Oz: Not Solely for the Pleasure of Children Essay

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For over half a century many people have pondered over the possible allegories of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Some believe that the author, L. Frank Baum, wrote the fairy tale with hidden symbolism of the Populist Movement. Other’s believe that those who believe there is symbolism are insane. Quinton Taylor’s Money and Politics in the Land of Oz, points out a few powerful arguments supporting his thesis that Baum’s children’s story was a full blown allegory of America on the eve of the new country. Taylor supports his belief with some other theories of Baum’s secret symbolisms. He used Henry Littlefield theory of Baum’s fairy tale having concealed clever metaphors. Littlefield supported his theory with evidence from Baum’s past experience as a journalist and his interest and knowledge of politics. He also, built on the work of Martin Gardner and Russel Nye. Both were among the first to take special interest in Baum’s story. According to Nye, Baum had confessed his desire to “bear the stamp of our times and depict the progressive fairies of the day.” Taylor strengthened this evidence with his own claims that many of the events and characters of the book similarities to the actual political personalities, events, and ideas of the 1890’s. He describes Dorothy’s personality as young and simple, similar to the American people of this time, and the significance of her shoes being silver on a yellow “golden” road leading the way to Emerald City, which he symbolizes to the fraudulent world of the greenback paper money that only pretends to have value. A few additional theories of Taylor’s were of her “Three Amigos”, the Scarecrow, which is the representation of American farmers and their troubles in the late 19th century, the Tin Man, of the big business’ dehumanizing workers into machines, and the Cowardly Lion, who would be none other than William Jennings Bryan, who

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