Populism In L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

1016 Words 5 Pages
In the popular children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum, populism can be seen more often than not. Baum cleverly displays this through all of his characters. Each is symbolic to his everyday life, as well as to other common people’s lives that have had similar experiences, or can relate in any way to the author. For instance, Dorothy represents an adolescent’s innocence, Toto represents virtuousness, the Scarecrow represents the hard working farmers, the Tinman represents the hard working laborers, and the Lion represents the politicians (Littlefield, 57). From beginning to end, Baum takes Dorothy on a ride through a land of populism. First, Dorothy is a very unique character. In Kansas she is a bubbly, young girl and an enigma to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. They do not understand why she is always so happy, even under such miserable circumstances (Baum, 11-13). It is appropriate to say that Dorothy lives in bliss, despite the situation surrounding her and her family each and every day. Unlike the adults, the child seemingly does not see the world’s gloom, and if she does, she does not let it bring her down. That is when her dog, Toto, comes in. As …show more content…
Dorothy is both innocence and peace, Toto is virtuousness, the Scarecrow is the everyday farmer, the Tinman is the everyday laborer, and the Cowardly Lion is the politician. Each character, as well as many others throughout the course of the story, linked up to everyday life in the nineteenth century. Baum’s novel was read and loved by people of all different ages, due to its lightheartedness and its adventurous feel. The amount of time and quality put into this piece may be another factor as to why so many enjoy it, too. Furthermore, if one looks beyond the surface, they will find that Baum uses populism and makes it evident throughout his beloved

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