Nonsense, horsefeathers, and idle musings from a decade in South Korea (2002-2012).


06 May, 2013

The Wizard of Oz and a Moment of Redirection

By Aaron
06 May, 2013

Before all else, my apologies if your RSS readers have been deluged with my archives over the past few days. I've had some technical problems, to say the least with my RSS feeds of late. Again, I apologize.

As for today's topic...

On this day in 1919, L. Frank Baum - author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" - died. Today, then, is as good a time as any to revisit the debate over the hidden symbolism in his classic tale. And no, I don't mean that stuff about the 1939 film version and Pink Floyd.

There's been a long-running debate as to whether Baum intended his yarn as merely a fun children's fairy-tale, or as an allegory for the social, political, and economic scene of 1890s America. Since Baum long ago joined the dearly departed, I guess we'll never know for certain, but as one writer put it, while "some of the parallels [to 1890s events] are more tenuous than others, many are so obvious and palpable as to defy coincidence." 

Have a look here, where you'll find my attempt at a quick overview of this debate and the possible interpretations of Baum's story.  

I also encourage you to redirect your bookmarks, as I will henceforth (for reasons technological, aesthetic, and personal) make the bulk of my writings available at the site to which I just linked.