Is the Wizard of Oz an allegory promoting liberal theology?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Tim, May 14, 2003.

  1. Tim

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    Does the Wizard of Oz promote liberal theology? Several years ago someone proposed this idea to me. After my initial scoffing, she came up with some interesting observations.

    If the Wizard represents God, he is shown to be far less powerful than his worshippers had thought. The ability to change their lives actually came from within themselves.

    Perhaps I'll add more observations, once the initial scoffing dies down. Meanwhile, think about it.

    Tim
     
  2. LadyEagle

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    Hey, Tim, thanks for bringing this up. I, too, have wondered about this for some time, but never researched it. So, I went & looked to see what I could come up with on Google.

    Here's an interesting link re: this....Didn't read through the whole thing, but it looks like this fella did some research on the author...

    http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/homemake/wizardoz.htm
     
  3. Haruo

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    I thought it was just pro-opiates.

    Haruo
     
  4. stubbornkelly

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    LOL Haruo!

    One suggestion I have read is that it's an allegory about the "Crime of 1873" - the demonetization of silver. Hugh Rockoff is the man's name, as I remember. It's been a number of years since I've looked at it.
     
  5. wizofoz

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    Puh-LEEEZE!!!!!! :rolleyes:

    This article is along the same line as "Bill Gates is the Anti-Christ" type of tripe.

    The Wizard of Oz is a fun movie; I watched it as a child every year on TV (didn't know part of it was in color, though), my kids love it, and I have never even thought to examine it for "evil influences".

    "There's no place like home." That was the main theme of the movie, IMO.

    In the 70's, though, I did wonder what Mr. Baum was ingesting when he wrote it......
     
  6. russell55

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    It was written as an allegory...has something to do with the farmers marching on Washington (Dorothy's from Kansas) and going off the gold standard (yellow brick road). And the Wizard represents whoever it was who was president at the time--Grover Cleveland, maybe....
     
  7. Helen

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    The Wizard of Oz was written originally as a political statement. There is an excellent essay -- easy to read, no fear! -- on that here, along with some of the pictures of the film itself.

    There are some interesting differences between the fantasy film and the original story, however, as is pointed out.

    By the way, and this I didn't know until I read this article, Oz is simply the same word as the abbreviation for the weight gold and silver are measure in: ounces. That was the original intent (with all apologies to the dear Australians who have pre-empted the name!).

    Here is the article:
    http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/elcerrito/history/oz.htm
     
  8. InHim2002

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    thanks for that link Helen - interesting reading
     
  9. rsr

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    Thanks, Helen, for the link. That has been the standard interpretation for many years; a cottage industry has grown up around it, in fact.

    Recently, some scholars have suggesting that Baum was not necessarily espousing populism but instead the consumer society that was impending at the turn of the century:

    PARABLE ON POPULISM?

    The same author also posits a connection between Baum's theosophy and the landscape of Oz:

    BAUM & THEOSOPHY

    But, hey, I had an entire scenario built to make "Hotel California" a plausible allegory for the Nixon White House ...
     
  10. I Am Blessed 24

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    The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies! [​IMG]

    I had always heard this was how the word "Oz" came to be in the movie.

    Blessings,
    Sue
     
  11. Charlesga

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    As some have said, the Wizard of Oz was written as an political allegory based on the gold/silver debate of the late 1800s. Never heard anything about it promoting liberal theology. At one time, I knew what all the characters stood for....
     
  12. Johnv

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    How Baum came up with the word "Oz" is a well-known historical fact. The word "Oz" in the Title, "Wizard of Oz" was a made up word. Frank Baum happenned upon a filing cabinet. The first cabinet read "A-N", and the second read "O-Z". Hence, "OZ" was born.

    The website in question is incredibly misleading. I question its overall accuracy if it did not even get this simple fact of history right.
     
  13. Tim

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    wizofoz,

    Somehow I figured this topic would get a rise out of you!

    Tim
     
  14. Tim

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    She Eagle,

    I think that article is a little over the top. But I do agree that there are some nagging questions about the movie (I haven't read the book).

    Others,
    Maybe it all relates to demonetizing siver :rolleyes: but that seems a little far-fetched to me.

    The theme of the story seems to be, "you can do it yourself--you don't need supernatural help". In other words, we need "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." He's a phoney! Don't waste your time wishing for the golden streets, heading off to the wonderful land beyond. Go home and use your brain, your heart and your courage! And you can get where you're going with the shoes already on your feet.

    Tim
     
  15. wizofoz

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    ;)
     
  16. wizofoz

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    Anyone ever listen to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" while watching Wizard of Oz?
    I haven't, but I heard it goes along with the movie pretty well.
    But, I digress.....
     
  17. dianetavegia

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    Here's some interesting things about "The Wizard of Oz".

    Accidents

    Despite several accidents during the filming of The Wizard of Oz, it was obviously completed and went on to become one of the best-loved films of all time. Here are some of the accidents that occurred during production.


    a.. Buddy Ebsen who was cast to play the role of the Tinman, suffered a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum dust in his make-up. As a result, he was forced to forfeit the role. It went to Jack Haley. However, in some of the musical voice overs of "We're Off to See the Wizard", you can still hear Ebsen's voice if you listen very carefully.

    b.. Betty Danko, Margaret Hamilton's stunt double as the Wicked Witch of the West, was involved in two mishaps. The first one happened when dance director, Bobby Connolly, fell through the "pit" that the Wicked Witch was to emerge from in Munchkinland. Connolly fell on Betty Danko's shoulders leaving her with a sore back. The other accident, however, was much more severe and occurred during a stunt for the Witch's skywriting scene. In order to get the effect of smoke coming out of the broomstraws, a pipe was used to achieve this result. However, during Betty Danko's filming, this pipe exploded blowing her off the broomstick. She received a very bad bruise on her leg as well as a very bad cut. This landed her in the hospital for eleven days. Eileen Goodwin was brought in to complete the broomstick riding scene.

    c.. During Margaret Hamilton's departure from Munchkinland in a cloud of smoke and fire, she was severely burned about the face and right hand when the fire came too quickly during one rehearsal scene. Because of the copper oxide in her green make-up, this created a very serious situation. The make-up was quickly removed with alcohol. Her burns were then covered with Butescin Pictrate and she was bound in gauze. Margaret Hamilton returned to the set six weeks later.

    d.. In The Making of the Wizard of Oz by Aljean Harmetz, she includes a comment made by Margaret Hamilton regarding an accident that happened to Billie Burke. "One day in January [1939] she [Margaret Hamilton] picked up the morning paper to discover that Billie Burke had sprained her ankle. "The studio never mentioned my accident, never. But when Billie Burke sprained her ankle, they had an ambulance come and there were pictures of her being carried out. And I was very amused.""

    e.. Even poor Terry, the cairn terrier who played Toto, wasn't exempt from an accident during filming. In a rehearsal scene where the Witch's Winkie soldiers are after Toto, one of them jumped on top of her and sprained her foot. An identical double was found. Terry did return to the film several weeks later, though.


    Bloopers

    The next time you watch The Wizard of Oz see how many of these filming "bloopers" you can spot!


    a.. Notice how Dorothy is not the least bit muddy after falling into the pig sty.

    b.. When Miss Gulch arrives at the Gale farm to take Toto to the sheriff to make sure he's destroyed, many folks think that she "swears" at Aunt Em. She doesn't use the word "damn", but rather she says "If you don't hand over that dog, I'll bring a damage suit that'll take your whole farm!"

    c.. During the sepia-toned Kansas scenes, Judy Garland's stand-in, Bobbie Koshay, is wearing a black and white gingham dress tinted with an ochre wash in order for those sequences to be filmed properly while using this technique. In the Oz scenes, of course, the dress is blue and white. The transition from sepia to technicolor was a very difficult one for the filmmakers to achieve. In fact, each frame of film had to be hand-painted to make the change a smooth one. If you look closely, you can see for just a split second that Bobbie Koshay is wearing a black and white dress as she leaves the Gale farmhouse and Judy Garland steps in to enter Munchkinland wearing a blue and white gingham jumper. For more information and to see a picture of this dress, check-out page 82 of The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 M-G-M Classic by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, published by Gramercy Books, 1999.

    d.. Upon Glinda's request, the Munchkins all come out to meet the young lady who fell from a star. One Munchkin in particular emerges from a manhole in the Yellow Brick Road. But, in the next shot this manhole is gone.

    e.. When Dorothy is approached by the Munchkin who offers her the lollipop, notice how his position, in relation to her, changes several times as the shot flips back and forth between them.

    f.. After the Wicked Witch of the West leaves Munchkinland in a cloud of smoke and fire, Glinda takes Dorothy by the arm and warns her never to let the Ruby Slippers off her feet. During this scene, Glinda whacks herself in the crown with her wand.

    g.. Watch closely as Dorothy is about to depart down the Yellow Brick Road at the border of Munchkinland. The Munchkin Mayor can be seen adjusting his tummy padding.

    h.. During the scene when Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, pay close attention to her pigtails because the length of them varies from short to long and back to short again. Some say her hair length varies periodically throughout the film.

    i.. The black, shiny bird that lands on the Scarecrow in the cornfield scene is not a crow, but rather a raven. In Stephen Cox's book, The Munchkins of Oz, he notes the following, "Interestingly, this fact was revealed by Elizabeth Cottonaro, wife of Munchkin Tommy Cottonaro. When she was a child, she met the bird's owner and trainer, Curly Twifard in 1940."

    j.. During the part in the film where the Talking Apple Tree is throwing apples at Dorothy and Scarecrow you can see Dorothy is wearing her original black [Kansas] shoes. Some folks say she is wearing slippers. At one point she steps into the shot and the back of her black shoes are visible. Look carefully or pause this scene on your VCR or DVD player for further viewing as she steps back after the Scarecrow makes a face at the tree and you should be able to spot Dorothy out of her Ruby Slippers.

    k.. When Dorothy first comes upon the Tinman she is holding two apples in her hands. She drops one in order to tap on his leg. Dorothy drops the other apple as she moves upward, tapping on his body. Then, when she taps on his shoulder, she once again has an apple in her hand.

    l.. Pay close attention to Toto during the Tinman's musical number because it is obvious that he is a bit startled when the Tinman "toots" his funnel.

    m.. This next "blooper" is probably the most controversial and well known from the film. As Dorothy and her friends pass by the Tinman's cottage, it is "rumored" that one can see a Munchkin hanging in the background. While it is true that "something" can be seen here, it is NOT a hanging Munchkin, but rather a large bird; some say a crane. There were several large birds on loan for this scene from the Los Angeles Zoo and that is what you are seeing in this shot. So, tell all of your friends!

    n.. When the Wicked Witch of the West confronts Dorothy and her friends near the Tinman's cottage she attempts to set the Scarecrow on fire. The Tinman uses his funnel to put out the fire. Notice that he replaces the funnel back on his head with the ring on one side, but in the next shot it's on the opposite side. In fact, this whole image is in reverse because the editors turned the negative around backwards.

    o.. After Dorothy slaps the Cowardly Lion, notice how she holds Toto close to her face in order to camouflage her attempt to laugh. Stephen Cox points out in his book, The Munchkins of Oz, that "director Victor Fleming once noted this scene was difficult to capture because Garland kept breaking up."

    p.. As Dorothy and her friends are driven around in the carriage at the Emerald City by the Horse of a Different Color, watch closely as the driver tries hard to restrain the horse from trying to lick itself. The filmmakers used a white horse and sponged it down with different colors of Jello. They had a hard time keeping the horse from trying to lick it off.

    q.. When Dorothy and her friends are waiting to see the Wizard, the Cowardly Lion romanticizes what it would be like to be "King of the Forest". The Tinman breaks a piece of pottery to make a crown for the Lion's head. At one point, the crown falls off and bounces on the floor revealing it wasn't pottery at all, but plastic.

    r.. Also, during the Cowardly Lion's musical number of "If I Were King of the Forest" there's a scene where he excitedly wags his tail back and forth several times. Watch closely as you can see a string or a wire attached to it which is what's causing it to move so wildly.

    s.. In a scene in the Witch's Castle, the Wicked Witch and her head Winged Monkey are standing by the window. She says to him, "I've sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them." What she is referring to is the Jitterbug. This elaborate musical number was cut from the movie altogether.

    t.. As Dorothy's friends are climbing the cliff in order to rescue her from the Wicked Witch, pay close attention as the Tinman is pulling on the Cowardly Lion's tail because there is a square block of wood visibly attached to it.

    u.. Watch closely during the scene when Toto attempts to pull back the curtain to expose the Wizard. The curtain is attached to Toto's collar and he opens it at his trainer's command who is out of range of the camera.

    v.. After the Scarecrow gets his diploma of Th.D. from the Wizard he recites a mathematical equation to show off his brains. This sounds very similar to the "Pythagorean Theorem" in mathematics, however, it is mathematically incorrect. For more details about this, be sure to visit my page, The Scarecrow's Formula.

    w.. When Toto jumps out of Dorothy's arms to chase a cat when she is standing in the hot air balloon about to leave Oz with the Wizard, notice how the Tinman "intentionally" unwinds the rope that is holding the balloon rather than trying to keep it from getting away.






    "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him. He will be like
    a tree planted by the water that sends out its
    roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat
    comes; its leaves are always green. It
    has no worries in a year of drought."
    Jeremiah 17:7-8
     
  18. LadyEagle

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    Favorite line in the movie...."and your lit-tle dog, too!" (as said by the wicked witch of the West to Dorothy) [​IMG]

    Favorite song: Ding-dong the witch is dead. [​IMG]
     
  19. Tim

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    O.K. now that I know we've got some experts out there, tell me-- what are those marching guards actually singing? It's something like, "Yo-DEE-oh, YO-Ho". Translation please. My kids love that part.

    Tim
     
  20. Alcott

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    "The Great Wizard of Oz"

    The last four ex-U.S. Presidents are caught in a tornado, and off they whirled to OZ. They finally make it to the Emerald City and came before the Great Wizard.

    "WHAT BRINGS YOU BEFORE THE GREAT WIZARD OF OZ?"

    Jimmy Carter stepped forward timidly:" I've come for some courage."

    "NO PROBLEM!" says the Wizard. "WHO IS NEXT?"

    Ronald Reagan steps forward, "Well........., I.......I think I need a brain."

    "DONE" says the Wizard. "WHO COMES NEXT BEFORE THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ?"

    Up stepped George Bush sadly, "I'm told by the American people that I need a heart."

    "I'VE HEARD IT'S TRUE!" says the Wizard. "CONSIDER IT DONE."

    There is a great silence in the hall. Bill Clinton is just standing there, looking around, but doesn't say a word. Irritated, the Wizard finally asks, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

    "Is Dorothy here?"
     

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