Is the wizard of Oz novel based on something?

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  • 4 weeks ago
    Best Answer

    I read an article a long time ago that said the Wizard of Oz was about the 'Free Silver' fight that was happening around that time.  Farmers didn't want the US to go on the gold standard because there  wasn't enough gold, so they figured credit would get a lot more expensive.  (This was before 'fiat money').  So everything in the Wizard of Oz was analogous to someone or something in this fight.  Oz stood for 'ounce', i.e. ounces of silver. The ruby slippers were, in the book, silver slippers.  The scarecrow, the tin man and the cowardly lion were all politicians--I remember the cowardly lion was Wm. Jennings Bryan, who ran for president 3 times in a row and lost, who was an advocate of free silver.  He made a famous speech called the Cross of Gold Speech.

    But then I saw a book called The Annotated Oz, which was a 'facsimilie edition' of the original book with notes as to what everything represented, and it didn't say a word about it.  I think it was just someone's idea.

    The Wizard of Oz was such a big hit that L Frank Baum wrote another Oz book every year for the rest of his life.  20 in all. I read all of them!  (After Baum was dead his family commissioned a woman named Ruth Plumly Thompson to write a few more Oz books. I've never seen one of those!)  The books are extremely imaginative, and they do make fun of a lot of things from that time.  But I don't think they were meant to symbolize anything political. 

    They were actually written for children to read aloud, so some words were actually misspelled on purpose so kids could pronounce them.  The girl who led the army to take over the Emerald City was 'Jinjur' (Ginger).  The subterranean villans were led by the Nome King (meaning 'gnome').  Why would you write a book of political satire just for children?

  • 4 weeks ago

    You have to decide which explanation you're willing to accept.

  • bubba
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    yes it was inspired by Pink floyds album , darkside of the moon

  • 4 weeks ago

    Baum CLAIMED that the name "Oz" had nothing to do with ounces (of silver), but was just taken from the label on one of his file-cabinet drawers that contained items beginning with the letters O through Z. On the other hand, though, remember that Tolkien denied repeatedly that Lord of the Rings had anything to do with World War 2, etc., but the parallels are clearly there. And the idea that Oz is about turn-of-the-century populism is more than "just somebody's idea"; it's backed up with pretty convincing evidence by plenty of literary critics and historians.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    No real evidence that it is. Baum acknowledges that it was in the tradition of Grimm and Lewis Carrol, but set in America and draws on unlikely sources such as the World's Fair (referenced in the film) and local sites in Michigan where he lived. The idea it is some sort of allegory in the manner of Swift is appealing but has no great substance.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes, & they had a movie on it 80 years ago

  • 4 weeks ago

    I think you nailed it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Nope, Frank L. Baum use to make up stories for the neighborhood kids and someone said "You should write these down".

  • KLB
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Yes, on the dream of a Kansas farm girl, Dorothy

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