The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz Essay

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Frank Baum set out to create a modern fairy tale intentionally or unintentionally in the American image when he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He says his story “aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.” By borrowing from the classics that came before him, he succeeded in creating an entertaining lasting American fairy tale. Baum in creating an American version of a fairy tale combined traditional elements such as witches, wizards, monsters, and talking animals with familiar things for children and adults of his time such as cornfields and scarecrows. He followed in Lewis Carroll’s footsteps, whose book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the most popular children’s book at the time, in creating a fun children’s book full of pictures and a lack of obvious morals dragging it down.
His use of anthropomorphic characters, another characteristic of fairy tales, helps to create a fantastical nature to his story. This allows for the reader to better distinguish between the Normative and Secondary worlds. The use of a talking scarecrow, something both adults and children are familiar with, adds both a sense of familiarity as well as a stepping stone to understanding that, to use a line from the 1939 movie, “[…] we’re not in Kansas anymore (The Wizard).” The anthropomorphic characters as a whole are both fantastical but also entirely believable. Despite their individual self-doubts…

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