Political Interpretations of the Wizard of Oz

"The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz" is an American children's novel written by L. Frank Baum which tells the adventures of Dorothy, a young farm girl who finds herself in a journey until The Emerald City followed by the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Woodman

Besides the literary quality, after some studies, the historian Henry Littlefield published and article saying that the yellow brick road represent the gold that government was based to control the amount of money in the state and the silver shoes represents the movement for the maintaince of this metal as a mans of payment in the American market of the time

The book makes references to the economic conflict that United States were going through that in fact threw the country into the modern international environment, such as the adoptin of gold standard and participation in the war against Spain in 1898

Each character in the book have their own representation in people or event that was happening in these time

Dorothy, the young farm girl who lived with her relatives. One day she and her dog, Toto, were taken to the world of The Wizard Of Oz by a tornado
She actually represents the "common man" who, following the "golden road" arrives to their goal
The Emerald City, where the Wizard lives, a place were everybody wants to live and everything is perfect
Is the symbol of the misleading prosperity generated by the paper green cedula
The Wizard, ruler of the Emerald City, who was known by his magical powers and admirable wisdom, but is actually just a normal man
He is the representation of those who use misleading advertising techniques to deceive people to belive they are benevolent, wise and powerful, when they are in fact, selfish and cruel
The scarecrow who follows Dorothy reveals that he does not have a brain and that this is what he most want in the world. He joins to the journey to the Emerald City to asks it for the wizard
His character is the representantion of the Anerican farmers in thesituation of shortage before the insertion of the country in the division of international work
The Tin Man who also follows Dorothy to ask the wizard for a heart, believing that he is empty in the inside
This character represents the American industry that was trying to survive between international competition in the economy
The Cowardly Lion, who wishes for the feeling of braveness tired of hiding from even the smallest and inoffensive animal
He is a reference for the military choices made by the president William McKinley about the war against Spain, declared in April 17 in 1898
The Wicked Witch Of East who joined the other witches to defeat the old King and divide the kingdom between them
She is represents ting the most important people who worked in business which could affect the State like politicians, elite big business and Wall Street financiers
The Wcked Witch Of West, the last witch to survive, she is the antagonist of the story and controls the Winkies by force
She would be the western industrialists, bankers and the railroads
Glinda The Good Witch Of The South, she helped and guided Dorothy and her friends through the way to the Emerald City
Her character represents the Southerners who realized they were being exploited and repressed by Easter political elites
The Munchkins, happy people which Glinda saved from one of the witch but they constantly lived with fear from the others witches
They are considered the mass of citizens who was enslaved by powerful interests and clueless about what was happening
The silver shoes hat Dorothy recieved from Glinda after killing the Wicked Witch of East, people believed that this shoes had magical powers that would help the girl in her path
Whey represent the plan of adding silver to the money supply in order to stop the boom-or-bust business cycles that affect American economy

What seemed to be a children's history book, is actually the how the author saw people and events during the crisis in United States. The way he created the characters and how their relationship develops during the outcome if the story in order to make a "critic" to what was happening but at the same do not showing it directly proves how smart L. Frank Baum (the writer) was when everybody thought he was just a critter of children's books.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.