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 Symbolism of Wicked Witch of t he West and Oz

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Female Chinese zodiac : Snake
Posts : 185
Birthday : 1989-02-21
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 28

20091118
PostThe Yellow Brick Road

Yellow brick road


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Yellow brick roadThe Oz seriesCreatorGenreType

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, while traveling on the Yellow Brick Road.
L. Frank Baum
Children's books
Yellow road, leading to Emerald City
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The road of yellow brick is an element in the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, with additional such roads appearing in The Marvelous Land of Oz and The Patchwork Girl of Oz. The 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, based on the novel, gave it the name by which it is better known, the yellow-brick road (it is never referenced by that title in the original novel). In both novel and film, it is the path that Dorothy is instructed to follow from Munchkin Country to the Emerald City in order to seek the aid of the Wizard of Oz.
In the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead likewise follow a yellow-brick road to reach the Emerald City.[1]
In the book The Patchwork Girl of Oz, it is revealed that there are two yellow brick roads from Munchkin Country to the Emerald City: according to the Shaggy Man, Dorothy Gale took the harder one in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[1]
The Yellow Brick Road's spiral origins in the 1939 film



In the 1939 film, a red brick road is seen to originate at the same point as the yellow brick road in the center of Munchkinland, heading off in a different direction. Also, at the cornfield where Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, there is an intersection of yellow brick roads. Dorothy and Scarecrow decide which of the three branches to take, and eventually find themselves at the Emerald City.
In the 1985 semi-sequel Return to Oz, Dorothy finds the yellow brick road in ruins at the hands of the evil Nome King.
Stage Craft Details: The Yellow Brick Road was painted/Polished by Keith Major Anderson

The Yellow Brick Road as Spiritual Journey

The Wizard of Oz



A number of writers in recent years have pointed to a spiritual message in The Wizard of Oz. The MGM film of The Wizard of Oz contains only one reference to religion. When Almira Gulch confronts Dorothy's aunt and uncle about Toto, Aunt Em tells Miss Gulch, "I'd tell you what I think of you but I'm a Christian woman." The spiritual interpretations have not been limited to Christianity, though. In several books published in the last couple of decades, L. Frank Baum's story has been interpreted as a Christian search for redemption, a Buddhist quest for enlightenment, a New Age spiritual pilgrimage, a secular myth, as well as a critique of organized religion in general.
According to William J. Bausch, the elements of a spiritual journey are "the holy discontent, the call, the beginning of the venture, insight and allies." [1]Because all of these elements are in place in The Wizard of Oz, Bausch uses this familiar story of Dorothy's trek along the yellow brick road to shed light on how people can successfully negotiate their own spiritual journeys. Despite the familiarity of life in Kansas, Dorothy wondered what life offered beyond the bounds of her experience—she wondered what was "over the rainbow." According to Bausch, this was Dorothy's holy discontent, and her call to action took the form of a tornado. He suggests that many of us experience similar feelings, but our call to adventure is often more subtle than Dorothy's. Often, a person has to reach some sort of impasse in their life to spur them to begin their own spiritual journey. We must face the challenges of the spiritual journey, much like Dorothy confronted her own demons ("lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"). She soon realizes, however, that she can't take this on alone and she finds companions to accompany her on her journey. Bausch argues that we need a "faith-sharing community—people who think the spiritual life is real."
Interestingly, most of the spiritual interpretations of The Wizard of Oz do not take a Christian perspective. Joey Green suggests that The Wizard of Oz illustrates the Buddhist search for enlightenment in his book The Zen of Oz: Ten Spiritual Lessons from Over the Rainbow. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, is the Zen master who sends Dorothy on her journey down the yellow brick road toward enlightenment. Dorothy's search for self-discovery inspires others along the way, and they learn to leave their conscious yearning behind. Dorothy eventually achieves satori and finds oneness with the Universe, or as it is expressed in Baum's story, she finds her way home. Green's ten spiritual lessons from The Wizard of Oz are his interpretation the major themes and events of the story, illustrating some aspect of Buddhist practice and belief. Dorothy's ruby slippers represent the "inner spark" we all possess. Glinda tells Dorothy never to let the ruby slippers off her feet, meaning that Dorothy should not let go of her passion for life and her potential for enlightenment. To "Follow the yellow brick road" serves as Dorothy's mantra on her journey. Dorothy's return home—her awakening—symbolizes her enlightenment. [2]
In Spiritual Journeys Along the Yellow Brick Road , Darren John Main suggests that The Wizard of Oz contains a timeless truth that transcends culture. Dorothy's journey is the sort of archetypal pilgrimage found across all religions. Revealing a distrust of organized religion, Main suggests that the wizard represents Dorothy's religion. He quotes from How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce, "people are leaving the church and finding God." [3]To Main, the purpose of following the yellow brick road is to find one's own spiritual path—and the journey is the destination. Dorothy represents the soul and her ruby slippers represent our "spiritual inheritance," a gift that each soul is given. The Good Witch of the North provides Dorothy with guidance but allows her to make her own discoveries. To make this journey, Dorothy needs to draw on her intellect (represented by the Scarecrow), her love (represented by the Tin Man) and her courage (represented by the Cowardly Lion).
Jesse Stewart makes a similar argument, suggesting that The Wizard of Oz serves as "a map for the modern spiritual journey." [4]Dorothy is an orphan and longs for her true home. In a sense, argues Stewart, we all experience this "longing of life"—we are all spiritual orphans searching for our true home. [5]Toto is Dorothy's dearest companion, so when Almira Gulch threatens to take Toto away, Dorothy experiences a crisis that sets her off on her journey. She gets caught in a tornado that takes her from her outer world (Kansas) to her inner world (Oz). Dorothy's inner and outer worlds are connected, and Oz contains reflections of the characters and events of her life in Kansas. The death of the Wicked Witch of the East symbolizes the end of Dorothy's dependence on others and her decision to go off on her own. Once in Oz, though, Dorothy's desire is to return home, bringing together her inner and outer worlds. Glinda, the "wise one," instructs her to "follow the yellow brick road," which spirals outward, in contrast to the inward spiral of the tornado that brought Dorothy to Oz. These spirals represent chaos and creativity, one of a number of dualities that Dorothy encounters on her journey. Along the way Dorothy meets characters that each represent a part of the physical body, though incomplete. The Scarecrow represents the head, but it is lacking a brain, the Tin Man represents the chest though it lacks a heart, and the Cowardly Lion stands for powerful limbs despite the lack of courage. These characters also each represent a part of Dorothy's "threefold soul:" thinking, feeling and will. Just as she must bring together her inner and outer worlds, Dorothy must integrate these parts of her soul. Dorothy must overcome a number of challenges to achieve her awakening, her "higher self realization." All of these images taken together form a mandala symbolizing Dorothy's journey.
It is interesting to note that most of the recent books emphasize Dorothy's success in completing her spiritual journey, but one of the first analysts to look at The Wizard of Oz from a spiritual perspective saw it as a critique of organized religion. In "Waiting for Godoz: A Post-Nasal Deconstruction of The Wizard of Oz" (OK, so the title is a bit much), David Downing notes that like many people, Dorothy is dissatisfied with her life and longs for something more. Downing suggests that her desire to find something better "over the rainbow" is the sort of escapism that organized religion indulges. But Dorothy soon finds that that her fantasy world, Oz, is even more flawed than the real world. She sets off on a "grail-like quest" with companions, all of whom have a similar sort of spiritual emptiness. They go to meet the Wizard in a cathedral-like setting, but they discover that his image is an illusion. Downing asserts "The implication is that the religious quest fulfills psychological needs regardless of its actual truth." [6]

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Symbolism of Wicked Witch of t he West and Oz :: Comments

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Symbolism of the Scarecrow
Post on Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:39 am by Admin
Symbolism of the Scarecrow

The Wizard of Oz


According to Henry Littlefield, the Scarecrow represents Midwestern farmers. [1]In the character of the Scarecrow, Baum may have been responding to the attitude expressed in an 1896 editorial in the Emporia Gazette by William Allen White entitled "What's the Matter with Kansas?". In it, White claimed that Kansas had lost population and money, even though the rest of the country was growing and becoming richer. White stated sarcastically, "Oh, this is a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment...." [2]White was opposed to the Populists and the editorial he wrote was embraced by Republicans. The Scarecrow, like all of the characters in the Baum's story, possesses the virtues that he doubts. In this way Baum was refuting the notion that farmers didn't have the brains to see their own best interests. Despite the scarecrow's doubts about his own intelligence, he proves to be the most clever and resourceful of the group. In the end of Baum's book, the Scarecrow is left in charge of Oz.
Most of the analysts who have offered their own interpretations of the political symbolism of The Wizard of Oz agree with Littlefield about the symbolism of the Scarecrow. Those who see The Wizard of Oz in spiritual terms see the scarecrow as representing the tension between knowledge and wisdom. According to Joey Green, the scarecrow craves higher consciousness. [3]
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Symbolism of Wicked Witch of t he West and Oz
Post on Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:58 am by amyconell01
Symbolism of the Wicked Witch of the West

The Wizard of Oz



In Henry Littlefield's Populist allegory, the Wicked Witch of the West represents what he called "malign nature," the difficult physical environment in which farmers on the Great Plains were trying to make their living. [1]The land on the Great Plains was not as fertile as lands to the east of the Mississippi River and to make matters worse, a drought was driving many farmers out of business in the 1890s. Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the West by dousing her with a bucket of water. Only through more plentiful water, either through greater rainfall or through irrigation, would farmers in this region be able to make a living in this harsh environment.
Gene Clanton disagrees with Littlefield's interpretation of the symbolism of the Wicked Witch of the West. Clanton makes a distinction between two different factions of agrarianism, "the radical-liberal and conservative-reactionary variants", and suggests that the Wicked Witch of the West symbolized left-wing Populism to Baum. Clanton suggests that Benjamin R. Tillman, a Democrat who served as governor and senator from South Carolina, was the inspiration for the Wicked Witch of the West. Tillman represented the excesses of the agrarian revolt to industrial leaders and his image as a racist and demagogue made him an easy person to vilify. [2]
The Wicked Witch of the West had a sister who was killed when Dorothy's house landed in Oz. Littlefield suggested that the Wicked Witch of the East represented bankers and industrial interests, which were concentrated in the east. By killing the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy freed the Munchkins, or the "little people." Hugh Rockoff suggests, however, that while this interpretation may work on a general level, a Populist would see the Wicked Witch of the East as Grover Cleveland, who served as President from 1893 to 1897 (he had also served a term in office from 1885 to 1889). Grover Cleveland, who was known as the "Great Obstructionist," favored the gold standard and William Jennings Bryan overcame that faction of the party to win the Democratic Party nomination in the election for president in 1896. The Populists then endorsed Bryan as their own candidate for president. Even though it was unlikely that the silver standard would be adopted, Bryan's candidacy made that seem possible because, as Rockoff puts it, "the Wicked Witch of the East was (politically) dead." [3]


Symbolism of Oz

The Wizard of Oz



Henry Littlefield does not offer any explanation of the name "Oz" in his analysis of the parallels between the Populist movement and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [1]In his 1971 book The Winning of the Midwest, Richard Jensen points out that "oz." is the abbreviation of ounce, which is the standard unit of measure of silver and gold. At the time The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published, the United States was on the gold standard. The Populists argued for "bi-metallism," a monetary standard using both gold and silver. L. Frank Baum used color in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, particularly the colors of money. The Emerald City was green (or was made to appear green, anyway), the yellow brick road was gold and in his original story Dorothy's shoes were silver rather than ruby. Perhaps the choice of the name "Oz" reinforces the notion that Baum intentionally wrote a political/monetary allegory.
When asked about the origin of the name "Oz", Baum was quoted as saying, "I have a little cabinet letter file on my desk that is just in front of me. I was thinking and wondering about a title for the story, and had settled on the "Wizard" as part of it. My gaze was caught by the gilt letters on the three drawers of the cabinet. The first was A-G; the next drawer was labeled H-N; and on the last were the letters O-Z. And 'Oz' it at once became." Jack Snow, author of Who's Who in Oz pointed out that Baum thought of his stories as causing readers to exclaiming "Ohs" and "Ahs" of wonder, and the word "Oz" could be pronounced either way. Martin Gardner in The Wizard of Oz mentioned that some unidentified person had pointed out that the land of Uz was where Job lived. Gardner also suggested that Oz may have been a variation of "Boz", the nickname of Charles Dickens, who was one of Baum's favorite authors. Several years later, Martin Gardner offered an interesting observation about the name "Oz". Shifting each letter to the previous letter in alphabetical order (O becomes N, Z becomes Y) produces the abbreviation for New York, the home state of L. Frank Baum. Then, shifting each letter to the next letter in alphabetical order (O becomes P, Z becomes A) produces the abbreviation for Pennsylvania, the home state of Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote the Oz sequels after Baum died.
In The Wizard of Oz Revealed, Samuel Bousky offers another possibility for the origin of the name "Oz". He refers to the biblical image of the "Tree of Life," mentioned in Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of the Bible. According to Bousky, "the phonetic name of the symbol in ancient Biblical language is Otz Chiim. The first word Otz does mean Tree, but it also means Plan. Final word rather than LIFE, means Living, thus spiritual Plan For Living. The word Otz may also be expressed OZ." [2]
It is interesting to consider the geography of Oz, which is divided into four territories: North, South, East and West. The Wicked Witches rule over the East and West, while good witches rule over the North and South. In the Populist interpretation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the good witches rule over those parts of Oz that correspond with the agrarian regions of the United States (the South and the Midwest), while the wicked witches rule over territories corresponding to regions of the United States where the Populists had little influence (the West and the industrial northeast). Each territory in Oz is associated with a color and characters that reinforce these associations.
The Munchkins
The Munchkins represent the "little people" who have been enslaved by the Wicked Witch of the East. In the Populist allegory, the Wicked Witch of the East represents industrial and banking interests, which were concentrated in the urban centers "back east".
The Winged Monkeys
Littlefield suggests that the Flying Monkeys represent the Indians of the Great Plains. According to Gretchen Ritter, "The story's Flying Monkeys accord to contemporary images of Native Americans who banished from the northern woods and placed under authoritarian rule in the West." [3]
The Winkies
"Beyond the city, the Wicked Witch of the West had enslaved the yellow Winkies, a reference to the imperialist aims of the Republican administration, which had captured the Philippines from Spain and refused to grant them independence." [4]
The Hammerheads
The Hammerheads do not appear in the movie but are in Baum's book. According to Gretchen Ritter, the Hammerheads represent the hard-headed men who perpetuated the regional differences in the United States and kept the people of the South and the people of the North at odds with one another. [5]
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Re: Symbolism of Wicked Witch of t he West and Oz
Post on Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:17 am by amyconell01


Oprah said "Yellow brick road
So they are going to 'knock our socks off' starting from January.... also when the Murray's investigation is expected to be resumed and we'll see the TII DVD with some 2-3 hours of extra material which 'would reveal the plan' as KO said... perhaps a timing coincidence but still interesting!!on the 25th of each month and tnz says it will be BAMSDAY on 25th of december ...

http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu25.php

http://www.theetrinitycreation.com/insight.htm
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Re: Symbolism of Wicked Witch of t he West and Oz
Post on Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:44 pm by Admin





 

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