Blog Post 5: What on Earth is “The Wizard of Oz”?

New Attempt

The Wizard of Oz is written by Frank Baum who communicates his messages and ideas through the narration of the main character Dorothy. Reading the introduction of the Wizard of Oz yields some insight into Frank Baum’s motivation for writing the story. He discusses the joy and wondrous nature of children and his desire to “please children of today” by providing a story that does not include the scary and negative parts of other fairy tales. In obvious terms it seems that Baum chose to write for children; however, closer analysis and examination of the different themes present in the story reveal ideas that a more mature age group could grasp. The messages the story emparts regarding appreciating where you are and seeing the good in people apply to all as timeless lessons. 

In chapter 21, The Lion Becomes the King of Beats, Baum chooses words filled with imagery to allow the reader to visualize what Dorothy and her companions are seeing. In this passage the word wild is used to depict wilderness and untamed land. The imagery of “tall, rank grass” occurring in a “disagreeable country” supports this definition of wild. With this being the opening of a new chapter, the reader can immediately picture the setting of the story as the journey continues. A careful selection of words can do this expertly and makes reading a story such as this quite enticing. This definition of wild is common in many languages other than English especially when used to describe wild animals. 


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3 Responses to Blog Post 5: What on Earth is “The Wizard of Oz”?

  1. ack2234

    I agree with your interpretation of the way “wild” was used in chapter 21. Baum tends to use “wild” with a negative connotation, as he often uses the word when the protagonists are in the land of the Wicked Witches.

  2. kia326

    I also agree that although this novel was marketed towards children, there are deeper meanings that can be drawn from careful analysis and understanding of symbolism. In the last part, I think your rhetorical analysis could be stronger if you explained the ethos, pathos, and logos appeals that the author uses to further his message. Good work overall though!

  3. lmr3855

    I agree wtih you that when Baum uses the word “wild” in this chapter, he is really aiming towards the usual description of what wild seems to be. He uses it when describing the Lion becoming king which I think is fitting since the Lion is typically thought of as the king of the jungle. Along with this, like you mentioned, he uses this word while describing a setting with “tall,rank grass” which again goes back to the roots of the meaning of “wild” and jungle, something that hasn’t been tamed. I think in these instances he keeps from using the word “wild” in its other forms and sticks with its rawest definition.

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