Blog Post 5: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is an interesting story because it blurs the line between the genres of children’s novels and adult/young adult novels. At face value, the story appears to be meant for children, with its whimsical characters and life lessons that appear to be fairly simple at first, but some may argue that it is meant for young adults, and that the lessons behind it may be deeper than they first appear. I think the communicator of this novel, Frank Baum, meant to blur this line and allow for a story to be written that could be meant for all ages. The audience of this novel is, I think, mostly children and young adults, although I think there are messages within the story that older adults could enjoy as well. 

Towards the end of the novel, Baum uses the word wild in the passage, “I shall go with Dorothy,” declared the Lion, “for I am tired of your city and long for the woods and the country again. I am really a wild beast, you know. Besides, Dorothy will need someone to protect her” (Baum, ch 18). In this passage, the Lion, after having felt insecure and considering himself a cowardly lion, finally accepts and embraces himself by labeling himself a “wild beast.” The Lion’s use of this word “wild” in describing himself has a positive connotation. He is embracing himself as a lion and allowing himself to feel “wild” instead of cowardly and tame. This positive connotation of the word “wild” is one of the fewer instances of the word being used in a very positive light, since in previous instances, the word was often used to describe the scary creatures that meant to hurt Dorothy.

Anna Ranslem


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3 Responses to Blog Post 5: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  1. mw38866

    I love your analysis of the audience, as I thought the same thing as well. There definitely is a deeper level than appears on the surface that applies to young adults. Great quote as well! The lion is always looking for pride and he finds it and accepts it here. I love the view of the positive connotation.

  2. tst598

    Hi, thank you for sharing. I pulled the same quote for my blog post this week! I liked that you also emphasized how this quote in Chapter 18 uses “wild” in a way that is different from how it is used earlier.

  3. ham2642

    I like the emphasis the multiple layers that Baum installed into the story. Looking at the audience and what they take in is so interesting and for Baum to create something were individuals of different ages can all learn some sort of message from The Wizard of Oz is genuinely wild.

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