The of Wizard Oz

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The of Wizard Oz

The Wicked Witch in the Oz book,drawn by W.W. Denslow.In the Oz book, the Wicked Witchis mean, selfish, and spoiled—and inthe movie, she’s worse (see Note 2in this chapter). However, that is noreflection on the actress who playedher, Margaret Hamilton. Hamiltonwas a beloved school teacher fromCleveland, Ohio, who ran the nurseryfor Cleveland Heights PresbyterianChurch, became a member of theEpiscopal Actors’ Guild in New Yorkand even taught Sunday Schoolduring the 1950s. So great was herlove for children, she personallyanswered as many as 2,000 letters ayear from young fans.The Wicked Witch in the Oz movie,played by Margaret Hamilton.Credit: © Warner Brothers(2) The WickedWitch in the book isnot as dramatic as theWicked Witch in themovie. In the Oz movie,the Witch has greenskin, flies on a broom,and threatens to killDorothy herself—noneof which happens inthe book. Furthermore,rather than being basedon the illustrations inthe book, the appearanceof the Witch in the 1939film was influenced bythe appearance of theevil stepmother in WaltDisney’s Snow Whiteand the SevenDwarfs (1936).(3) Baum reaffirmedthe moral message ofthe flying monkey. Inthe article “ModernFairy Tales” (TheAdvance, August19, 1909), Baumrecounted “never has afairy tale lived, if onehas been told or written,wherein the good did notconquer evil and virtuefinally reign supreme.”them all except the Lion,” said the Wicked Witch. “Bring thatbeast to me, for I have a mind to harness him like a horse, andmake him work.” (2)“Your commands shall be obeyed,” said the leader. Then,with a great deal of chattering and noise, the Winged Monkeysflew away to the place where Dorothy and her friends werewalking.Some of the Monkeys seized the Tin Woodman and carriedhim through the air until they were over a country thicklycovered with sharp rocks. Here they dropped the poorWoodman, who fell a great distance to the rocks, where he layso battered and dented that he could neither move nor groan.Others of the Monkeys caught the Scarecrow, and with theirlong fingers pulled all of the straw out of his clothes and head.They made his hat and boots and clothes into a small bundleand threw it into the top branches of a tall tree.The remaining Monkeys threw pieces of stout rope aroundthe Lion and wound many coils about his body and head andlegs, until he was unable to bite or scratch or struggle in anyway. Then they lifted him up and flew away with him to theWitch’s castle, where he was placed in a small yard with ahigh iron fence around it, so that he could not escape.But Dorothy they did not harm at all. She stood, with Toto inher arms, watching the sad fate of her comrades andthinking it would soon be her turn. The leader of the WingedMonkeys flew up to her, his long, hairy arms stretched out and hisugly face grinning terribly; but he saw the mark of the GoodWitch’s kiss upon her forehead and stopped short, motioningthe others not to touch her.“We dare not harm this little girl,” he said to them, “for sheis protected by the Power of Good, and that is greater than thePower of Evil. (3) All we can do is to carry her to the castle ofthe Wicked Witch and leave her there.”So, carefully and gently, they lifted Dorothy in their armsand carried her swiftly through the air until they came to thecastle, where they set her down upon the front doorstep. Thenthe leader said to the Witch: “We have obeyed you as far aswe were able. The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow aredestroyed, and the Lion is tied up in your yard. The little girlwe dare not harm, nor the dog she carries in her arms. Yourpower over our band is now ended, and you will never see usagain.” Then all the Winged Monkeys, with much laughingand chattering and noise, flew into the air and were soon outof sight.2728


The Wizard of Oz in the Oz book,drawn by W.W. Denslow.In the book, Oz says he iseverywhere—and the 1939 movietakes him seriously. In the film,actor Frank Morgan, who plays theWizard, also plays four othercharacters: Professor Marvel, theGuardian at the Gates, the Cabbiewith the Horse of a Different Color,and the Soldier with the GreenWhiskers. While this was done toprovide more screen time for Morgan,it also provides a hint that Oz is onlyplaying god too: having Oz play theSoldier, who overhears Dorothy andher friends talking, explains how theWizard already knows what they wantbefore they walk in.The Wizard of Oz in the Oz movie,played by Frank Morgan.Credit: © Warner Brothersaway with the other Witch; but, now that you have meltedher, I am ashamed to say that I cannot keep my promises.”(2)“I think you are a very bad man,” said Dorothy.“Oh, no, my dear; I’m really a very good man, but I’m a verybad Wizard, I must admit.”“Can’t you give me brains?” asked the Scarecrow.“You don’t need them,” explained Oz. “You are learningsomething every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn’t knowmuch. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge,and the longer you are on earth the more experience you aresure to get.”“That may all be true,” said the Scarecrow, “but I shall bevery unhappy unless you give me brains.”The pretend Wizard looked at him thoughtfully. “Well,” hesaid with a sigh, “I’m not much of a magician, as I said; butI will stuff your head with brains.” So the Wizard unfastenedthe Scarecrow’s head and emptied out the straw. Then heentered the back room and took up a measure of bran, whichhe mixed with a great many pins and needles. (3) Havingshaken them together thoroughly, he filled the top of theScarecrow’s head with the mixture and stuffed the rest of thespace with straw, to hold it in place. When he had fastened theScarecrow’s head on his body again he said to him, “Hereafteryou will be a great man, for I have given you a lot of bran-newbrains.”The Scarecrow was both pleased and proud at the fulfillmentof his greatest wish. Dorothy looked at him curiously. Hishead was quite bulged out at the top with brains. “How doyou feel?” she asked.“I feel wise indeed,” the Scarecrow answered earnestly.“Why are those needles and pins sticking out of your head?”asked the Tin Woodman.“That is proof that he is sharp,” remarked the Lion. “Buthow about my courage?”“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “Allyou need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thingthat is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is infacing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courageyou have in plenty.”“Perhaps I have, but I’m scared just the same,” said the Lion.“I shall really be very unhappy unless you give me the sort ofcourage that makes one forget he is afraid.”“Very well, I will give you that sort of courage,” replied Oz.He went to a cupboard and reaching up to a high shelf tookdown a square green bottle, the contents of which he poured(2) The Wizard’stale is a cautionarystory about the dangersof lying. Before thereader knows it, hehas learned the lesson:because Oz lied, he hadto live his life alonein fear of being foundout. In the newspaperarticle “What ChildrenWant” (ChicagoEvening Post,November 29, 1902),Baum stated that“children are quick todiscover and absorb [amoral], provided it isnot tacked up like awarning on a signpost.”As for the moralinstruction of their ownchildren, Baum and hiswife sent their four boysto “Ethical CultureSunday School” inChicago, which taughtmorality, but notreligion. While the adultBaums believed in God,they felt that a religiouscommitment should notbe made when a personis too immature.(3) A pun: the Wizardstuffs his head with pins,so the Scarecrow thinkshe’s sharp (which theLion will remarkin a moment). Also,because the Scarecrowwas foolish enough tolook outside for whathe already had inside(like the Tin Man andthe Cowardly Lion),he literally became apinhead.3536


Glinda the Good Witch in the Oz book,drawn by W.W. Denslow.In the Oz book, Dorothy and her friendsjourney to see Glinda at her castle.However, in the movie, Glinda comesto see Dorothy, traveling by bubble twotimes. This idea of a witch in a bubblemay come from the Pilgrim’s Progress(Part 2). In Bunyan’s story, a witchnamed Madam Bubble cast the spellon the Enchanted Ground. In the 17thcentury, other prominent literature,such as William Shakespeare’s Macbeth,also associated witches with bubbles.41Glinda the Good Witch in the Oz movie,played by Billie Burke.Credit: © Warner Brothers(2) One last pun:the Scarecrow may besmart, but the TinMan is brighter—whenhe is polished.(3) By the timeDorothy gets back,Uncle Henry has builta new house, whichindicates that whatDorothy experienced inOz was not a dream.Her adventure couldnot have happenedovernight, because thenew house would havetaken longer than thatto build. However, inthe 1939 movie, whileDorothy seems to returnfrom Oz, in reality shewakes up in her bed.This change could havebeen a final reference tothe Pilgrim’s Progress,in which Bunyan notesthat both parts are“delivered under thesimilitude of a dream.”over them after the Wicked Witch died. I am fond of theWinkies, and if I could get back again to the Country of theWest, I should like nothing better than to rule over themforever.”“My second command to the Winged Monkeys,” said Glinda,“will be that they carry you safely to the land of the Winkies.Your brain may not be so large to look at as those of theScarecrow, but you are really brighter than he is—when youare well polished—and I am sure you will rule the Winkieswisely and well.” (2)Then the Witch looked at the big, shaggy Lion and asked,“When Dorothy has returned to her own home, what willbecome of you?”“Over the hill,” he answered, “lies a grand old forest, and allthe beasts that live there have made me their King. If I couldonly get back to this forest, I would pass my life very happilythere.”“My third command to the Winged Monkeys,” said Glinda,“shall be to carry you to your forest. Then, having used upthe powers of the Golden Cap, I shall give it to the King ofthe Monkeys, that he and his band may thereafter be free forevermore.”The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion nowthanked the Good Witch earnestly for her kindness; andDorothy exclaimed: “You are certainly as good as you arebeautiful! But you have not yet told me how to get back toKansas.”“Your Silver Shoes will carry you over the desert,” repliedGlinda. “If you had known their power, you could have goneback to your Aunt Em the very first day you came to thiscountry.”“But then I should not have had my wonderful brains!” criedthe Scarecrow. “I might have passed my whole life in thefarmer’s cornfield.”“And I should not have had my lovely heart,” said the TinWoodman. “I might have stood and rusted in the forest till theend of the world.”“And I should have lived a coward forever,” declared theLion, “and no beast in all the forest would have had a goodword to say to me.”“This is all true,” said Dorothy, “and I am glad I was of useto these good friends. But now that each of them has had whathe most desired, and each is happy in having a kingdom torule besides, I think I should like to go back to Kansas.” (3)“The Silver Shoes,” said the Good Witch, “have wonderfulpowers. And one of the most curious things about them is that42

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