Fantasy And Subversion In The Wizard Of Oz

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Power via Subversion & Desire in the Fantasy Novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Desire is a common feeling for many readers, such as the desire for one’s favourite character to triumph, but how common is desire for characters in novels and how important is it for characters? Characters in every genre experience feelings of desire but these feelings are extremely prevalent in fantasy, alongside desire’s counterpart subversion. Rosemary Jackson in “Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion” states that fantasy’s, “association…with desire has made it an area difficult to…define and indeed the ‘value’ of fantasy has seemed to reside in precisely this resistance to definition,” (1). From the proceeding quote it is clear that fantasy from its definition is fundamentally about desire and subversion, thus the essence of fantasy is subverting the
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Desire and subversion are influential factors on the world fantasy characters reside in, but more importantly are forces that develop or provide power to characters, as seen in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Power is provided by the characters ultimate desire to meet and gain things from the Wizard of Oz, as well as by the destruction and subversion of the image of the Wizard of Oz. A problem that fantasy often experiences is that it, “ has been obscured and locked away, buried as something inadmissible and darkly shameful,” (Jackson 108). To combat this problem the value of fantasy needs to be illuminated. One value of fantasy is the power aforementioned. This is also a power that can be provided to readers. Fantasy can give readers the power to subvert the world they live and enter a world they desire, as a sort of escape. Power can be deliberate or unintentional but either way it is something characters and readers need to be able to change their worlds and

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