The Colors of Oz

Colors dominate the Land of Oz. Whether they are flashing and bold or dark and dreary, shades of the rainbow are splashed everywhere. But is there any significance to the colors? Or were they just chosen from a roll of dice?

 

I think that the colors were deliberately chosen to create a certain atmosphere.

 

In the Munchkin area bright and cheery primary colors are the key schemes used. The simplistic and bright conveyance shows an innocence and naivety. Since this is Dorothy’s introduction to Oz, the atmosphere is lively because she has not yet seen the darker elements of the world.

 

The Emerald City is shown to be a business district. With the hustle and bustle one would expect. Green is an acceptable and appropriate color for the Emerald City. Green stands for money, but it also stands for energy, harmony, and growth. These latter two factors were important as Dorothy and her motley crew used all them to complete their mission. Harmony to bring peace to the Land and Growth because everyone in the group grew and matured.

 

The Wicked Witch of the West’s castle was dark and dreary and grey. She wore all black clothes and her minions also wore dark outfits. Dark can mean safety in some senses, but the main aura this was trying to portray was depression and oppression. It was the wet blanket in an otherwise dry laundry closet.

 

In conclusion, color does indeed play a very big part in the Wizard of Oz, even if we don’t realize it at first glance.

Daydreams

Way back before the movie came out, the Wizard of Oz was a children’s book series. My family has the series and I can remember getting read them when I was a little kid. I think what is the most awesome part of the series is that the wording is written like an adult book. Like you open

it and it’s in paragraphs and chapters, but then you get to the illustrations.

 

The Wizard of Oz series has the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen in a print book.

 

I read that the author designed the books to be this way for a very definitive purpose. He wanted more adults to read with their children, as that is a very important part of a child’s brain development. So he put the books in a format the parents would enjoy (the elegant paragraphs) and that children would enjoy (the pictures.)

 

Now when L Frank Baum first published the series, the world didn’t really put a lot of effort into early childcare. When children were mini adults and parents had a brood just to have extra hands on the farm.

 

I suppose, looking back, that this was the turning point for children’s psychology. Baum wrote some deep stuff. In one of the books (after the trip to Oz) Dorothy gets thrown into a mental asylum! Because people thought she was crazy after hearing stories of her adventures. Baum focused on creativity and laughter and adventure. He felt slighted against the world because children who “had their head in the clouds” were written off.

 

There’s a quote from one of the books in the series; The Lost Princess of Oz. I’ve always used it as a steadier when people mocked me more having an active imagination. The full quote is about three paragraphs, but this bit is what I focus on. It has been what keeps me going some days.

 

“I believe that dreams – daydreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.”

The Journey is More Important than the Destination

The Journey Is More Important Than The Destination.

All of my life I have heard this said over and over and over again. From parents and teachers to motivational speakers and life coaches they have all preached this message. But what does it have to do with The Wizard of Oz??

Isn’t the whole goal of the story to get Dorothy home??

Well, yeah, at least if you’re looking at the shallow version of the story. If you dig a little deeper you’ll find that it truly is the Journey that makes the story, and not the destination.

On Dorothy’s Journey she makes several new friends and learns several more life lessons. She grows and learns and matures. Not by going home, but by Journeying.

On her Journey she learns the price of real friendship as Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow, three people she had just met a few days prior, as they risk themselves to save her from the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy learned about different cultures and peoples; Munchkins and Emerald City citizens. She also gained self-esteem and reground her morals on her Journey.

Lots of people have their own Journey’s in life and most have multiple Journey’s. A Journey is when people learn about themselves and figure themselves out. Being a teenager and currently going through freshman year, it’s tough. I’ve been through so many Journey’s since this school year began.

But, if Dorothy can survive her Journey…then I can too. Even if I’ve got to hire a tow truck to haul me out from the ditch I got myself into.

Good and Evil

Good and Evil.

Evil and Good.

Black and White. Right and Wrong. Two sides of the same coin, two extremes on opposite sides of the spectrum.

We could stand here all day beating this with a stick.

Throughout the course of The Wizard of Oz, there is a constant struggle between these two powerful forces. They tug at each other relentlessly, neither willing to give in.

This struggle is even present before Dorothy travels!

Back in Kansas Miss Gulch tries to get Toto taken away. She has no reason to do so other than she can. Miss Gulch is vile and truly (in the movie at least) Dorothy’s first taste of evil conflict. Then when Dorothy arrives in Munchkin Land, she discovers that her house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. Even though it was an accident, Dorothy still gets praised for defeating the witch, releasing the Munchkins from their terror-filled lives.

And then, to slap a cherry on the proverbial sundae, Glinda-the concentration of all things good and wonderful-appears to congratulate Dorothy. Thus cementing Good over Evil.

There is also the struggle that the Wizard goes through. He, much like Dorothy, is stuck and his grief and anger lead him to come off as a scary guy. Dorothy sets him straight though and the Wizard is not lost to the dark side. Again, Good winning over Evil.

And last but not least there is the Big Battle. The Fight to end all Fights. The Big Kahuna. Dorothy v Wicked Witch of the West! Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Match of the Century! Tune in to watch!

Well, Dorothy and West don’t battle physically, but they do have an impress match of cat and mouse. And in the end, Dorothy wins though love and friendship and Goodness…and a bucket of water.

The Wizard of Oz shows us that even little girls like Dorothy can combat and win against evil.

Friendship in the Wizard of Oz

Having a group of friends can make or break a person.

Your friends are constantly surrounding you and are one of the biggest influencers of your behavior. Parents tell us to watch who we choose to be our friends and they’re right about that! Having the right friendships when we’re young can teach us valuable lessons and prepare us for when we’re adults.

Examples of good friendships can be found abundantly in the Wizard of Oz (both the movie and the books.)

Dorothy’s friendship with Scarecrow is like being a friend with a socially awkward chess club kid. He’s smart, but he’s shy and he doesn’t realize his full potential because he is constantly comparing himself to people in magazines. Dorothy is a good friend to Scarecrow because she helps him realize that he doesn’t need to compare himself to others. He is smart enough on his own.

Though I think I like Dorothy’s and Tin Man’s friendship the best. Tin Man is a soft and sweet guy, and in high school, this kind of guy can get chewed up and spit out. Guys, in general, are expected to be gruff and tough and not care about touchy-feely stuff. Dorothy helps Tin Man understand that guys can be sensitive too.

Friendship can bring out the best in people like in Scarecrow and Tin Man’s case, but friendship can also take a turn for the worst.

Glinda and The Wicked Witch of the West used to be friends. Until The Witch decided to go down the path of evil. Glinda did the right thing in ending their friendship and not following the Witch. This is a super good example because some kids don’t know when to drop “friends.” Peer pressure is real and it’s scary.

Moral of the story: Pick your friends wisely and don’t give into peer pressure.

Home is Where the Heart Is

The Wizard of Oz is such an awesome movie!

Just the other day I was with my parents, it was movie night, and we decided to watch The Wizard of Oz. When I was a little kid, so many concepts flew over my head. But now that I’m older I get a lot more now. (Okay, 13 isn’t exactly old, but…)

As I was watching the movie the whole “Home” stuff pinged me in the brain. Dorothy is so desperate to get home and it really made me think if my idea of home matched Dorothy’s idea of home.

For me, home is my house. It’s where I sleep, eat, and play video games. For Dorothy, I think home means something completely different and after some solid thinking (and procrastinating on my algebra homework) I concluded that the actual physical house is not what Dorothy was so desperate to get back to.

Home in The Wizard of Oz is more of a metaphysical concept. Metaphysical means something that exists but doesn’t. Like an idea. Don’t worry, I had to Google the definition too! What Home represents in The Wizard of Oz isn’t the walls, ceiling, and floor, it is the feelings associated with Home.

To Dorothy, Home is her Uncle Henry and Auntie Em. Their love and their support. Home is walking by the chicken coop in the morning and being scolded for waking up so late. Home is falling into the pig pen and getting rescued. Home is staring out

 

 her bedroom window at the Kansas flatlands watching the dust fly by.

These nostalgic feelings, this yearning, is why Dorothy is so desperate to get home!

And, in my 13-year-old mid-life crisis, I discovered the true meaning behind The Wizard of Oz’s message.

“Home is where the heart is.”

This is my first post

Hello everyone!! I am new to WordPress and I am very excited to start my very first blog!  I am dedicating this site to the Wizard of Oz!  I can’t wait to share more with you!