From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society


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Baum recouped by moving to Hollywood and writing a new series of Oz books; the series was continued after his death in , with 40 Oz books in all.

ANALYSIS & FINDINGS | Transmedia Project: The Wizard of Oz

The first book became a smash Chicago hit musical in and moved to Broadway in Best known is the spectacularly successful Hollywood movie adaptation of , starring Frank Morgan as the Wizard, Judy Garland as Dorothy, and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West, this movie along with Gone with the Wind was one of the first widely popular successes of Technicolor filmography.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz appeared in as a children's book written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. This was part of their effort to create a body of American literature in the fairy tale genre; they had already collaborated on Father Goose books. The Wizard was a great success, and Baum followed it with thirteen more books set in the land of Oz.

He lost Denslow as an illustrator and was never able to recapture the success of his original work. After Baum died, Ruth Plumly Thompson continued the series with nineteen more stories, and other authors wrote additional books. The Land of Oz was one of the earliest of what fantasy fans now call "fictional universes.

The classic 17th century Christian allegory Pilgrim's Progress inspired some of the characters and dangers described in the Wizard of Oz. The book opens not in an imaginary far-off place, but in real life Kansas , which in the s was well known for the hardships of rural life and for destructive tornadoes also called cyclones.

The Panic of caused widespread distress in rural America. In , and again in , the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party had seized control and nominated the firebrand orator William Jennings Bryan , from Omaha, who crusaded across the land promising his panacea of "free silver" whereby the government would turn cheap silver into real dollars farmers could use to pay their debts.

His supporters truly believed it would transform America in a veritable utopia. Baum and Denslow, Republicans, rejected this notion and use the book to poke fun at Bryan who is depicted as the Cowardly Lion. The silverite revolution—a cyclone—sweeps away Dorothy and Toto to a colorful land of unlimited resources that nevertheless has serious political problems. This utopia is ruled in part by wicked witches. The Witch had controlled the powerful silver slippers which were changed to ruby in the film.

The Good Witch of the North the northern electorate tries to help Dorothy, but she is not very smart, does not realize the power of the slippers, and sends Dorothy down the very dangerous gold road to the Wizard, who she mistakenly believes is so powerful that he can grant her wishes. The northern vote elected McKinley in and he passed the gold standard into law. The national capital, the Emerald City, is a dream-like place based on the "White City," the common name for the Chicago World's fair of , which Baum and Denslow attended often.

The emerald green is an illusion everyone must wear green glasses , symbolizing the fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretends to have value. He is a corrupt politician, a shrewd manipulator who seeks power for himself, ignores the needs of the people, and rules by fooling with people's minds.

He selfishly sends them to destroy his enemy, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Examining The Politically Charged Nature Of 'Wicked'

If she gets them, he is rid of a nuisance. If they kill her, he will be pleased and then worry what to do next. The Wicked Witch of the West represents the trusts, who took control of small businessmen and made them cogs in their empire, just as the Witch does with the heroes, using the Flying Monkeys as her tools. The trust issue was in the headlines, with a popular solution—one actually used in against Standard Oil to dissolve them. Dorothy heaves a bucket of water and dissolves the Wicked Witch. The heroes return to Oz to claim their reward and expose the Wizard for a media-manipulating fraud.

He has no real power and must leave Oz the way he came - on a hot air balloon.


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Politicians were synonymous with metaphors like "hot air" and "full of gas. He fills the Scarecrow's head with bran for a brain, implants a heart-shaped silk cushion inside the Tin Woodman who now realizes his compassionate nature , makes the Lion drink a dish of "courage" and becomes king of the beasts again. He promises to take Dorothy back to Omaha, his hometown, but that plan misfires. The Good Witch of the South the southern vote appears. While staying at the castle Elphaba also discovers a mysterious book of spells that she calls a ' Grimmerie.

The Grimmerie is suggested to have been written in English, revealing that one of her ancestors was a human from Earth. Manek, one of Sarima's sons, convinces Liir to hide in a well during a game of hide and seek and leaves him there.

Wicked

Liir nearly dies, and Elphaba's anger at Manek makes an icicle fall on him which penetrates Manek's skull thereby killing him. The experience makes Elphaba realize that she has motherly feelings for Liir, but her newfound warmth is not reciprocated. Liir claims that while in the well, a Fish hinted to be Madame Morrible once again told him he was Fiyero's son, confirming suspicions that Liir is the son of Elphaba and Fiyero. Sarima becomes upset and grieves, and the family starts to fall apart. Elphaba gets a letter from her father Frex, asking her to come help him with Nessarose , who has taken Elphaba's position of Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland.

When she arrives, he asks her to help him talk to Nessa, whom Elphaba discovers has become a witch , who she accidentally labels the Wicked Witch of the East. During a discussion with Frex, Elphaba learns that there is a very high chance neither she nor Nessarose are the daughters of Frex, leaving Elphaba more hurt than confused after Frex claims that he loves Nessarose more simply because she was the living proof there was a single good thing in the world and that even if she was Turtle Heart's daughter, he loved her even more because of it.

Elphaba leaves after Nessa promises to give Elphaba the infamous silver shoes after she dies Glinda enchanted them to allow her to walk without help. When she returns to Kiamo Ko, she finds everyone gone except Nanny. Nanny explains that the soldiers who were staying in the house took everyone because Nor let slip that Elphaba was not there to protect the household.

The villagers and the previous residents of the house hope that she will rescue them.

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Elphaba vows to do everything in her power to get the family back. Seven years later, a storm visits Munchkinland, dropping a farmhouse on Nessa, killing her. The farmhouse's passengers are a little girl named Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto. Glinda, who was nearby, sends Dorothy off with Nessa's shoes for fear of their power igniting a civil war in Munchkinland, as well as to ensure Dorothy's safety. She sent Dorothy to the Wizard in hopes that he will send her back to Kansas. Elphaba comes to the funeral for Nessa. Elphaba and Glinda rejoice at seeing each other after more than a decade.

The two talk of their titles and catch up.


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  • When Glinda tells Elphaba that she gave Nessa's shoes to Dorothy, Elphaba becomes furious with Glinda, as they were rightfully hers. She is then forced into a meeting with the Wizard to bargain for the release of Nor, whom Elphaba is told is the last survivor of Fiyero's family. He reveals, after seeing a ripped page from the Grimmerie that the reason he is in Oz is to acquire the Grimmerie and learn the magic within, citing that only he could read some of its foreign pages.

    Elphaba refuses to part with it without Nor. The Wizard, however, refuses to make any agreements. On her way back to Kiamo Ko, Elphaba stops at Shiz to kill Madame Morrible, the task she had been trying to complete the night of Fiyero's murder.

    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society
    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society
    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society
    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society
    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society
    From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society From Baum to Maguire: The Wicked Witch of the West’s Impact on Our Understanding of Society

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