Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy

Mikayla, Haley, Ashley, and Vanessa (#12)

The Wizard of Oz brings up interesting topics that have been debated for years in the world of philosophy. Things such as evil, feminism, atheism, technology and it's part in our society and virtue are all presented in this fairy tale by L. Frank Baum, the original author. This story was originally published in 1900 and was a revolutionary one for it's time, being that the stories geared towards children were still the original grim fairy tales. When analyzed thoroughly, this story has many underlying philosophical themes.

Dorothy, as portrayed in the movie version, is viewed as a dainty 'damsel in distress' character. However, in the original book, she has many feminist qualities. Loosely based on Baum's mother-in-law, Dorothy is portrayed as a self-reliant woman who does not rely on a male counterpart. This story also has several nods towards religion which can be related to current intersectional feminism themes.
As we all know, the Wizard grants Dorothy and her companions what they ask for: A brain, courage, and the infamous return to Kansas. The Tin Man asks for a heart, which would make him less of a robot and connect him, emotionally, to the world. In our world the exact opposite it happening; people are being "corrected" with various replacement parts and things like pace makers. The Tin Man seems to present the embodiment of what technology is heading towards.
In Oz exists a remarkable absence of evil. When considered the surrounding fairy tales of the time, Oz is free of many grim and frightening elements. Whenever evil does come into play, it is quickly defeated by Dorothy and her friends. Baum strongly held to the idea that morals should be taught through methods that are enlightening and do not induce nightmares.
The four characters are presented with several lesson-learning, character building situations. Circumstances such as these present two possibilities: the ability to become virtuous or vicious. The outcome can be good or bad; the difference lies in knowing the distinction between the two.

No comments:

Post a Comment