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Sometimes a Slipper is Just a Shoe: Why the Wizard of Oz is not a Marxist Fairy Tale
The Freehold ^ | October 8, 2012 | Jonathan David Baird

Posted on 10/10/2012 10:53:56 AM PDT by EveningStar

David Parker in his article, “The Rise and Fall of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a ‘Parable on Populism” looks closer at the many interpretations of the Wizard of Oz and gives us his opinion that sometimes a book is just a book and that interpretations pulled out of thin air are often just as ephemeral.  I have always been very interested in what adults think about children’s literature. More often than not they read into the stories political, religious, and even topical themes of their own time or the time in which the story was written.

(Excerpt) Read more at thefreehold.us ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Politics; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: blogpimp; fantasy; jonathandavidbaird; thefreehold; thewizardofoz; wizardofoz

1 posted on 10/10/2012 10:54:03 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

David Parker is an idiot. It’s common knowledge that Baum was a follower of Theosophy, a pseudo-philosophy that was very popular at the end of the 19th century. All the symbols in the Oz books - he wrote 14 - were straight out of Blavatsky’s writings.


2 posted on 10/10/2012 11:01:48 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: EveningStar

I don’t know about others interpretations but what I got from the movie as a kid was:

Everything I could ever want I could find in my own backyard if I look for it; There is no place like home; Finally be it love, intelligence, or bravery when things are at their worst I would find these qualities within myself.

The books were great too.


3 posted on 10/10/2012 11:02:15 AM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: EveningStar

OMG - The Wizard of Oz!!?? The story about the development of the Wizard of Oz is pretty simple; Frank L. Baum loved telling stories to his kids and the Wizard of Oz was developed over a period of years as he found new items to integrate into the story.

From my (relatively) early childhood, I have always loved the Oz stories and never found any evil underpinnings of marxism or satanism or any other such nonsense. Nor do I believe that was ever Mr. Baum’s intent.

If idiots need something to read ridiculous interpretations into, I’m sure that they can find plenty if they only look. Anything emanating from Hollyweird is a good place to start.

Leave the Wizard of Oz alone.


4 posted on 10/10/2012 11:05:35 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: DustyMoment

The author of this article agrees with you.


5 posted on 10/10/2012 11:09:54 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

I am always interested in what the author thinks his or her book is about. A few months ago I listened to a university lecture on Flannery O’Connor in itunes. If I remember correctly, the lecturer said that, although O’Connor herself said that much of her work had a religious theme, what she was really writing about was racism and sexism and not religion at all. I disagree. Her settings reflected the culture of their times, not necessarily making a value judgment. But the university professors know better. It’s all Marxist-Feminism, all the time. One of the biggest and most destructive college lies is contemporary literary criticism.


6 posted on 10/10/2012 11:10:49 AM PDT by informavoracious (I am a Sedevacantist. I believe the chair is EMPTY.)
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To: Gideonwoulfe

ping


7 posted on 10/10/2012 11:12:21 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar
sometimes a book is just a book and that interpretations pulled out of thin air are often just as ephemeral

Postmodernists believe that texts can have multiple meanings (polysemy) and should be deconstructed to find them out. The subjectivity of the reader determines what the author actually intended.

8 posted on 10/10/2012 11:13:50 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: EveningStar
I have always been very interested in what adults think about children’s literature.

The "author" quotes Sandusky?

9 posted on 10/10/2012 11:15:41 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: informavoracious

Well, that’s your problem. You are assuming that the author of a book actually has a better idea of what the book is about than some marxist professor with a bunch of letters after his name. After all, if people are just going to listen to the AUTHOR when trying to figure out what the author is saying, why would we even need these English professors anyway. :)


10 posted on 10/10/2012 11:20:02 AM PDT by stremba
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To: kabumpo

Baum himself said it was just a story in fact in later editions he added that to the beginning of the book hence my quote in the article. Sometimes we don’t need to read deeper. Just because Universities professors especially those in English department tell us there is something there doesn’t mean there is.


11 posted on 10/10/2012 11:20:16 AM PDT by Gideonwoulfe
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To: EveningStar

Just an interesting tidbit, when Baum first told the stories to kids in ND he ran a general store. He came up with the name “OZ” because he had a file cabinet with two drawers — A-N and O-Z.


12 posted on 10/10/2012 11:29:34 AM PDT by Gothmog (I fight for Xev)
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To: kabumpo

One of the things that should be noted is how the movie worked to dilute all the metaphors in the book(s).

For instance the whole silver/gold standard thing can’t be seen unless one knows that Dorothy’s slippers were silver in the book and changed to ruby in the movie because they looked better.

The metaphors in Wizard are legion and consistant. It doesn’t so much require one to go looking for them as realize they’re being beaten over the head with them.


13 posted on 10/10/2012 11:29:46 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: EveningStar

Actually, Baum was presciently fore-telling the 1980 election results. Reagan put together the votes of the Southern states, the Mid-west, and the industrial workers of the Great Lakes Region.
Lion — great orator — Reagan, leading the
South — scarecrow,
Midwest — Dorothy, and the
Industrial Workers — Tin Man.

It is all very staight- forward.


14 posted on 10/10/2012 11:33:52 AM PDT by faithhopecharity
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To: DustyMoment

Or maybe it means something completely different?

The secret of OZ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI


15 posted on 10/10/2012 11:35:03 AM PDT by phockthis (http://www.supremelaw.org/fedzone11/index.htm ...)
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To: EveningStar
I always thought that the story was one of Glinda sending a small and unprepared group of innocents on a suicide mission due to her hatred of the Wicked Witch.

On the other hand, it is also the story of an almost flawless insurgency conducted against nearly impossible odds.

;-)

16 posted on 10/10/2012 11:40:20 AM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: tanknetter
>>>For instance the whole silver/gold standard thing can’t be seen unless one knows that Dorothy’s slippers were silver in the book and changed to ruby in the movie because they looked better.

Exactly. If you go to the books...forget the movie...and place it into the context of the times...its pretty obvious what Baum was doing.

17 posted on 10/10/2012 11:52:39 AM PDT by NELSON111
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To: stremba
You are assuming that the author of a book actually has a better idea of what the book is about than some marxist professor with a bunch of letters after his name.

Exactly. It's kind of like this painting by Massaccio.

Check out the guys standing on the left. You think Massaccio had some deep, secret meaning? Or did he just miscount the number of feet in relationship to the number of heads, and since he was working in fresco, decided to not go back and redo to entire thing? I took an art history class where some students wanted to debate this. Uniquely, the professor was more practical.

18 posted on 10/10/2012 11:53:41 AM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: EveningStar
Funniest TV listing summary of Wizard of Oz I have ever seen:

WIZARD OF OZ.

1939. Judy Garland, Ray Bolger

A young girl hallucinates and is transported to a strange land, where she kills the first person she meets. She then teams-up with 3 total strangers in costumes to kill again.

19 posted on 10/10/2012 11:55:45 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: informavoracious

It’s called literary deconstruction, and it flows from writings and theories of French marxist professors Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. The cliffnotes version is that you can take any writing and use it to advance your own narrative (a big Obama term) about life, society, history etc. The idea that once in public the author/creator loses any control over his/her work and its entire meaning may be altered at the discretion of the reader. This is exactly what your professor did with Flannery o’Connor’s work


20 posted on 10/10/2012 12:06:44 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: EveningStar

It was the original chick flick. Two women locked in a battle to the death over a pair of shoes.


21 posted on 10/10/2012 12:19:08 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: NELSON111

I read the book a couple of weeks ago with my 5 year old son.

I thought it was very funny that the wizard made everyone wear emerald colored glasses when in the Emerald City.

There is much political and social commentary.


22 posted on 10/10/2012 12:21:08 PM PDT by The Free Engineer
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To: Gideonwoulfe

People in the Theosophy movement didn’t advertise it. It is an unarguable fact that he was a member. If you know the first thing about Theosophy, the symbolism throughout ALL the Oz books is unmistakable.


23 posted on 10/10/2012 12:26:06 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: DustyMoment

Your understanding of writing and the creative process is that of an eight year old. Read biographies of Baum and commentaries on the times and get a clue.


24 posted on 10/10/2012 12:29:07 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Mikey_1962

To me, the movie is sentimental Depression kitsch. The books are timeless classics.


25 posted on 10/10/2012 12:30:50 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: xkaydet65

As annoying as postmodernist literary analysis is (and the last one I heard was someone saying that Kubrick’s “The Shining” was really about colonialism and genocide), I don’t think it’s invalid to say that the reader brings his own beliefs and world view to the text, and gets something different out of it depending on those views. Whether one person’s reading of, say, “Moby Dick” as a metaphor for...whatever...is worth discussing at any length is the bigger question.


26 posted on 10/10/2012 12:31:14 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: EveningStar

Wicked Witch of the West... Nancy Pelosi. Coincidence?


27 posted on 10/10/2012 12:32:09 PM PDT by Leep (Forward! to serfdom)
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To: Gideonwoulfe

Writers always say that after their books become popular, they don’t want to queer the sales and opportunities for movies


28 posted on 10/10/2012 12:33:30 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo
To me, the movie is sentimental Depression kitsch. The books are timeless classics.

To me it was pre-war kitsch. It opened one week before WWII began.

I loved it as a child until my parents bought the books which were wonderful.

29 posted on 10/10/2012 12:39:09 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: kabumpo
To me, the movie is sentimental Depression kitsch. The books are timeless classics.

To me it was pre-war kitsch. It opened one week before WWII began.

I loved it as a child until my parents bought the books which were wonderful.

30 posted on 10/10/2012 12:39:16 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

True. I always saw Jaws in terms of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People but more saw it as Moby Dick. But deconstruction is not simply anarchist literary review, it is a tool to construct a marxist, feminist, racial narrative out of literature and history. And it is used to tear down the Western narrative which has allowed the growth of Liberty, social, political and economic, and individual and societal prosperity.


31 posted on 10/10/2012 12:42:02 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: kabumpo
I don't know if you knew this bit of trivia:

Frank Morgan decided that he wanted a once elegant coat that had "gone to seed" for his role. He went to a second-hand shop and purchased a whole rack of coats, from which Morgan, the wardrobe department and the director chose one they thought had the perfect appearance of shabby gentility.

One day, while he was on set wearing the coat, Morgan turned out one of the pockets and discovered a label indicating that the coat had once belonged to Oz author L. Frank Baum. Mary Mayer, a unit publicist for the film, contacted the tailor and Baum's widow, who both verified that the coat had indeed once belonged to the writer. After filming was completed, the coat was presented to Mrs. Baum.

Weird.

32 posted on 10/10/2012 12:49:07 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President.)
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To: informavoracious
One of the biggest and most destructive college lies is contemporary literary criticism.

I remember taking an American Literature class and being introduced to a poet named Frank Marshall Davis. His most famous poem they decided to include in the anthology was about a black man who works at a rich, white country club who witnesses what can only be described as a homosexual orgy where these white guys were throwing around money and other tokens of white man's wealth.

I thought it was disgusting and I wondered why anyone would consider that poem and the author worthy of inclusion in an anthology of great poets.

Lo and behold, that disgusting guy is a hero of marxism and personally mentored another disgusting guy named Barack Obama.

33 posted on 10/10/2012 1:11:19 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: EveningStar
Here's my own experience with "deconstruction."

While I was in graduate school I took a course in Theory of Games, which is a mathematical discipline dealing with conflict situations. Given the matrix of possible actions by each of the two competitors, and the payoffs for each combination of actions, the theory will tell you what is the best strategy to play.

It occurred to me that if the two players had differing information about the payoffs, each could think he is winning, but both are actually losing. It took me several years to do anything with the idea, but eventually I wrote it into a story and sold it to ANALOG science fiction (spaceships, interstellar war, etc.).

As it happened, the story was published during the Vietnam war. A reviewer insisted that it was an anti-Vietnam story, mirroring the "no-win" war being fought there.

Now, who knows more about what the story was about -- the author or the reviewer?

34 posted on 10/10/2012 1:23:21 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney ( New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. Buy from Amazon.)
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To: PGR88
As Tom Lehrer sang in the song Smut:

"I could tell you things about Peter Pan
And the Wizard of Oz, now there's a dirty old man!"

35 posted on 10/10/2012 1:44:05 PM PDT by Erasmus (Zwischen des Teufels und des tiefen, blauen Meers)
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To: kabumpo

You’re just a mean, bad man and I don’t like you anymore.

So there!


36 posted on 10/10/2012 1:53:15 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: JoeFromSidney

In graduate school I once suggested that we use capitalism as part of critical literary analysis. It did not go over well.


37 posted on 10/10/2012 1:53:32 PM PDT by Gideonwoulfe
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To: phockthis
Or maybe it means something completely different?

Saaaaaaayyyyyy, you're right!! When you dissect the Wizard of Oz, it's REALLY a code for the Invasion of Europe in WWII by three-legged Armenian goat herds!!! Thanks for clueing me in!!

38 posted on 10/10/2012 1:56:09 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: xkaydet65
Thank you for the cliffnotes. Back in the day, I took a Literary Criticism introductory course. It covered Deconstructionism, Marxist-feminism, New Historicism, Reader-response, and I can't remember what else. Because I went to a backward, relatively conservative, no-name state school, we had to write papers using each of the approaches to a single work of literature but never had to do it again. That was the only time I used those critical approaches - we weren't required to write that way in other English classes.

Literature lasted through the ages because it presented universal truths. But now there is supposed to be no universal truth. You have your truth, I have mine. They're both "right." It's crazy-making. And it's as old as the devil himself.

39 posted on 10/10/2012 2:22:13 PM PDT by informavoracious (I am a Sedevacantist. I believe the chair is EMPTY.)
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To: DustyMoment

Before writing the Wizard of Oz (and even contemplating becoming a children’s story author), Baum held many jobs – one being the editor of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. In 1890, Baum wrote a series of articles introducing his readers to Theosophy, including his views on Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius and Christ. At that time, he wasn’t a member of the Theosophical Society but he was already displaying a deep understanding of its philosophy. Here’s an excerpt of his “Editor’s Musings”:

“Amongst various sects so numerous in America today who find their fundamental basis in occultism, the Theosophist stands pre-eminent both in intelligence and point of numbers. Theosophy is not a religion. Its followers are simply “searchers after Truth”. The Theosophists, in fact, are the dissatisfied of the world, the dissenters from all creeds. They owe their origin to the wise men of India, and are numerous, not only in the far famed mystic East, but in England, France, Germany and Russia. They admit the existence of a God – not necessarily of a personal God. To them God is Nature and Nature is God…But despite this, if Christianity is Truth, as our education has taught us to believe, there can be no menace to it in Theosophy.”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 25th 1890

Two years after writing those articles, L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud Gage joined the Theosophical Society in Chicago. The archives of the Theosophical Society in the Pasadena California has recorded the start of their membership on September 4th, 1892. The Wizard of Oz is very appreciated within the Theosophical Society. In 1986, The American Theosophist magazine recognized Baum to be a “notable Theosophist” whose thoroughly represented the organization’s philosophy.

“Although readers have not looked at his fairy tales for their Theosophical content, it is significant that Baum became a famous writer of children’s books after he had come into contact with Theosophy. Theosophical ideas permeate his work and provided inspiration for it. Indeed, The Wizard can be regarded as Theosophical allegory, pervaded by Theosophical ideas from beginning to end. The story came to Baum as an inspiration, and he accepted it with a certain awe as a gift from outside, or perhaps from deep within, himself.”
-American Theosophist no 74, 1986

Baum believed in reincarnation, in karma, that there was no devil, and “that man on earth was only one step on the ladder that passed through many states of consciousness, through many universes, to a final state of Enlightenment,” according to Michael Patrick Hearn in his book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz (1973). Hearn is also quoted in Children’s Literature Review (CLR), vol. 15, as saying “The author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was...well read in the occult sciences...Paraclesus, the sixteenth century Swiss alchemist and physician, divided all spirits into four categories: Air, sylphs; Water, nymphs or undines; Earth, gnomes; Fire, salamanders. These could be expanded to the ancient idea of the four states of matter — gas, liquid, solid, and energy....A quick glance at Baum’s fairy tales reveals that he wrote about each Paraclesian classification of spirits. his sylphs are the ‘winged fairies’ (Lulea of Queen Zixie of Is; Lurline of The Tin Woodman of Oz); the undines are the mermaids (Aquareine of The Sea Fairies; the water fairies of the first chapter of The Scarecrow of Oz); the gnomes are the Nomes (the Nome king of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Ozma of Oz); and the salamanders are the fairies of energy (the Demon of Electricity of The Master Key; the Lovely Lady of Light of Tik-Tok of Oz). Baum seems to have created a highly sophisticated cosmology by interpreting this theory of spirits of ‘elementals’ in terms of traditional fairies. This is basically a religion of Nature. Modern science itself has its origin in the occult sciences, in the search for the secrets of nature.... It is not by mistake that the Shaggy Man in The Patchwork Girl of Oz refers to Oz as being a fairyland ‘where magic is a science.’ Both science and magic have the same ends.”

In many of Baum’s works, there are revealing references. In The Master Key, a boy summons up the “Demon of Electricity,’ and A Kidnapped Santa Claus refers to a “Demon of Repentance.” The Tin Woodsman of Oz has a giantess skilled in transformations, and in Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, there is a climb up “Pyramid Mountain.”

Baum was a pacifist, and in Ozma of Oz, Dorothy is shipwrecked, and Princess Ozma (close friend of Glinda, “the greatest of sorceresses”) is threatened by the Nome king, but he is powerless is the face of her faith and love as she states, “No one has the right to destroy any living creatures, however evil they may be, or to hurt them or make them unhappy. I will not fight — even to save my kingdom.”

In the Saturday Pioneer (October 18, 1890), Baum wrote that “the absurd and legendary devil is the enigma of the Church,” and in the Oz books, he said there were both “good” and “bad” demons and witches. (Baum also wrote a play, The Uplift of Lucifer, or Raising Hell in 1915.)

According to the Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 22, “Baum complained of being grabbed by spirits when in bed asleep,” and his wife, Maud, and his mother-in-law, the radical feminist Matilda Gage, had clairvoyants and seances in their home. Mrs. Gage was also interested in astronomy and palmistry. In 1890, because she felt the mainstream suffragists were too conservative, she founded the Woman’s National Liberal Union dedicated to the separation of church and state.

pp. 61-68, Now Is the Dawning of the New Age piano casters, by Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D.; published by Hearthstone Publishing Ltd.


40 posted on 10/10/2012 4:16:49 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Gideonwoulfe

Before writing the Wizard of Oz (and even contemplating becoming a children’s story author), Baum held many jobs – one being the editor of the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. In 1890, Baum wrote a series of articles introducing his readers to Theosophy, including his views on Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius and Christ. At that time, he wasn’t a member of the Theosophical Society but he was already displaying a deep understanding of its philosophy. Here’s an excerpt of his “Editor’s Musings”:

“Amongst various sects so numerous in America today who find their fundamental basis in occultism, the Theosophist stands pre-eminent both in intelligence and point of numbers. Theosophy is not a religion. Its followers are simply “searchers after Truth”. The Theosophists, in fact, are the dissatisfied of the world, the dissenters from all creeds. They owe their origin to the wise men of India, and are numerous, not only in the far famed mystic East, but in England, France, Germany and Russia. They admit the existence of a God – not necessarily of a personal God. To them God is Nature and Nature is God…But despite this, if Christianity is Truth, as our education has taught us to believe, there can be no menace to it in Theosophy.”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 25th 1890

Two years after writing those articles, L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud Gage joined the Theosophical Society in Chicago. The archives of the Theosophical Society in the Pasadena California has recorded the start of their membership on September 4th, 1892. The Wizard of Oz is very appreciated within the Theosophical Society. In 1986, The American Theosophist magazine recognized Baum to be a “notable Theosophist” whose thoroughly represented the organization’s philosophy.

“Although readers have not looked at his fairy tales for their Theosophical content, it is significant that Baum became a famous writer of children’s books after he had come into contact with Theosophy. Theosophical ideas permeate his work and provided inspiration for it. Indeed, The Wizard can be regarded as Theosophical allegory, pervaded by Theosophical ideas from beginning to end. The story came to Baum as an inspiration, and he accepted it with a certain awe as a gift from outside, or perhaps from deep within, himself.”
-American Theosophist no 74, 1986

Baum believed in reincarnation, in karma, that there was no devil, and “that man on earth was only one step on the ladder that passed through many states of consciousness, through many universes, to a final state of Enlightenment,” according to Michael Patrick Hearn in his book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz (1973). Hearn is also quoted in Children’s Literature Review (CLR), vol. 15, as saying “The author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was...well read in the occult sciences...Paraclesus, the sixteenth century Swiss alchemist and physician, divided all spirits into four categories: Air, sylphs; Water, nymphs or undines; Earth, gnomes; Fire, salamanders. These could be expanded to the ancient idea of the four states of matter — gas, liquid, solid, and energy....A quick glance at Baum’s fairy tales reveals that he wrote about each Paraclesian classification of spirits. his sylphs are the ‘winged fairies’ (Lulea of Queen Zixie of Is; Lurline of The Tin Woodman of Oz); the undines are the mermaids (Aquareine of The Sea Fairies; the water fairies of the first chapter of The Scarecrow of Oz); the gnomes are the Nomes (the Nome king of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Ozma of Oz); and the salamanders are the fairies of energy (the Demon of Electricity of The Master Key; the Lovely Lady of Light of Tik-Tok of Oz). Baum seems to have created a highly sophisticated cosmology by interpreting this theory of spirits of ‘elementals’ in terms of traditional fairies. This is basically a religion of Nature. Modern science itself has its origin in the occult sciences, in the search for the secrets of nature.... It is not by mistake that the Shaggy Man in The Patchwork Girl of Oz refers to Oz as being a fairyland ‘where magic is a science.’ Both science and magic have the same ends.”

In many of Baum’s works, there are revealing references. In The Master Key, a boy summons up the “Demon of Electricity,’ and A Kidnapped Santa Claus refers to a “Demon of Repentance.” The Tin Woodsman of Oz has a giantess skilled in transformations, and in Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, there is a climb up “Pyramid Mountain.”

Baum was a pacifist, and in Ozma of Oz, Dorothy is shipwrecked, and Princess Ozma (close friend of Glinda, “the greatest of sorceresses”) is threatened by the Nome king, but he is powerless is the face of her faith and love as she states, “No one has the right to destroy any living creatures, however evil they may be, or to hurt them or make them unhappy. I will not fight — even to save my kingdom.”

In the Saturday Pioneer (October 18, 1890), Baum wrote that “the absurd and legendary devil is the enigma of the Church,” and in the Oz books, he said there were both “good” and “bad” demons and witches. (Baum also wrote a play, The Uplift of Lucifer, or Raising Hell in 1915.)

According to the Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 22, “Baum complained of being grabbed by spirits when in bed asleep,” and his wife, Maud, and his mother-in-law, the radical feminist Matilda Gage, had clairvoyants and seances in their home. Mrs. Gage was also interested in astronomy and palmistry. In 1890, because she felt the mainstream suffragists were too conservative, she founded the Woman’s National Liberal Union dedicated to the seperation of church and state.

pp. 61-68, Now Is the Dawning of the New Age piano casters, by Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D.; published by Hearthstone Publishing Ltd.


41 posted on 10/10/2012 4:17:46 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Mikey_1962

and that was at the ending of the Depression.


42 posted on 10/10/2012 4:20:04 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

Much as Feminists see radical feminism in OZ, Marxists see populism and Marxism in Oz, and Lesbians see radical lesbian themes in OZ so to do these Theo-whatsits see their bit of Hokum in Oz.

I will trust to what Baum the author actually said about the story. It is just a story “written solely to please children of today”...


43 posted on 10/10/2012 5:41:49 PM PDT by Gideonwoulfe
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To: Gideonwoulfe

You can choose to believe that 2+2=5 if you want to. The fact is that Baum was both an ardent supporter of the Suffragettes and also, along with his wife, a member of the Theosophical Society. Any objective and informed assessment of Baum’s writing would have to acknowledge the use of Theosophy’s tropes and symbols in all the Oz books. These tropes and symbols were part of what were considered secret teachings at that time, so of course he’s not going to reveal them.
All authors of children’s book always say, “ this was just a simple sory for the kiddies”...but by all means, stay where you are with your fingers in your ears saying, “la la la...I cant


44 posted on 10/10/2012 6:47:05 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

Whatever


45 posted on 10/10/2012 7:01:34 PM PDT by Gideonwoulfe
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To: kabumpo
Let me take my eight year-old understanding of literature, writing and the creative process and help you out. I have three college degrees and have earned my living as a professional writer for over twenty years. I have also worked as a musician, singer and composer among my other abilities.

People like to take children's stories and ascribe a variety of meaning to them that may or may not exist. As you should be aware, the creative writing process can take one down a variety of paths the writer never intended, but someone saw something dark, sinister, or evil.

People like to ascribe a variety of interpretations to a great number of different works. For example, there are any number of “predictions” by Nostradamus that tend to be mostly flights of fancy or simple wishful thinking. None of the interpretations ascribed to these different writings (whether those of Nostradamus, the Brothers Grimm, or L. Frank Baum) make them true.

IMO, the citations you noted were certainly interesting but, in and of themselves, prove nothing sinister in the Wizard of Oz.

The long and the short of it is this: you choose to see a variety of hidden meaning embedded in the story based upon many things about Baum's life. I submit that Baum didn't necessarily allow his personal beliefs or demons to be incorporated in the Wizard of Oz. To me, the story s a sweet, simple kid's story of imagination, wishful thinking, magic and different cultures. Chances are that neither of us is going to change the mind of the other.

Thanks for an interesting chin wag.

46 posted on 10/10/2012 9:59:34 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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