Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Wizard of Oz as an Allegory

I have done a few posts on how the Wizard of Oz is a great allegory for the late 1800s in the US.  I use it for my students to help them remember such items as the silver and gold standard, Populism, industrialism, westward movement, William Jennings Bryan and much more from the era.  Here is the best explanation for the allegory of the Wizard of Oz.  


James Rada said...

Thanks for the post. I have often heard this about Oz, but never saw a summary of it. However, if Baum said he didn't write it as an allegory, are people reading too much into it? This has happened with other writers, too. I remember my high school English teaching ruining The Old Man and the Sea for me because after he finished talking about themes and symbolism, it felt like I was reading the New Testament in the Bible. I think Baum probably didn't write Oz as an allegory, but he drew on what he knew for characters and settings and this may have come through in his writing unintentionally. Or it may be academia reads too much into a good story.

Ken Halla said...

Whether it is reading too much into the Wizard, the point is that it is a great way to remember the time period and WOW, there is a lot of coincidence to not believe Baum was making some kind of social commentary.