Sandra Essays

In light of the obvious parallels and correspondences in Oz , the disclaimer stands revealed for what it truly is: Scholars have examined four quite different versions of Oz: Populists viewed establishment politicians, including presidents, as helpless pawns or willing accomplices. Glinda could have told Dorothy that the “silver slippers would easily do the job [of returning Dorothy to her beloved home] but decided that a destabilizing force such as Dorothy might be just the thing to shake up her other rival [The Wizard of Oz]. Is he represented by the Lion and the Wizard? The presidential campaign of was an emotional one—and much of the political maneuvering may look familiar to voters today. In , Populist candidates began winning seats in state legislatures and Congress, and two years later Populists in Kansas gained control of the lower house of the state assembly, elected a Populist governor, and sent a Populist to the U.

He had no power…the group did. The Humane Preference in America. Green, often in combination with gold, is also a recurrent image. The startled girl emerges from the abode to find herself in a strange land of remarkable beauty, whose inhabitants, the diminutive Munchkins, rejoice at the death of the Witch. Only Dorothy’s silver slippers can take her home to Kansas,” meaning that by Dorothy not realizing that she had the silver slippers the whole time, Dorothy, or “the westerners”, never realized they already had a viable currency of the people. Her house lands on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East, who represents the evil bankers and the wealthy Eastern establishment. And these, his conquerors, were marked in their dealings with his people by selfishness, falsehood and treachery.

littlefield thesis wizard of oz

From Greek Myth to Computer Chips. In the late s and early s, Populism spread rapidly throughout the Midwest and into the South, but Kansas was always the site of its most popular and radical elements. Though not a smash hit at the time of its release, The Wizard of Oz soon captured the hearts of the movie-going public, and it has retained its grip ever since. Many ascribed their misfortune littlefifld the natural elements, called it quits, and moved on.


His editorials for the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer expressed support for Republican candidates and criticized the nascent Populist movement.

So Was the Wizard of Oz an Allegory for Populism?

Apart from intentional symbolism, scholars have speculated on the sources of Baum’s ideas and imagery. In an ingenuous act of imaginative scholarship, Henry M.

China and wizxrd Great Wall are the obvious references. Not since the s had a southerner served as president, and immigrants and northerners were generally unwelcome in the South. Though not a smash hit at the time of its release, The Wizard of Oz soon littlefleld the hearts of the movie-going public, and it has retained its grip ever since.

The malign manipulation of gold and silver by the wicked Witch represents the other half of the western menace: Around these economic and political grievances, the Populist movement coalesced.

New York TimesJanuary Share buttons are a little bit lower. This Witch is also a cruel enslaver, and she appears to represent a composite of the malign forces of nature that plagued farmers in the Midwest and the power brokers of that region.

Populists and other free-silver proponents advocated unlimited coinage of the white metal in order to inflate the money supply, thus making it easier for cash-strapped farmers and small businessmen to borrow money and pay off debts.

littlefield thesis wizard of oz

Littlefield also indicated that Baum was sympathetic to the Populist movement, supported William Jennings Bryan in the wizarc ofand, though not an activist, consistently voted for Democratic candidates. He had no power…the group did. Gardner, Martin, and Russel B. When the Populist Party met in to decide whether or not to endorse William Jennings Bryan, many delegates, particularly from the South, were opposed.

In order to find Waldo, you need to know what he looks like. She even showed her truest “Machiavellian brilliance” by allowing the story to be entitled after the weakest of her three opponents.


Search Google Appliance Enter the terms you wish to search for. Taylor is thesiw assistant professor of history and political science at Rogers State University, Claremore, Oklahoma.

The Wizard of Oz: A Parable for Populism?

Biographers report that Baum had been a political activist in the s with a litflefield interest in the money question of gold and silver, and the illustrator William Wallace Denslow was a full-time editorial cartoonist for a major daily newspaper. However, Baum merely wanted to tell a good story, and not to add any hidden meaning.

Like every good politician, he gives the people what they want.

littlefield thesis wizard of oz

In itself, however, this discovery proves nothing. Littlefield’s knowledge of the s was thin, and he made numerous errors, but since his article was published, scholars in history, [8] thessi science, [1] and economics [7] have asserted that the images and characters used by Baum closely resemble political images that were well known in the s.

I agree tha the Wizard of Oz was meant as a critique of the Populist Party.

So Was the Wizard of Oz an Allegory for Populism? | History News Network

Bywhen Bryan was again defeated by McKinley, Populism already had one foot in the political grave. These creatures represent the Plains Indians.

Together they find the wizard, defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and each finds what he was looking for. When the Populists convened two weeks later, they decided to endorse Bryan, putting all their reformist eggs in the free-silver basket.

Rather, I have adopted and occasionally embellished those that fit the Populist parable best.