The Thing I Like About …

The Wizard of Oz (the book) … it’s not a dream.

I love the movie The Wizard of Oz as much as anyone, but I have never liked the fact that, in the movie, the events are all just part of Dorothy’s dream.  In the books, Oz is a real place, and the wizard is an actual man from Kansas who takes her home.  I used to wonder why the movie felt the need to change this fairly important plot point, but then I developed a theory:

Between the time the books were written and the time the movie was made, people just stopped believing that there was anything undiscovered in this world.

I think that deep down, Baum believed there were things out there that we don’t know about, things that we can discover and explore – that these things might be dangerous and wonderful, beautiful and frightening, and that, with help from others who have joined together against evil, a resourceful girl can successfully navigate a journey through anything.

Why and when did we stop believing that?  When did we decide that a full-colour world full of magic and courage and friendship and challenge was something that only happened in our dreams?  When did we decide that nothing can be new or exciting or different?  When did we start believing that adventures weren’t something we could really have?

Take a trip with the first Dorothy – she really went to a real Oz … and her little dog too.


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