Essay about L. Frank Baum 's The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

1036 Words Mar 2nd, 2016 null Page
The Populist Movement was the historical event that became the subject of L. Frank Baum 's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Several characters and objects in the story represent different people or elements that played a critical role in the Populist Movement.
The Cowardly Lion specifically represented William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was the United States Secretary of State, member of the House of Representatives, and three-time Democratic candidate for President of the United States. He earned the nickname of "The Lion" due to his passionate speeches, but was deemed a coward for reasons such as his his refusal to support a war with Spain in 1898 and his run for the presidency as an anti-imperialist in 1900. Thus, the entire character of the Cowardly Lion seems to be a direct jab at Bryan. The Tin Man represented the American industrial worker, who in this period of time worked in factories where he was exploited and treated as simple machinery by the powerful employers. The Tin Man in the story sought to obtain a heart, which would humanize him much like the way that American industrial workers wished to be identified as human rather than equipment. The Munchkins represented the citizens of the United States who suffered from poverty and were, for all intents and purposes, enslaved by the powerful elite and did not know how to change this.
The Munchkins in the story were enslaved and ruled by the evil Wicked Witch of the East. In turn, the Wicked Witch of the East represented the…

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