A Trickster 's Tale : L. Frank Baum 's The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

1601 Words Jul 30th, 2015 null Page
In “A Trickster’s Tale: L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” William R. Leach argues that Baum’s work is not the fairy-tale celebration of America we see in the 1939 Judy Garland movie; it is actually a celebration of values responsible for making America the economic power it is today. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz amplifies the American ideology of mind-cure, American Urbanization through its use of color, and embodies the real American “trickster.” Leach believes Baum’s use of these themes conveys an unspoken message of what fueled America’s growth was during the turn of the twentieth century. An overlooked element of America’s growth, but one that is vital to Leach, is the role played by mind-cure and positive thinking. Mind cure is the idea that what holds us back from our true potential is a negative thoughts and self-doubt, which stops us from doing what we want. This religious out-look became popular for thousands of Americans, including Baum, in the 1890s after a decade long “religious turmoil” (168). It became a turning point in American religious history, as mind cure ideology replaced the traditional Protestantism beliefs, by becoming a way for Americans to connect secular and scientific aspirations and to “accommodate it to the ever expanding material desires of Americans” (168). It was a way to “make religion work” (168). Mind cure replaced the Calvinist ideas of guilt, self-denial, and fear of damnation with acceptance, enjoyment of the good things and…

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