Racism Compared To Populism In The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published on May 17th, 1900, and its movie adaptation was released 39 years later on August 25, 1939. The book and movie have become widely known for their plot and presentation, but an interesting theory arises when compared to populism in the late 1800s. Whether populism is truly depicted in the book or the movie remains unknown, but parallels have been found and drawn. The movie adaptation was the first to be displayed in color, and has had some changes from the book in order to take full advantage of this.

Many different theories have arose after the Wizard of Oz’s debut, however many parallels can be drawn when compared to populism. Populism, by definition according to wikipedia, “is a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite.”. Whether by coincidence or intentional, L. Frank Baum, Libby Hamilton, and the directors of the movie adaptation have drawn parallels to populism. The most notable being the characters of the story, Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, and more. Starting with Dorothy, some believe that she represents the American values, or people. Another view is that she represents the then-current president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Toto, Dorothy’s dog, has been speculated to resemble average Americans. In the beginning of the movie, Dorothy’s house gets enveloped in a cyclone before being taken to “Munchkin Land” and crushing the Wicked Witch of the East. The cyclone has been compared to the free silver movement, in which farmers wanted silver to remain in the monetary system in order to be able to pay off their debts, resulting in a “political storm” of sorts. One of the major changes

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