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Children Literature: history and criticism Popularity of The Wizard Of The Oz in American Literature, Society, and Media

Submitted as a partial fulfillment of the requirements For popular literature By Amir Rostamdokht 08/273066/PMU/5378 Department of American Studies Faculty of Multi-Disciplinary Postgraduate school Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta

A. Introduction I.

History of children literature

Literature written specifically for an audience of children began to be published on a wide scale in the seventeenth century. Most of the early books for children were didactic rather than artistic, meant to teach letter sounds and words or to improve the child's moral and spiritual life. In the mid-1700s, however, British publisher John Newbery (1713 - 1767), influenced by John Locke's ideas that children should enjoy reading, began publishing books for children's amusement. Since that time there has been a gradual transition from the deliberate use of purely didactic literature to inculcate moral, spiritual, and ethical values in children to the provision of literature to entertain and inform. This does not imply that suitable literature for children is either immoral or amoral. On the contrary, suitable literature for today's children is influenced by the cultural and ethical values of its authors. These values are frequently revealed as the literary work unfolds, but they are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Authors assume a degree of intelligence on the part of their audience that was not assumed in the past. In this respect, children's literature has changed dramatically since its earliest days. Another dramatic development in children's literature in the twentieth century has been the picture book. Presenting an idea or story in which pictures and words work together to create an aesthetic whole, the picture book traces its origin to the nineteenth century, when such outstanding artists as Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, and Walter Crane were at work. In the 1930s and 1940s such great illustrators as Wanda Gag, Marguerite de Angeli, James Daugherty, Robert Lawson, Dorothy Lathrop, Ludwig Bemelmans, Maud and Miska Petersham, and Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire began their work. Many of these and other equally illustrious artists helped to bring picture books to their present position of prominence. Since 1945 many highly talented illustrators have entered this field. With the advent of computer-based reproduction techniques in the latter part of the twentieth century, the once tedious and expensive process of full color reproduction was revolutionized, and now almost any original media can be successfully translated into picture book form. Although many artists continue to work with traditional media such as printmaking, pen and ink, photography, and paint, they have been joined by artists who work with paper sculpture, mixed media constructions, and computer graphics. The changes in literature for older children have been equally important. Among the early and lasting contributions to literature for children were works by Jack London, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Hans Christian Andersen. These writers, however, considered adults their major audience; therefore, they directed only some of their literary efforts toward young readers. Today, large numbers of highly talented authors have turned to younger readers for an audience and direct most, if not all, of their writings to them. Another major change in publishing for children has been the rise in multicultural children's literature. Prior to the mid-twentieth century the world depicted in children's books was largely a white world. If characters from a nonwhite culture appeared in children's books they were almost always badly stereotyped. The civil rights movement alerted publishers and the reading public to the need for books that depicted the America of all children, not just a

white majority. Although the percentage of children's books by and about people of color does not equate with their actual population numbers, authors of color such as Virginia Hamilton, Mildred Taylor, Alma Flor Ada, Walter Dean Myers, Gary Soto, and Laurence Yep, and illustrators such as Allen Say, Ed Young, John Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney, and Brian Pinkney have made major contributions to a more multiculturally balanced world of children's books. Not only are there larger numbers of talented writers and artists from many cultures at work for children, but the range of subject matter discussed in children's fiction has also been extended remarkably. Topics that were considered taboo only a short time ago are being presented in good taste. Young readers from ten to fourteen can read well-written fiction that deals with death, child abuse, economic deprivation, alternative life styles, illegitimate pregnancy, juvenile gang warfare, and rejected children. By the early twenty-first century it had become more nearly true than ever before that children may explore life through literature.

Literature in the Lives of Children

Literature serves children in four major ways: it helps them to better understand themselves, others, their world, and the aesthetic values of written language. When children read fiction, narrative poetry, or biography, they often assume the role of one of the characters. Through that character's thoughts, words, and actions the child develops insight into his or her own character and values. Frequently, because of experiences with literature, the child's modes of behavior and value structures are changed, modified, or extended. When children assume the role of a book's character as they read, they interact vicariously with the other characters portrayed in that particular selection. In the process they learn something about the nature of behavior and the consequences of personal interaction. In one sense they become aware of the similarities and differences among people. Because literature is not subject to temporal or spatial limitations, books can figuratively transport readers across time and space. Other places in times past, present, or future invite children's exploration. Because of that exploration, children come to better understand the world in which they live and their own relationship to it. Written language in its literary uses is an instrument of artistic expression. Through prose and poetry children explore the versatility of the written word and learn to master its depth of meaning. Through literature, too, children can move beyond the outer edges of reality and place themselves in worlds of make-believe, unfettered by the constraints of everyday life. III.Environment The three principal settings in which children's literature functions are the home, the public library, and the school. In each of these settings, the functions of literature are somewhat different, but each function supports the others and interacts with them. Home. Irrefutable evidence indicates that those children who have had an early and continuing chance to interact with good literature are more apt to succeed in school than those who have not. Parents who begin to read aloud to their children, often from birth, are communicating the importance of literature by providing an enjoyable experience. The young

child makes a lasting connection between books, which provide pleasure, and the undisputed attention from the parent who takes time to do the reading. During the preschool years, books contribute to children's language structures and to their vocabulary. Children acquire a sense of language pattern and rhythm from the literary usage of language that is not found in everyday conversational speech. Then, too, children discover that print has meaning, and as they acquire the ability to read print as well as understand pictures, children find further pleasure in books. In finding that reading has its own intrinsic reward, children acquire the most important motivation for learning to master reading skills. Public library. Public libraries have taken on an increasingly important role in serving children. Children's rooms, which were once the domain of a few select children, are inviting places for all children, whether or not they are inveterate readers. Libraries organize story hours, present films, and provide computers and quiet places to do homework as well as present special book-related events and sponsor book clubs and summer reading programs. Children's librarians guide the reading interests of children and act as consultants to parents. Full exploitation of the public library in the broader education of children has not yet been achieved, but growing acceptance by the public of the library as a community necessity rather than a luxury will help it to continue to play an increasingly important role in the lives of children. School. Literature did not begin to make broad inroads into the reading curriculum until the 1950s. Before that time many schools had no library, and a good number of these schools did not even feel the need for one. Many schools relied almost exclusively on textbooks for instruction. By the end of the twentieth century, however, nearly every curriculum authority had come to recognize the importance of trade books (books other than textbooks) in the in-school education of children. In the early twenty-first century most schools have central libraries staffed by trained librarians and some schools provide financial support for classroom libraries as well. When this is not the case, teachers, recognizing the value of good literature, often reach into their own pockets to provide trade books for their classrooms. A 1998 survey of school library media programs by the Center of Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education found a mean of twenty-eight volumes per elementary school child in both public and private schools. Function in the school curriculum. Literature plays an increasingly large role in the formal education of children in three related but rather discrete areas: the instructional reading program, the subject matter areas, and the literature program. Most instructional reading programs recognize the importance of literature. Basal reading textbook programs generally recommend that trade books be used from the beginning of formal reading instruction in order to motivate readers through the long, and sometimes frustrating, efforts that learning to read usually demands. Through trade books the reader finds those efforts are rewarded by the pleasure gained from reading. In many schools the teaching of reading has been centered on trade books rather than textbooks. But in literaturebased programs, teachers plan instruction around experiences with "real" books, experiences that include helping students make their own reading choices and giving children time to share responses to reading with their peer group. Schools with such literature-based programs recognize the importance of creating a classroom community of readers that will not only help children learn how to read but will also encourage them to become lifelong readers.

Subject matter areas, such as social studies and the sciences, have depended to a large extent upon textbooks to provide common learning for entire classes. However, there are limitations inherent in the nature of textbooks that require supplementation by trade books. Because textbooks survey broad areas of knowledge, space limitations prevent in-depth explorations of particular topics. Recent discoveries and events cannot always be included because textbook series require long periods of preparation. Content area textbooks are often subject to review by state committees that limit potentially controversial material. Trade books are widely used to offset these limitations. Nonfiction books provide opportunities for in-depth consideration of particular topics. Furthermore, the comparatively short time needed for the preparation and publication of trade books makes recent discoveries and occurrences available to the reader. Elementary school literature programs vary widely. As state and national standards and testing drive curriculum some schools reflect the attitude that literature is a luxury, if not an undesirable frill. In such schools little, if any, in-school time is devoted either to reading for pleasure or to the formal study of literature. Most schools, however, recognize children's need for some pleasurable experiences with literature that enable them to return to books to think more deeply about the characters, themes, and other literary elements. In such schools the study of literature is grounded in reader response theory that grew out of Louise Rosenblatt's contention in Literature as Exploration that "the literary work exists in a live circuit set up between reader and text" (p. 25). Thus the reader is seen as a coconstructor of meaning with the author. Any plan for the direct study of literary form, structure, and content as a means of heightening the pleasure of reading includes, at a minimum, teachers reading aloud from works of literature, and the formation of book circles where small groups of students regularly meet together to discuss books. In addition teachers should plan time for children to respond to books through writing, creative dramatics, and other art forms.

B.Types of children's literature

Children's literature can be divided in many ways. I. Children's literature by genres A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length.Some significant subgenres are:
1. Picture books, including board books, concept books (teaching an alphabet or

counting), pattern books, and wordless books

2. Traditional literature: there are ten characteristics of traditional literature:

(1) unknown authorship, (2) conventional introductions and conclusions, (3) vague settings,

(4) stereotyped characters, (5) anthropomorphism, (6) cause and effect, (7) happy ending for the hero, (8) magic accepted as normal, (9) brief stories with simple and direct plots, and (10) repetition of action and verbal patterns. The bulk of traditional Literature consists of folktales, which conveys the legends, customs, superstitions, and beliefs of people in past times. This large genre can be further broken down into subgenres: myths, fables, ballads, folk music, legends, and fairy tales.
3. Fiction, including the sub-genres of fantasy and realistic fiction (both contemporary

and historical). This genre would also include the school story, a genre unique to children's literature in which the boarding school is a common setting.

4. Non-fiction

5. Biography, including autobiography

6. Poetry and verse.

The contributions and innovations of the 19th century continued into the 20th century, achieving a distinct place in literature for children's books, and spawning innumerable genres of children's literature. Fantasy written for children includes L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh (1927), P. L. Travers's Mary Poppins (1934), J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937), C. S. Lewis's Narnia series, E. B. White's Charlotte's Web (1952) and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970), Madeleine L'Engle's sciencefiction A Wrinkle in Time (1962), Lloyd Alexander's Book of Three (1964), Brian Jacques's medieval animal adventures in the Redwall series (1987), and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books of wizardry and magic (7 vol., 19972007). Popular collections of humorous verse include Laura Richards's Tirra Lirra (1932), Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Verses (1941), John Ciardi's Reason for the Pelican (1959), and Arnold Spilka's Rumbudgin of Nonsense (1970). Adventure and mystery are found in such works as Armstrong Sperry's Call It Courage (1941) and E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1968). The novel for children now includes many of the literary, psychological, and social elements found in its adult counterpart. Books with sophisticated emphasis on plot,

mood, characterization, or setting are Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows (1908), Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain (1944), Joseph Krumgold's And Now Miguel (1953), and Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins (1961). Mature treatment of the emotions of growing up characterizes Irene Hunt's Up a Road Slowly (1966), whereas William Armstrong's Sounder (1970) realistically portrays the experiences of a black sharecropper and his family. From the 1960s through the 90s socially relevant children's books have appeared, treating subjects like death, drugs, sex, urban crisis, discrimination, the environment, and women's liberation. S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders (1980) and Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese (1977) are two novels that offer vivid portrayals of the sometimes unpleasant aspects of maturing. These books also reveal the trend toward a growing literature for teenagers. Other novelists that write convincingly of growing up in contemporary society include Ellen Raskin, Judy Blume, and Cynthia Voigt. Some critics consider these books as didactic as the children's books of the 17th and early 19th cent. Another trend has been books written by children, especially poetry, such as Richard Lewis's Miracles (1966), a collection of poems written by children of many countries. During the 20th cent. in particular, new collections of tales that reach back to the oral roots of literature have come from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. International folktales have also received increasing attention. Among the many authors pursuing these themes, Verna Aardema compiles African folktales and Yoko Kawashima Watkins studies Asian oral traditions. During the 1980s and 90s in particular, multicultural concerns became an important aspect of the new realistic tradition in children's literature, as in Allen Say's tales of the Japanese-American immigrant experience. The Newbery Medal, an award for the most distinguished work of literature for children, was established by Frederic Melcher in 1922; in 1938 he established a second award, the Caldecott Medal, for the best picture book of the year. An international children's book award, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, was given in 1970 for the first time to an American, Maurice Sendak, in recognition of his contribution to children's literature. His Where the Wild Things Are (1963) won him international acclaim and was followed by two sequels, In the Night Kitchen (1970) and Outside Over There (1981). Magazines that review and discuss children's literature include The Horn Book, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, and the School Library Journal in the United States and The Junior Bookshelf in Great Britain.1

II. Children's literature by age category Children's literature is an age category opposite adult literature, but it is sub-divided further due to the divergent interests of children age 0-18.

Picture books appropriate for pre-readers ages 05. Caldecott Medal winners often (but not always) fall within this category.

Data gathered from Encarta encyclopedia

Early Reader Books appropriate for children age 5-7. These books are often designed to help a child build his or her reading skills.

Chapter book appropriate for children ages 711. o Short chapter books, appropriate for children ages 79. o Longer chapter books, appropriate for children ages 912. Newbery Medal winners often (but not always) fall within this category.

Young-adult fiction appropriate for children age 13-18

The criteria for these divisions are just as vague and problematic as the criteria for defining children's books as a whole. One obvious distinction is that books for younger children tend to contain illustrations, but picture books which feature art as an integral part of the overall work also crosses genres and age levels. Tibet: Through the Red Box by Peter Sis is a one example of a picture book aimed at an adult audience. III.Formula in children literature

A. Series
Book series are not unique to children's literature. Series are also very popular in science fiction and crime fiction. Sometimes the success of a book for children prompts the author to continue the story in a sequel or to launch a series, such as L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz. Sometimes works are originally conceived as series, such as the Harry Potter books. Enid Blyton and R. L. Stine have specialized in open-ended series. Sometimes a series will outlive its author. When Baum died, his publisher hired Ruth Plumly Thompson to write more Oz books. The Nancy Drew series and others were written by several authors using the same pen name.
B. Illustration

Children's books are often illustrated, sometimes lavishly, in a way that is rarely used for adult literature except in the illustrated novel genre popular especially in Japan, Korea and France. Generally, the artwork plays a greater role in books intended for the youngest readers (especially pre-literate children). Children's picture books can be a cognitively accessible source of high quality art for young children. Many authors work with a preferred artist who illustrates their words; others create books together, and some illustrators write their own books. Even after children attain sufficient levels of literacy to enjoy the story without illustrations, they continue to appreciate the occasional drawings found in chapter books.


The Wizard of the Oz

Background of the author

Since its publication in September 1900, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become America's greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale. The first totally American fantasy for children, it is one of the most-read children's books. It has also engendered a long series of sequels, stage plays and musicals, movies and television shows, biographies of Baum, scholarly studies of the significance of the book and film, advertisements, and toys, games, and other Oz-related products. The Oz story has become a classic because it blends elements of traditional magic, such as witches, with ones from early twentieth-century American reality, such as a Kansas cyclone, a scarecrow, and a man made of tin. And, despite its many particularly American attributes, including a wizard from Omaha, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has universal appeal, demonstrated by numerous non-American translations and dramatizations. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this timeless American classic, the Library of Congress has supplemented its unparalleled collections with costumes and other memorabilia borrowed from museums, other libraries, and private collectors. Considered the creator of the first American fairy tale, Lyman Frank Baum was born at Chittenango, New York, near Syracuse, on May 15, 1856. His parents, Benjamin Ward and Cynthia (Stanton) Baum, were wealthy because of the familys oil business. These financial resources enabled Baum to follow many of his dreams throughout his life. His mother promoted womens rights, which would influence how Baum later portrayed strong female protagonists. Throughout his life, Baum suffered a heart ailment which limited his physical activities and resulted in his being introspective and developing his imagination. Baum mostly studied at home with tutors. Because his parents hoped to discourage him from being so creative, they sent him to the Peekskill Military Academy, which he loathed, and, as a result, anti-military messages appeared in his later works. He enjoyed exploring his parents estate, Rose Lawn, which some people believe was the inspiration for the Emerald City in his Oz books. Baum read fairy tales, especially those written by Hans Christian Andersen, who influenced Baums style and depiction of archetypes. Several Oz-related characters have a foundation in Baums childhood. He sometimes had nightmares about a scarecrow chasing him. The Tin Woodmans search for a heart might reflect Baums desire to have a strong, healthy heart. Writing always appealed to Baum. At age twelve, he learned how to set type on a small printing press his father gave him so he could print The Rose Lawn Home Journal, composed of his and his brothers works and featuring advertisements from local merchants. In 1873, Baum took a job as a reporter for the New York World and established his own newspaper, The Empire, as well as a magazine, The Stamp Collector. Two years later, he moved to Pennsylvania and started the New Era weekly. He also operated an opera house until it was destroyed by fire, then wrote and acted in plays for his fathers theater chain, which he managed in the early 1880s. Baum wrote The Maid of Arran, with which he successfully toured in 1882. That year, on November 9, he married Maud Gage, daughter of renowned suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage. Matilda Gage was apprehensive about her son-inlaws future, but eventually encouraged him to write stories to earn money. She also

emphasized to him that witches exhibit diverse traits and some are powerful, knowledgeable women, influencing his characterizations of good witches in the Oz books. The couple settled in Syracuse where Baum worked for his familys oil business. Their sons, Frank Joslyn and Robert Stanton, were born in 1883 and 1886, respectively. Because he bred and exhibited Hamburg chickens, Baum started the Poultry Record periodical and published his first book, The Book of Hamburgs, A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs, in 1886. After the deaths of his father and brother and the embezzlement of the familys wealth by an employee, Baum decided to move to South Dakota in 1888, where Maud Baums sisters and brother lived. They had two more sons born there, Harry Neal in 1889 and Kenneth Gage in 1891. Baum operated a department store, Baums Bazaar, and edited the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. His writing included provocative editorials condoning the extermination of area Native Americans during the Indian Wars that pitted the United States Army against specific tribes. In Aberdeen, Baum told stories to his family and to children of the community. Because his businesses went bankrupt, Baum relocated to Chicago, Illinois, in 1891, working as a reporter and traveling salesman then editing the magazine Show Window, about store window displays, from 1897 to 1902. During this time, he began writing for publication to earn needed money. Based on characters he had created to entertain his children, Baums first childrens books were Mother Goose in Prose, illustrated by Maxfield Parrish (1897), and Father Goose, His Book, illustrated by W. W. Denslow (released in 1899). The latter book became a bestseller and earned Baum both financial prosperity and acclaim. Eager to write something to entertain older children, Baum focused on developing a fantasy about a Kansas girl named Dorothy who was transported to a magical but uncivilized land. He claimed he had selected the name Oz as he glanced at the letters on his file cabinet. He spun a tale about this heroine finding her way home. Legends about the creation of the book suggest that Baum had been intrigued by a tornado in South Dakota moving a house. Most scholars agree that the Dakotas provided imagery that Baum used to describe Kansas. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900. The book, however, is most frequently referred to without the word wonderful. Denslow was contracted to create illustrations, and his art established how the characters and places of Oz would be perceived by generations of readers. In his introduction, Baum wrote: the time has come for a series of newer wonder tales in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. He explained that he wanted to tell an exciting story with intriguing characters and events. Having this thought in mind, he said, the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was an immediate success with readers who clamored for more Oz stories. Baum was overwhelmed with fan mail asking what happened to the characters and suggestions for future plots. In contrast, critical reaction was not totally supportive. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz received few reviews in major literary publications. Most scholars dismissed or ignored the novel, deeming it poorly written, simplistic, and inconsequential. During the early twentieth century, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was excluded from histories

and bibliographies of childrens literature. Many librarians banned it from their collections, declaring it was not quality literature, and other groups censored it as being controversial and inappropriate for children. Gradually, some authorities, such as Edward Wagenknecht in the 1929 book Utopia Americana, credited Baum for creating an original American fairy tale in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Other scholars said that Baum had appropriated European fairy tale motifs. Since the late twentieth century, Baums Oz novels have been a staple for childrens literature analysis based on differing interpretative frameworks. Baum died at Ozcot (his Hollywood mansion) on May 6, 1919, of complications following gallbladder surgery. One admirer noted that the children of the world have lost their dearest friend. Baums widow arranged for continued creation of Oz books, and several authors, notably Ruth Plumley Thompson, have written Oz books since Baums death. By 1938, ten million copies of Oz books had been sold. In 1939, the motion picture The Wizard of Oz was released and became a film classic. Many people are more familiar with the movie than the book that inspired it. Comics, cartoons, dance and theatrical performances, and radio and television shows have featured Oz, and popular culture often makes references to Oz. Clubs, exhibitions, festivals, and conferences celebrate Baum and Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has sold millions of copies and been translated into many languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin. The 1968 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award was presented to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum is considered one of Americas most outstanding writers. II . OVERVIEW

Dorothy Gale, a lonely orphan girl who lives with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Kansas, is swept away from her dull surroundings to the exciting fantasy world of Oz. Dorothy, accompanied by her pet dog Toto, bravely undertakes a journey of self-discovery as she wanders through fantastical settings and meets bizarre characters who guide her to the Emerald City in her quest to return home. Her travel companions, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion, are all seeking solutions to what they consider their shortcomings. The Scarecrow wishes that he had a brain; the Tin Woodman longs for a heart; and the Cowardly Lion hopes for bravery. They believe that the great wizard, who rules all of Oz and lives in the Emerald City, can provide them with their desires. In the process, they learn that such yearnings are more than objects that can be bartered for but are actually spiritual qualities they already possess. III . SETTING

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz transports readers from the bleak, gray Kansas prairie to the dynamic, colorful Land of Oz. Dorothy leaves Kansas by traveling with her old farmhouse in a cyclone to initiate her adventures, then returns home to a new farmhouse which is not described but represents her transformation. Dorothys prairie world is drab. No trees or neighboring houses or structures are nearby. The plowed sod is sun-baked and cracked, and most of the grass has been burnt into short, gray blades to form a flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. This imagery represents the despair and emotional paralysis of Dorothys aunt and uncle who have tried to maintain their homestead by applying fresh coats of paint and performing other chores and upkeep but succumb to the

constant stresses of prairie life. Kansas is not conducive to imagination and magic and is barren of magicians, sorcerers, wizards, and witches. The first farmhouse Dorothy lives in is small (one room) because the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. The sun-blistered paint has washed away. The cyclone cellar, a small, dark hole which was dug in the ground and is accessible only by a trap door and ladder, is the only shelter in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. However, the cellar does not provide protection for Dorothy and Toto because the cyclone carries them with the house to Oz. After hours of traveling, when the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her, it signals to the Munchkins that Dorothy is a powerful person whom they should respect and assist, thus initiating her quest to meet the Wizard of Oz. In contrast to Kansas, Oz is a utopia. Dorothy considers it a country of marvelous beauty. Color, especially vibrant greens, fills the lush landscape, and unusual plant and animal life flourish. Nature speaks to Dorothy in the form of a babbling brook and singing birds. Sunshine is helpful, not searing. The Munchkins land has dainty blue domed houses and farms with neat fences dividing fields. Dorothy uses some of these cottages as stopping places in which to rest and picnic on her journey. Oz is cut off from all the rest of the world. Because Oz is not civilized according to Kansas standards, magic can exist there. When comparing Oz with Kansas, Dorothy admits she is enchanted by Ozs splendor but emphasizes, No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home. Dorothys thoughts represent her changing perception of home as some place to escape from to a place to embrace. These attitudes suggest the stifling patriarchy of Uncle Henry, which Dorothy endured, and the nurturing matriarchy of Aunt Em, whom Dorothy often worries about and rushes toward when she returns home, while Uncle Henry silently continues milking cows without greeting the recovered Dorothy. Oz is not geographically consistent like Kansas and instead presents many forms that parallel aspects of Kansas and might represent a distorted version of Dorothys home. Dorothy realizes as she progresses on her journey that she is walking through a country that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible. As she is distanced from the Munchkins land, Dorothy stumbles around holes in the yellow brick road. Houses are in disrepair, and fields are fallow. The traveling quartet plus Toto realize that the farther they went, the more dismal and lonesome the country became. In the forest, the Scarecrow falls into large gaps in the yellow brick road. The Tin Woodman axes paths through places where the trees grew so big and close together that their branches met over the road of yellow brick. No sunlight is able to penetrate through the thickly growing branches. Two deep ditches in the forest threaten to end the protagonists journey. Revealing his bravery, the Cowardly Lion carries his companions as he leaps across the first ditch. The second ditch, however, is too wide for him to jump across and has steep sides and a rocky crevice. The Tin Woodman exhibits resourcefulness by felling a tree across the ditch for the characters to walk across then dislodges that temporary bridge by chopping the end when the Kalidahs try to chase them. The forest begins to thin as the foursome approach a river with a quick current. On the opposite shore, they can see a delightful country that contrasts with the forest by having green meadows dotted with bright flowers and all the road bordered with trees hanging full

of delicious fruits. While the Tin Woodman constructs a raft, Dorothy eats some of that fruit which lulls her into sleep and dreams about the unseen Emerald City and Wizard of Oz. Her dream is not described but indicates her anticipation and hope for returning home. The river challenges the group who pull together when the Scarecrow clings to a mud-stuck pole he had been using to guide the raft. Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion drift helplessly downstream until the Lion pulls the raft to shore, where the trio convince a stork to rescue the Scarecrow. Walking along the riverbank, they find the yellow brick road and continue their southward movement. The Poppy Field exudes the intoxicating spicy scent of flowers so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. After the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, with the help of the field mice, revive Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, the group maneuvers through woods that fight their progress and try to restrain them until the Tin Woodman chops the aggressive timber. Soon they see green fields filled with flowers, signaling that they are nearing the center of Oz. The City of Emeralds is the nucleus of Oz and is the home of the Great Wizard of Oz who had ordered its construction. Like a medieval town, a thick, tall green wall surrounds the city. In the sky, a green glow intensifies as the party advances closer. They can see domes, spires, steeples, and towers. The yellow brick road ends at a green gate that is studded with emeralds. Shining in the sunlight, the emeralds cause the Scarecrows painted eyes to appear dazzled. The group summons the gatekeeper with a bell and are admitted into a room decorated with more emeralds. The Guardian of the Gates fits each character with green spectacles stored in a green box and warns them they would be blinded if they did not protect their eyes. This cautionary message concocted by the wizard conceals the truth about him and his city. Ironically, the glasses metaphorically blind their wearers by preventing them from seeing reality instead of the wizards illusions. All resident are locked in, and only one key can give access to the external world. Inside the Emerald City, Dorothy and her companions are stunned by the brightness and the glory. Green marble houses with green glass windows line streets paved with more green marble and emeralds. Even the suns rays are green. As the Guardian of the Gates leads the group to the palace in the center of the city, Dorothy and her friends notice people who have green skin and clothes and buy and sell green merchandise. Because there are no animals, the residents push carts to transport items. Although no one speaks to the visitors, Everyone seemed happy and contented and prosperous. A bearded soldier at the palace arranges their meetings with the wizard and outlines the rules they are expected to obey during the next four days as Oz meets with one character each day. The characters are separated into individual rooms but can interact. Dorothys room at the palace is elaborate, with a green fountain shooting perfumed water, books, and dresses that fit perfectly. In his room, the Scarecrow watches a spider weave its web. The Tin Woodman flexes his joints and sleeps on the bed like he did when he was a man. The Lion curls up on his bed to sleep like a cat. Four witches live in Oz. The good witches rule the northern and southern regions. Glinda kindly watches over the Quadlings in the South. Eastern Oz is the land of the Munchkins, formerly ruled by the Wicked Witch of the East. The Winkies live in the West and suffer enslavement by the Wicked Witch of the West. An impassable desert in eastern Oz touches the edges on parts of northern and southern lands and separates and guards the enchanted Land of Oz from the realistic threats and worries of the world. Anyone attempting

to cross this desert dies. The lack of a road to the Wicked Witch of the Wests castle symbolizes its isolation and remoteness, which intensifies Dorothys despair. As the characters leave the Emerald City and travel westward, the landscape shifts from being rolling grasslands dotted with daisies and buttercups to hilly unshaded areas with empty fields and few dwellings. The Wicked Witch of the West can observe her kingdom from her castle door. Obeying the witchs orders, the Winged Monkeys dash the Tin Woodman against rocks and remove stuffing from the Scarecrow and fling his clothes in a tree. They snare the Cowardly Lion with ropes and fly him to the castle where the witch confines him in a yard formed by an iron fence. Dorothy is led through a maze of yellow rooms to the kitchen where the witch expects her to labor, washing and sweeping, somewhat like farm chores she performed in Kansas. She often visits the lion, and they scheme about how to escape. The witch uses her knowledge of the castle and magic to trick Dorothy into losing one silver shoe, thus upsetting the balance of power. Enraged at the witchs taunts, Dorothy splashes her with water, causing the witch to melt. Cleaning up the remains, Dorothy now is in possession of the castle and calls upon the newly liberated people to help her rescue the Tin Woodman, who then chops down the tree with the Scarecrows clothing. Dorothy finds the Golden Cap in a cupboard, which the mice instruct her to use to return to the Emerald City. On their way to consult the good witch Glinda, they find their way through another forest that everyone considers gloomy, except the lion who finds its moss and dry leaves appealing. The forest symbolizes the Cowardly Lions transition to an animal worthy of respect when a council of animals greet the lion as King of Beasts and designate him their ruler after he slays a huge spider-like monster. The group decides to ask the Winged Monkeys to carry them over the Hammer-Heads who live on a steep, rocky hill. The Quadlings country contrasts with the lands surround it. Grain fields, brooks, and good roads and bridges represent the prosperity of the people who are short and fat and looked chubby and good-natured. A farmers wife generously feeds Dorothy. Glindas castle on the edge of the desert has a ruby-encrusted throne because the Quadlings color is red. IV THEMES AND CHARACTERS

Loss and spiritual renewal are primary themes of this book in which the four major characters withstand challenges and persevere to learn more about themselves by comprehending the strange world through which they venture. Like archetypal heroes, the protagonists encounter both helpful and deceitful characters who either assist them or hinder them, sometimes maliciously. The characters hopes and wishes tend to be familiar to readers because they express universal concerns and desires. Some characters seem absurd, such as a lion being a coward. Such paradoxes ironically make the alternate world of Oz more believable. Dorothy Gale exemplifies the themes of home, family, and friendship. She is the first character mentioned in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Separated from her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry by a cyclone, Dorothy devotes her energies to finding a way to return home. Young and vibrant, she is intelligent and has common sense, resourcefully dealing with problems. Optimistically, Dorothy remains determined no matter how dire her situation might be. She is energetic and is not deterred by the physical aspects of challenges. Dorothy autonomously solves her own dilemmas and does not wait for anyone, particularly a male, to

rescue her and do her work for her. In addition to saving and helping herself, Dorothy willingly helps others and is outspoken about her opinions and suggestions. She and the good witches emphasize the strength and tenacity of female characters. Dorothy kills two witches by herself, ridding Oz of its most notorious troublemakers. When Dorothy meets the wizard, she identifies herself as Small and Meek. She sees the wizard as a giant, disembodied head and bravely answers his questions about her shoes, protective mark, and goal of returning to Kansas. Dorothy says the wizard should help her because he is strong and she is weak. She dismisses the death of the Wicked Witch of the East to a chance occurrence. Dorothy succumbs to tears when the wizard tells her that he will only use his magic to send her home if she earns it by killing the Wicked Witch of the West. She tells him that she does not approve of murder. When the Witch of the West enslaves her, Dorothy is determined to work meekly and as hard as she could out of gratitude for surviving. Aunt Em is the first character described in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She appears at the beginning and conclusion of the novel and in Dorothys thoughts throughout the book. Identified as a farmers wife, Aunt Em moved to Kansas from an undisclosed place. She had once appeared young and pretty, but the Kansas elements had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray and also altered her red lips and cheeks to shades of gray. Em, perhaps short for Emily or Emmaline, suppressed her desire for normalcy and adapted to the rigors of the plains, compromising her civility, sophistication, and empathy. Unsmiling, she is thin and gaunt. Her life consists of unfulfilling domestic chores. Initially, Dorothys happy giggles caused Aunt Em to scream and press her hand upon her heart because Em was unable to comprehend how Dorothy could find anything to laugh at. Aunt Em told Dorothy that there are no witches in Kansas and does not seem receptive to any ideas regarding magic. Perhaps Ems name could be reversed as Me, indicating Ems need to be reacquainted with and assert the uniqueness of her self. By the time Dorothy reappears in Kansas, Em stops watering cabbages and embraces her and kisses her face like the witches of the North and South did in Oz. In many ways, Em represents traits of the witches Dorothy encounters in Oz. She seems to have been transformed by Dorothys absence. The humorless and joyless Uncle Henry is a farmer who works non-stop. Sporting a long gray beard and rough boots, Henry looks stern and solemn and is usually quiet. He alerts Em, not Dorothy, about the approaching cyclone and chooses to take care of his livestock instead of his family. Baum does not clarify whether Em or Henry is Dorothys blood relative nor what happened to Dorothys parents. Dorothy seems closer to Em, whom she worries is mourning her and remarks that this process might be too expensive for the couple if the crops had poor yields again. When Dorothy returns from Oz, she rushes into Ems arms, not Henrys. A devoted companion, Toto protects Dorothy from succumbing to the despair that has engulfed her aunt and uncle. Described as a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny wee nose, Toto delights in playing and helping Dorothy laugh. She saves him from being sucked through the trapdoor when the house rises in the cyclone. He assertively guards Dorothy from people and animals they meet in Oz, boldly rushing toward the Cowardly Lion and biting the Wicked Witch of the West after she hits Toto. All Toto desires is to be with Dorothy wherever she is and to comfort her and make her happy. Because Toto is not protected by the Witch of the Norths kiss, the Tin Woodman says that the group must accept the responsibility to watch over what

he refers to as the meat dog. Baum often distinguishes living beings from non-flesh characters with the descriptive term meat. Toto causes Dorothy to become distracted and prevents her from leaving in the balloon with the wizard. Dorothy considers the Munchkins the queerest people she had ever seen. She comments on how old they are based on their appearances, especially their beards, and her knowledge of Uncle Henrys age. The Munchkins are almost the same size as Dorothy. Wearing blue clothes and peaked hats decorated with bells on the brims, the Munchkins personify goodness. Their attentiveness to details is represented by their well-polished boots. The Munchkins are hesitant to be near Dorothy because they assume she is extremely powerful since she killed the Wicked Witch of the East and ended their enslavement. Residents of the eastern part of Oz, the Munchkins trust the Witch of the North to help them. Glancing at their fields as she walks along the yellow brick road, Dorothy realizes that the Munchkins are excellent farmers. The affluent Munchkin Boq hosts Dorothy at a feast in her honor and enlightens her about Oz culture. He prophetically warns Dorothy that she must pass through rough and dangerous places before you reach the end of your journey. The good Witch of the North is an elderly woman who walks stiffly and has a wrinkled face and white hair. She accompanies the Munchkins to greet Dorothy when she lands in Oz and boldly approaches her. Dressed in white, her gown is sprinkled with little stars that glistened in the sun like diamonds. She bows to Dorothy out of respect and welcomes her with a sweet voice. By using the title Sorceress to address Dorothy, the Witch of the North alerts Dorothy that she has become someone more than an ordinary child. The Witch of the North expresses the Munchkins gratitude to Dorothy, using the pronoun our to indicate that she considers herself a close friend to the Munchkins. She gives Dorothy the silver slippers that the Wicked Witch of the East was wearing when she was killed. When she balances her hat on her nose, the hat transforms into a slate that bears a message telling Dorothy to go to the City of Emeralds. The Witch of the North kisses Dorothy on the forehead for protection, leaving a mark that others will recognize. The Scarecrow is the first of three traveling companions Dorothy encounters on her journey. From a pole immobilizing him in a cornfield, he winks at Dorothy then speaks to her to get her attention. Complaining about his situation, the Scarecrow is grateful when Dorothy frees him from his pole. He tells her that he is only two days old and was painted by a Munchkin to resemble a Munchkin, wearing a blue hat and clothing. Crows quickly realized that he was stuffed with straw and posed no threat to them, so they gobbled the farmers corn, foreshadowing the Scarecrows victory over crows ordered by the Wicked Witch of the West to kill the travelers. As he walks beside Dorothy, the Scarecrow informs her that he is unable to become tired or hungry like a person and confesses that his biggest fear is a lit match. He confides in Dorothy that his greatest wish is to have brains because a crow had told him that brains would make the Scarecrow the equal, if not better, of any man and that brains are the only things worth having in this world, no matter whether one is a crow or a man. The Scarecrow often seems to speak nonsense such as saying he thought about his lack of brains. He is nurturing towards Dorothy, gathering nuts for her and Toto and covering them with leaves while they sleep. He eagerly sacrifices himself for the others well-being, instructing them to remove his straw to camouflage themselves from the Witch of the Wests bees. Before he leaves, the wizard chooses the Scarecrow to rule the Emerald City.

The Tin Woodman alerts Dorothy and the Scarecrow to his presence by groaning. Sunlight penetrates the forest where he had been chopping, and his tin shines brightly. As Dorothy and the Scarecrow oil the Tin Woodmans rusted joints, he tells them that he had been immobilized in that spot for a year after a rainstorm. Throughout the novel, he clears the yellow brick road for the group as needed and uses his axe to solve problems. The Tin Woodman wants a heart because a witch had enchanted his axe which sliced his heart in two. The son of a woodman who had once visited the Emerald City and warned him of the dangerous journey, the Tin Woodman had taken care of his widowed mother until she died. He wanted to marry a Munchkin girl who insisted he build her a house. While he earned money for their home, the Munchkin maiden lived with an elderly woman who wanted the girl to be her permanent servant. Giving a cow and two sheep to the Witch of the East, the woman ordered the marriage be stopped. The witch placed a charm on the woodmans axe which cut off his limbs and body parts, which a tinsmith replaced. The Tin Woodman said the girl was still waiting for him and that he needed a heart so that he could love her again. He values happiness above all else, and said that was why a heart was more important than brains which he thought did not necessarily ensure happiness. The Tin Woodman cries when he steps on a beetle because he knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything. He believes hearts help guide people, and that he will no longer have to be so careful to be kind when he has a heart. The Tin Woodman handily uses his skills to construct rafts, ladders, and transportation devices when needed. The Cowardly Lion first appears as growls the characters hear, then dramatically roars when he leaps into the characters path. He knocks over the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman. Dorothy hits the Lion when Toto rushes towards him. She chides the Lion for being a coward in hurting a smaller animal. The Lion admits that he was born a coward and that his roar was his defense mechanism to cause humans and animals to flee. He confides that he would run if any person or beast tried to fight him. Weepy and unhappy, the Lion seeks courage. He is curious about the travelers and asks to accompany them. Along the way, the Lion offers to procure deer for meals. Because killing upsets the Tin Woodman, the Lion disappears into the woods to eat alone. He enjoys the journey in rural areas because he dislikes city life. Although he claims to lack courage, the Lion exhibits bravery several times such as carrying the characters across the ditch. Dorothy rides on his back when she is tired so that the travelers can move swiftly. At other times, the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow carry Dorothy and Toto. When the Wicked Witch of the West enslaves the lion, he refuses to be harnessed to pull her chariot and threatens to bite her when she says she will starve him into submission. The Great Wizard of Oz rules from the City of Emeralds. The Witch of the North considers him more powerful than all of the rest of us together and talks about him in a whisper. Nobody prior to the groups arrival has ever seen the wizard except, perhaps, for some older citizens who might have seen him arrive in his balloon decades earlier. His subjects believe that Oz can do anything and say that he can assume any form he desires so that who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can tell. The wizard is called Oz the Terrible, and people warn Dorothy and her friends not to waste his time. The wizard becomes interested in Dorothy only after he learns about the silver shoes she wears and the mark on her forehead. Each character initially sees the wizard as a symbolic image that seems to have been intended for others in the group. As each character learns about the others experiences, they formulate a strategy to obtain their wish without being ordered to slay the Wicked Witch of the West. For Dorothy, the wizard is a large floating head that is hairless. One eye winks and rolls as she talks to him. The Scarecrow, who might have found the head appealing for its

brain capacity, sees a lovely Lady with wings and a crown. Such a vision might have suggested love and heart to the Tin Woodman, who instead sees a wooly beast with a rhinoceros head and five arms and legs. The Lion plans to roar at this beast to intimidate it, but instead sees a ball of fire which could represent the fire of spirit and thought and perhaps would have been more symbolic to the Scarecrow. When he is exposed to the quartet, the wizard timidly pleads for them not to hurt him, saying Ill do anything you want me to. Quieting Dorothy because he is afraid someone might hear her dismayingly express her shock, he admits that he is not a wizard: Im just a common man. Self-centered, he tells the group to stop complaining about what they want and not to reveal his secret because he has fooled everyone so long and allowing them into the throne room was a great mistake. Explaining that he is an Omaha, Nebraska, ventriloquist and balloonist, the wizard says he liked the attention and power the people of Oz gave him when his balloon drifted into their territory. The wizard admits he feels shame because he has manipulated peoples ignorance with illusions and fears that he was able to have the Emerald City designed and built specifically to his plans. He declares that he has good intentions but cannot keep his promises. The wizard tells the Scarecrow that he needs experience, not a brain, and he tells the Lion that he needs selfconfidence. He suggests to the Tin Woodman that hearts usually make people unhappy. Dispensing the token items of bran, a silk heart, and drink, he convinces Dorothys friends that they have acquired what they want. Dorothy despairs until the wizard decides to sew a balloon, but she is unable to climb in its clothes basket in time to leave. After the wizard is gone, the residents of the Emerald City fondly remember him as a friend. The Wicked Witch of the East is briefly present in this novel as a corpse after Dorothys house lands on her. The Munchkins refer to the Wicked Witch of the Easts tyrannical rule over them. She once ruled the eastern lands of Oz. She is old and dries to dust in the sun. Her silver slippers are powerful, but the Munchkins do not know how the charm is useful. The Wicked Witch of the West is the sole evil witch after her counterpart in the east dies. She uses the Golden Cap to enslave the Winkies. This witch has one eye with acute vision, which she uses like a telescope to survey her kingdom. She always carries an umbrella and uses it to hit Toto, who bites her but draws no blood because it had dried up many years before. She laughs when she enslaves Dorothy and takes advantage of her innocence and vulnerability. This witch knows the silver shoes have more power than any other magical possession. When she sees the mark of the kiss on Dorothys forehead, the witch knows that she cannot hurt her and considers running away from Dorothy in case she uses her power. But then she glances at Dorothys eyes and she saw how simple the soul behind them was and knew that Dorothy was ignorant of the shoes powers and how to summon them. Aware that Dorothy only takes off the silver shoes to bathe at night, the cunning witch schemes how to trick Dorothy. For such an evil person, she ironically is afraid of the dark and water. Tripping Dorothy with an invisible bar, the witch gains one shoe, evening the balance of power. When the witch taunts Dorothy, the girl splashes her with water which causes the witch to melt, frees the Winkies who declare an annual holiday, and transfers the castle and its possessions to Dorothy.

Glinda, the good witch in the South who rules the Quadlings, is considered kind and beautiful and knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived. She has blue eyes, long red hair, and wears a white dress. Because the Quadlings use red as their symbol, Glinda sits on a ruby throne. Glinda asks Dorothy for the cap which she then promises to use to send the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion to their desired location as rulers. Dorothy expresses disbelief when she learns that the shoes could have transported her home from the beginning, but her friends say they are grateful she did not know and went on the journey which gave them their desires and more. Dorothy tells everyone goodbye then clicks her heels thrice, as Glinda advised, to return to Kansas. Other significant characters that Dorothy meets include the Guardian of the Gates and a soldier in the Emerald City. The china people, a collection of royalty and servants, are easily broken. Menders glue these people together, but they are not as attractive as before. When Dorothy thinks of taking a china person home to decorate Aunt Ems mantel, she is advised that the people become paralyzed if they leave their country. Most Quadlings have never visited the Emerald City because the road is dangerous. Along the route, some beasts and people do not welcome travelers and harass or attack them. The Hammer-Heads in particular pound anyone who tries to climb their hill north of Glindas castle. The Quadlings demonstrate hospitality and feed Dorothy and her friends. The Winkies, who are represented by the color yellow, loathe the witchs rule and resist doing her evil deeds even when she beats them. Many of the Winkies are craftsmen who fix the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow after the Wicked Witch of the West ordered them destroyed. The Winkies decide they want the Tin Woodman to be their ruler after the witch is killed. Animal characters serve in supporting roles. The field mice, their queen, and a stork help save the Lion and Scarecrow. The winged monkeys tell Dorothy that they cannot go to Kansas, suggesting limitations to magical powers. The Kalidahs are an amalgam of bear bodies and tiger heads who threaten to kill the characters before the Kalidahs fall into a ditch. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman outwit the wolves, crows, and bees that the witch sends to kill them. The Winged Monkeys fulfill three wishes for whoever has the Golden Cap. They loudly chatter and laugh and are playfully bemused by pranks. The King of the Winged Monkeys tells Dorothy that the monkeys had lived in a forest long before Oz came out of the clouds to rule over this land, which was one of the novels first hints about Ozs origins. Gayelette, a princess/sorceress who lived in a ruby palace, was preparing to marry Quelala when the monkeys dunked him dressed in his finest clothes in the river. Gayelette was furious and threatened to drown the monkeys but agreed to enchanting the Golden Cap, which was a wedding present, with an obedience spell. The Wicked Witch of the West used the cap to enslave the Winkies, expel Oz from Western lands, and secure Dorothy and her friends. The monkeys disobeyed the witchs order to kill Dorothy when they saw the protective kiss on Dorothys forehead, stressing that the Power of Good is stronger than the Power of Evil.2 V LITERARY QUALITIES

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has appealed to readers for more than a century. Although the novel has often been criticized as mediocre and not well-written, Baums story

Extracted from the official site of the Wizard of the Oz


has enthralled audiences due to many literary techniques he employed to create his imaginary world. His use of an omniscient narrator enables readers to see Dorothys adventure from a broader viewpoint than if her story had been told in first person. Details about each characters motivations and point of view are presented, as are supplemental scenic descriptions of the places and people the characters are observing. Significantly, he places good witches near the beginning and conclusion to emphasize that good prevails over evil. The sentimental nature of the characters friendships and affinity for each other and their dreams intensifies reader identification with the story. Baums decision to use anthropomorphic characters enhances the fantastical nature of this novel. Readers can suspend their disbelief to accept Dorothys situation and the characters she encounters and accepts as normal. By contrasting the more plausible, familiar, realistic landscape of Kansas with the strange, unusual, surreal world of Oz, Baum gently guides readers into believing that Dorothy has actually been transported to a magical place. Names for people, animals, and places are often simple and merely descriptive. Dialogue also is often direct, sometimes folksy, and to the point. The animals voices contribute to their characterization and figurative language. The Cowardly Lion often refers to his rapidly beating heart, which is the Tin Woodmans greatest wish. Humor is present in puns and illogical statements. Baum uses imagery such as Dorothy feeling the cyclone lift the house like a balloon, which foreshadows the wizard departing Oz in a balloon. Colors represent different places and people. Good witches and sorceresses wear white. The Munchkins are clad in blue, which could stand for their goodness and sincerity. The Quadlings prefer red, perhaps representing their heartiness. The Winkies like yellow, which could suggest their reluctance to defend themselves. The green of the Emerald City could stand for vigor. In contrast, grayness seems colorless and drab. Mythological and religious allusions can be identified in the text, such as Odysseus coming home to Penelope, the Good Samaritan, or the Prodigal Sons return. Folklore elements are also present, such as the spider-like beast that the Lion slays being like the trickster Anancy. Similarities with fairy tales can be found, such as Dorothy and Cinderella wearing magical slippers. People often wear gemstones of appropriate colors such as diamonds and rubies to show their affiliation. Silver and gold are used to indicate power. Numbers are also important. Most charms require repeating a phrase or word or performing an action three times. The Wicked Witch of the West sends her attack squads in groups of forty or one dozen. Baum creates appealing chants with one and two syllable words that sound familiar to readers such as Ep-pe, pep-pe, kak-ke!; Hil-lo, hol-lo, hel-lo!; and Ziz-zy, zuz-zy, zik! Noise helps set the tone and determine characters moods for scenes, such as peaceful, babbling brooks or raucous, chattering monkeys. Sleeping, solitude, time, and silence are important for transitions in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is asleep in the house during most of the cyclone. She is unconscious in the poppy field, which is a pivotal scene to show how resourceful her friends are to save her. Dreams indicate that she is constantly thinking of home and how to get there. The other characters are aware of dreams because they remark that maybe the Lion can at least be courageous in his dreams. Literary scholars have interpreted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz according to many frameworks such as political, economical, and feminist. Some people have attempted to link The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with agrarian myths associated with the Midwest. In 1964, Henry Littlefield theorized that the novel was a political allegory related to populism, a

movement popular around the time Baum wrote the novel. Populists debated the use of gold versus silver as a basis for the value of currency. The populist movement was especially strong in Kansas. Littlefield suggested that Baum shaped his characters to represent political personalities in the 1896 presidential election: Dorothy being the average citizen, the Scarecrow being an American farmer, the Tin Woodman being a mechanized worker, and the Lion being William Jennings Bryan, who was countering the wizards in Washington, D.C. VI SOCIAL SENSITIVITY

Although Baum did not intend to moralize or preach to his readers, many social messages are presented in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As the novels heroine, Dorothy is a role model. She is a loving niece who cares about her aunts and uncles welfare and worries about how her absence has affected them. Dorothy has manners and is courteous most of the time, losing her temper when stressed or maligned. She cares for her dog Toto and treats him humanely. At times, Dorothy can be self-centered, but she seems mature for a child her age. Dorothy and her companions exemplify goodness. They are kind to each other and to everyone they meet, with the exception of anyone who tries to harm them. They are helpful, unselfishly sacrificing their personal comfort to make other people feel better or achieve a goal, such as the Lion carrying Dorothy when she is tired or the Scarecrow gathering food even though he cannot eat. They willingly risk their lives to rescue each other, and, although they might consider leaving someone like the Lion in the poppy field, they never actually abandon anyone. The quartet is patient, waiting for others like the wizard to make up their minds before acting, even when waiting becomes monotonous. The Tin Woodman is so devoted to his beloved Munchkin maiden that he has endured a year of being rusted and the journey to attempt to provide her with what she wants. The characters are supportive and cooperative, valuing each others aspirations and not belittling them. Above all else, they are friends, unconditionally tolerant of each other and expressing their gratitude and love. Each character functions capably independently, and they work well together as a team because they know they belong and are appreciated for their unique talents and skills. The characters are resilient and outspoken, voicing their concerns. Determined, they persevere and trust themselves to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Occasionally, they cry but never succumb completely to hopelessness and despair. Their inventiveness enables them to resolve problems by considering the most viable options and resourcefully utilizing raw resources available to them. They ultimately triumph and recover anything they have lost or fill the inadequacies from which they suffer. Although the characters feel they lack specific qualities, Baum shows that each character has ample intelligence, heart, and courage to achieve the resolution they seek.3

VII. Political aspect of the novel

Source: Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. Copyright by Gale Group, Inc. Reprinted by permission.


1. Yellow brick code

In 1964, high school teacher Henry Littlefield wrote an article outlining the notion of an underlying allegory in Baum's book. He said it offered a "gentle and friendly" critique of Populist thinking, and the story could be used to illuminate the late 19th Century to students. Since its publication, teachers have used this take on the tale to help classes understand the issues of the era. And Littlefield's theory has been hotly debated. He believed the characters could represent the personalities and themes of the late 1800s,with Dorothy embodying the everyman American spirit. US political historian Quentin Taylor, who supports this interpretation, says: "There are too many instances of parallels with the political events of the time. "The Tin Woodman represents the industrial worker, the Scarecrow is the farmer and the Cowardly Lion is William Jennings Bryan." Bryan was a Democratic presidential candidate who supported the silver cause. But he failed to win votes from eastern workers and lost the 1896 election. In the same way, the Lion's claws are nearly blunted by the Woodman's metallic shell. The Wicked Witch of the West is associated with a variety of controversial personalities, chief among them the industrialist Mark Hanna, campaign manager to President William McKinley. In this scenario, the yellow brick road symbolises the gold standard, the Emerald City becomes Washington DC and the Great Wizard characterises the president - and he isexposed as being less than truthful .
2. Off to see the President

Yet none can help Dorothy return home. Eventually she discovers that her silver shoes (changed to ruby for the film) have the power to take her back to Kansas. The possible implication is that gold alone cannot be the solution for the problems facing the average citizen. But Professor Taylor thinks it's unlikely the book took sides. Instead he says it was merely explaining the story of the Populist movement, some of whom marched on Washington DC in 1894 to demand government improve their plight. Their demand for the use of silver with the gold standard was not met, although within a few years, inflation returned after discoveries of gold in South Africa and other parts of the world. In Baum's story, Dorothy loses her silver slippers in the desert before she reaches home a possible reflection of the decline of the silver cause after 1896. But not everyone believes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz includes any hidden meanings.

"Nobody ever suggested it until 1964," says Bradley Hansen, who is a professor of economics at the University of Mary Washington. "There's no solid evidence that Baum had written it as a monetary allegory," he adds. "While it may have grabbed students' interests, it doesn't really teach them anything about the gold standard and, in particular, the debate about the gold standard." Professor Hansen thinks the author was just trying to create a new kind of fairytale, the "Harry Potter of its time". 4

2.1 Characters symbolism in brief Dorothy: Everyman American Scarecrow: Farmer Tin Woodman: Industrial worker Lion: William Jennings Bryan, politician who backed silver cause Wizard of Oz: US presidents of late 19th Century Wicked Witch: A malign Nature, destroyed by the farmers' most precious commodity, water. Or simply the American West Winged Monkeys: Native Americans or Chinese railroad workers, exploited by West Oz: An abbreviation of 'ounce' or, as Baum claimed, taken from the O-Z of a filing cabinet? Emerald City: Greenback paper money, exposed as fraud Munchkin: Ordinary citizens

VIII. Grand opening to the movies Initially, The Wizard of Oz was not considered a commercial success in relation to its enormous budget, although it made a small profit and received largely favorable reviews. The impact it had upon release was reportedly responsible for the release of two other fantasy films in Technicolor the following year - The Blue Bird and The Thief of Bagdad. The songs from The Wizard of Oz became widely popular, with "Over the Rainbow" receiving the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the film itself garnering several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. From 1959 to 1991, The Wizard of Oz was an annual television tradition in the United States, and through these showings, it has become one of the most famous films ever made. The film received much more attention after its annual television screenings were so warmly embraced and has since become one of the most beloved films of all time. In fact,



The Wizard of Oz is believed by some to be the most-watched film in history.[3] It is often ranked among the top ten best movies of all-time in various critics' and popular polls, and it has provided many indelible quotes to the American cultural consciousness. Its signature song, "Over the Rainbow," sung by Judy Garland, has been voted the greatest movie song of all time by the American Film Institute.5 The opening and closing credits, as well as the Kansas sequences, were both filmed in black and white and colored in a sepia tone. (Publicity for the film mentioned the Technicolor but not the black-and-white or sepia, thus making it sound as if the entire film had been made in color.)

1. Differences from the original novel

For the most part, the movie follows the novel only in a very general way, though several phrases (e.g. "I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek"; and "Oh no, my dear, I'm a very good man; I'm just a very bad Wizard") are taken almost directly from the book. Many details are omitted or altered, while many of the perils that Dorothy encountered in the novel are not even mentioned in the movie. To take advantage of the new vivid Technicolor process, Dorothy's silver shoes were changed to ruby slippers for the movie. Due to time constraints, a number of sub-plots from the book, including the China County and the Hammerheads, were cut. The novel also never depicts Dorothy as a damsel in distress to be rescued by her friends, but rather the reverse, with Dorothy, a figure heavily influenced by the feminism of Matilda Joslyn Gagerescuing her friends. Nevertheless, the film was far more faithful to Baum's original book than many earlier scripts (see below) or film versions - there were silent versions in 1910 and 1925, and a seven-minute animated cartoon in 1933. The 1939 movie interprets the Oz experience as a dream, in which many of the characters that Dorothy meets represent the people from her home life (such as Miss Gulch, Professor Marvel, and the farmhands, none of which appear in the book). Oz is meant to be a real place in L. Frank Baum's original novel, one to which Dorothy would return to in the author's later Oz books, and later provide a refuge for Aunt Em and Uncle Henry when unable to pay the mortgage on the new house that was built after the old one really was carried away by the tornado.

2. Filming
Filming of Oz began under the direction of Norman Taurog in September 1938. Taurog's only involvement on the picture, however, was the filming of a few early test scenes. For unknown reasons, however, Taurog was replaced with Richard Thorpe who commenced filming on October 13, 1938 on the MGM Studios lot in Culver City, California. Thorpe intially shot around two weeks of footage involving Dorothy's first encounter with the Scarecrow as well as a number sequences in the Wicked Witch's castle. However, the sudden medical departure of Buddy Ebsen caused the film to shut down as a new actor was found to fill the part. LeRoy had taken this time to review the already shot footage and felt that Thorpe seemed to be rushing the picture along creating a negative impact in the actors performances. Thus LeRoy decided to have Thorpe replaced.



George Cukor temporarily took over. Initially, the studio made Garland wear a blond wig and heavy, "baby-doll" makeup, and she played Dorothy in an exaggerated fashion. Cukor changed Judy Garland and Margaret Hamilton's makeup and costumes and told Garland to "be herself". This meant that all scenes Garland and Hamilton had already completed were discarded and refilmed. Cukor did not actually shoot any scenes for the film, and because of his prior commitment to direct Gone with the Wind, left on November 3, 1938, at which time Victor Fleming assumed the directorial responsibility. Ironically, on February 12, 1939, Fleming replaced Cukor in directing Gone with the Wind. The next day, King Vidor would be assigned as director to finish the filming of The Wizard of Oz (mainly the sepia Kansas sequences, including Judy Garland's singing of "Over the Rainbow"). In later years, when the film became firmly established as a classic, King Vidor chose not to take public credit for his contribution until after the death of his friend Fleming. Filming was a long and cumbersome process that ran for over six months from October 1938 to March 1939. Most of the actors worked six days a week and had to arrive at the studio as early as four and five in the morning, to be fitted with makeup and costumes, and would not leave until seven or eight at night. Cumbersome makeup and costumes were compounded by the fact that the early technicolor process required a significant amount of lighting to be used, which would usually heat the set to over a hundred degrees. According to Ray Bolger, most of the Oz principles were banned from eating in the studio's commissary due to their costumes. Margaret Hamilton's makeup could not be ingested and so she practically lived on a liquid diet during filming. Jack Haley's aluminum paste makeup caused the actor to receive a severe eye infection . Filming could also prove to be chaotic at times. This was most evident when trying to put together the Munchkinland sequences. MGM talent scouts searched the country far and wide to come up with over a hundred midgets that would make up the citizens of Munchkinland. According to Munchkin actor Jerry Maren, each midget was paid over a $125 a week for their performances. Munchkin Meinhardt Raabe, who played the coroner, revealed in the 1990 documentary The Making of the Wizard of Oz, that MGM costume and wardrobe department, under the direction of designer Adrian, had to design over one hundred costumes for the Munchkin sequences. They then had to photograph and catalogue each Munchkin in their costume so that they could correctly apply the same costume and makeup each day of production. For years many exaggerated rumors existed revolving around the wild behavior of many of the Munchkin actors. One of the most famous rumors claimed that in the completed film shows an actor who played one of the Munchkins committing suicide by hanging in the background of one scene have been shown to be false; the object in question is actually a wild crane used to populate the forest scene. Filming also proved to be dangerous at times. Margaret Hamilton was severely burned in the Munchkinland scene when she was to disappear in a puff of fiery smoke. When she returned from the hospital, Hamilton refused to do the scene where she flies on a broomstick billowing smoke, so the directors chose to have a stand-in, Betty Danko, perform the scene instead. Danko was also severely injured doing the scene after a malfunction occurred during filming.


Principal photography concluded with the Kansas sequences on March 16, 1939, nonetheless reshoots and pick up shots were filmed throughout April, May, and in to June. During this point the film began a long arduous post production. Herbert Stothart had to compose the film's score, while A. Arnold Gillespie had to perfect the various special effects that the film required, including many of the rear projection shots. The MGM art department also had to create the various matte paintings that were to supply the background of many of the scenes. One significant innovation for the film was the use of "Stencil printing" which was used for the film transition to Technicolor. Each frame was to be hand-tinted to maintain the sepia tone. However, because this was too expensive and labor intensive it was abandoned and MGM used a simpler and less expensive variation of the process. Instead the inside of the farm house was painted sepia, and when Dorothy opens the door it is in fact not her but her stand-in wearing a sepia gingham dress. Once the camera moves through the door we see Dorothy in her bright blue dress. Test screenings of the film began on June 5, 1939. Oz initially was running nearly two hours long. LeRoy and Fleming knew that at least a quarter of an hour of the film needed to be deleted to get the film down to a manageable running time, the average film in 1939 running just about 90 minutes. Three sneak previews in Santa Barbara, Pomona, and San Luis Obispo, California helped guide LeRoy and Fleming in the cutting. Among the many cuts was The Jitterbug number, the Scarecrow's elaborate dance sequence following If I Only Had A Brain, a reprise of Over the Rainbow and Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead, as well as a number of smaller dialogue sequences. One song that was almost permanently deleted was "Over the Rainbow". MGM had felt that it made the Kansas sequence too long, as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended. The studio also thought that it was degrading for Judy Garland to sing in a barnyard. But producer Mervyn Le Roy, uncredited associate producer Arthur Freed, and director Victor Fleming fought for its inclusion, and eventually won. The song went on to win the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year. In 2004, the song was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.After the preview in San Luis Obispo in early July, The Wizard of Oz was officially released in August 1939 at its current 101-minute running time.6

3. Television airings

The film was first shown on television November 3, 1956 on CBS, as the last installment of the Ford Star Jubilee. It was shown in color (posters still exist advertising the broadcast, and they specifically say in color and black-and-white), but because most television sets then were not color sets, few members of the TV audience saw it that way. An estimated 45 million people watched the broadcast. However, it was not rerun until three years later. On December 13, 1959 the film was shown (again on CBS) as a two-hour Christmas season special, and at an earlier time, to an even larger audience (commercial breaks were much shorter then, enabling the film to run in a two-hour time slot without being cut). Encouraged by the response, CBS decided to make it an annual tradition, showing it every December from 1959 through 1962. The film was not shown in December 1963 as might have been



expected, perhaps due to the proximity of the John F. Kennedy assassination, which occurred on November 22 of that year and plunged the U.S. into a period of mourning. Others say that there was no room on the schedule, due to the fact that by then there were other Christmas specials on television, though not nearly as many as there would be in later years (A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Frosty the Snowman, all first shown on CBS in the 1960s, were still more than two years away.) Still, the film was shown very early in 1964, and the showings were therefore still only roughly a year apart. The January 1964 broadcast marked the end of the Christmas season showings, but The Wizard of Oz was nevertheless still televised only once a year for nearly three decades. In the late 1960s, the film was bought for annual TV showings by NBC, but by 1976, it had reverted to CBS. CBS no longer retains the rights; they are now in the hands of Turner Entertainment, and the film is now shown several times a year (rather than annually) on or just before several notable holidays - Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving , and/or Christmas. Turner Classic Movies cable channel, Turner Network Television, and the TBS Superstation now often show the film during the same week "in rotation".

4. Video
The Wizard of Oz became the first videocassette released by MGM/CBS Home Video in 1980; all current home video releases are by Warner Home Video (via current rights holder Turner Entertainment). The first laserdisc release of The Wizard of Oz was in 1983, with two versions of a second, (one from Turner, and one from The Criterion Collection with a commentary track) for the 50th Anniversary release in 1989, and a final laserdisc release on September 11, 1996. The first DVD release of the film was on March 26, 1997, and contained no special features or supplements. It was re-released for its 60th Anniversary on October 19, 1999, with its soundtrack presented in a new 5.1 surround sound mix. The monochrome-tocolor transition was more smoothly accomplished by digitally keeping the inside of the house in monochrome while Dorothy and the reveal of Munchkinland are in color. The DVD also contained an extensive behind-the-scenes documentary: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic, produced in 1990 and hosted by Angela Lansbury, which was originally featured in the 1991 "Ultimate Oz" laserdisc box set release. Despite being a onedisc release, outtakes, the deleted "Jitterbug" musical number, clips of pre-1939 Oz adaptations, trailers, newsreels, and a portrait gallery were also included, as well as two radio programs of the era publicizing the film. In 2005, two new DVD editions were released, both featuring a newly restored version of the film with audio commentary and an isolated music and effects track. One of the two DVD releases was a "Two-Disc Special Edition", featuring production documentaries, trailers, various outtakes, newsreels, radio shows, and still galleries. The other set, a "Three-Disc Deluxe Edition", included these features as well as complete copies of the 1925 silent film version of The Wizard of Oz and a 1933 animated short version. Warner has also stated that The Wizard of Oz will be released on Blu-ray Disc in 2009 for the film's 70th anniversary. Bibliography Peter Hunter, criticism, theory, and childrens literature, 1991 Beacham Guide to Literature for Young Adults. Copyright by Gale Group, Inc. Reprinted by permission. 1989


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