler. Prohibitionists were among the Populists' most faithful allies, and the Populist hope William Jennings Bryan was himself a "dry." As Dorothy embarks on the Yellow Brick Road, Toto trots "soberly" behind her, just as the Prohibitionists soberly followed the Populists.

The Wicked Witch of the West is a representation of the Great Plains, and how hard it was for Americans to make a living there The land on the Great Plains was not as fertile as lands to the east of the Mississippi River and to make matters worse, a drought was driving many farmers out of business in the 1890s” The bucket of water that Dorothy pours on the Wicked Witch at the end of the story represents the end of the drought.

In the novel, Dorothy’s slippers are silver and not ruby. Silver is related to the monetary political issues of the time where farmers want to have the dollar’s value to have fixed ratios for both silver and gold. Another speculation is that the silver slippers are a representation of the power to vote

Glinda the Good Witch of the South – a personification of southerners who realized they were being exploited and repressed by eastern political elites.

Wicked witch of the East- A stand-in for Wall Street financiers, eastern elite big businessmen, and Washington politicians.

The Wizard represents any president of the United States, whose power was ultimately illusory. The Wizard, like everybody else, was just trying to survive and was really subservient to the power of the Wicked Witches of the East and West. Parallels between the Wizard and William Jennings Bryan have also been noted, possibly because Bryan had been a candidate for the office of president twice.

Cyclone: it is thought that the tornado represents the free silver movement or political upheaval. During the time that the story was written, American farmers were suffering from the effects of federal deflation. Their debts were growing larger as they were getting less money for their crops and other goods. The farmers wanted the dollar value to have fixed ratios of both gold and silver

The Yellow Brick Road – the gold standard. Monetary policy was a huge political issue at the time, with big businessmen generally supporting tight money and the gold standard while reformers favored an enlargement of the money supply through the coinage of silver or the issuance of paper money.

The Emerald Palace is believed to represent the White House and the Emerald City to represent Washington D.C.

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