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

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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
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In turn, the Wicked Witch of the East represented the aforementioned powerful elite of the United States, who consisted largely of powerful financiers, elite businessmen (eastern businessmen, no less), and politicians. These influencing forces practically controlled the poor of the country, much like the Wicked Witch of the East controlled the munchkins before her untimely demise at the "hands" of Dorothy 's house. The Wicked Witch of the West held similarity to the Wicked Witch of the East in that she represented powerful aristocrats. The Wicked Witch of the West represented those who held overt influence in the western United States, such as western bankers, industrialists, and heads of the railroad.The Good Witches opposed the Wicked Witches in the story, just as certain people opposed the powerful elite in reality. The Good Witch of the North represents the farmers of the American midwest who strongly opposed those who ran the economy and political system. In the story, the Good Witch of the North helps Dorothy with a gift and instructions after the latter inadvertently killed the Wicked Witch of the East. Just like the Good Witch of the North opposed the Wicked Witch of the East, the farmers and others of America 's heartland opposed the powerful elite that practically ruled the nation. Similarly, the Good Witch of the South (also known as Glinda) represents the southerners who …show more content…
In addition to those aforementioned, a connection can be made between virtually anything from the story and something in nineteenth century America. Thus, the true subject of Baum’s piece was the Populist Movement, despite having been regarded as simple fiction for many years after its

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