Fairy Tales In L Frank Baum's The Wizard Of Oz

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Fairy tales are stories that we grew up with as children. Many of these classic tales were used as a way to teach important morals at the time of their creation. However many of these stories contained one-dimensional, stereotypical characters with simple, almost predictable, plots. This was how many fairy tales were told until 1900 when L Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz. L Frank Baum thought differently of these stories and wanted The Wizard of Oz to be a modernized fairytale. The term modernized, in the context of Baum, pertains to the 20th century, the era in which the books were written. It is important to understand Baum’s book was primarily made for the children audience of that era. Therefore when looking through the story through …show more content…
Anthropomorphic characters are objects or animals that are given human qualities. Animals have always been apart of fairy tales yet non-are as complex as Baum’s characters, primarily the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Lion. What Baum is clearly doing is giving these anthropomorphic characters is giving them American values seen during the time. All three of these characters all want something that is humanistic and will not take no for answer. For example, when the wizard tells the Scarecrow that he does not need brains, the scarecrow replies “but I shall be very unhappy unless you give me brains” (223). The Tin Woodsman and Lion say the same response when the wizard gives them helpful advice. Here we see that these characters have wants and needs similar to those who came to America for the American Dream. Another quality that all three characters share is self-reliance. While on the Journey to kill the wicked witch of the west, the witch sends out wolves. When the Tin man sees the wolf, he replies, “ This is my fight” (168). Here we see the Tin Woodsman start to kill each any every wolf showing that he does not need anyone else to help him. The Scarecrow and the Lion also have instances like this on their journey, again emphasizing their self-reliance, one of the main values seen in America during the time. As you can see American values play an …show more content…
The place contains magical creatures much like a fairy tale. However, Baum’s OZ has a lot of similar connections to the real world. While Dorothy and her friends are on the journey they come across “scarlet poppies which were so bright in color they almost dazzled Dorothy’s eyes” (111). As you can see, Baum does not describe the poppies as magical but rather just poppies that we would see in our world. The illustrations also help support this, showing them as simple flowers rather then something magical. This can also be shown in the cyclone that takes Dorothy to OZ. At the beginning of the book, Baum describes the cyclone as “ very dark, and the wind howled horribly…” (17). The terms he uses are not things that are uncommon when talking about a cyclone. Even when Baum described the Scarecrow’s face (“a small sack stuffed with straw, with eyes, nose, and mouth face” (42).), he does not use anything adjectives that would tell the reader that this was a magical scarecrow. Thus we can see that Baum wanted OZ to be magical yet still have some connection to the real

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