Skip to comments.Sometimes a Slipper is Just a Shoe: Why the Wizard of Oz is not a Marxist Fairy Tale
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 childrens 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 ...
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.
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.
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.
The author of this article agrees with you.
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.
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.
The "author" quotes Sandusky?
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Or maybe it means something completely different?
The secret of OZ:
On the other hand, it is also the story of an almost flawless insurgency conducted against nearly impossible odds.
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.
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.
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.
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