''The wonderful Wizard of Oz'' is a beautiful story and the author himself defined it as a modern fairytale. We have to keep in mind that even though it has been more than hundred years since this book was published it still carries the name of a modern fairytale. It was published around the time that the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault were published and even then it was different from all the other fairytales.
While he was writing the book, the author thought that the kids need a story with no ghosts, fairies or any scary events. He wanted to entertain the children and keep the book full of joy and without sadness. He stated that in the preface of the book.
In every modern fairytale the author follows his idea and gets a lot of poeticism and joy into the story and leaves out the cruelty andsadness.
In this book we will meet the Wicked Witch from the East and one from the West but insteadof being scary they are funny.
The book has a lot of positive characters such as Dorothy and her friends Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman. They represent three very important characteristics such as courage, wisdom and sensitivity. The witches are divided into the good ones and the bad ones.
Even though the author wanted to entertain the kids this book carries a moral lesson. Everything that we admire can be found in ourselves and we just need to know how to recognize it. The author tries to tell us that we can do miracles every single day even if they are small because the small things make life real. Besides all of that it is important not to be selfish because together we can find the true meaning of life.
The book has 24 chapters and the storytelling is very dynamic. The events come one after another leaving the reader breathless and in expectancy of the next event.
Genre: modern fairytale
Place: Kansas, Emerald town
Dorothy is a girl that lives with her aunt Em and Uncle Henry in Kansas. She is an orphan. She lived in a small house in the prairie. Sometimes a storm would pass by tearing down everything.
Aunt and uncle were good and honest people who looked after the girl but they were serious and almost never laughed. Dorothy wasn’t like them. She was a happy and cheerful girl who spent her days playing with her dog Toto.
One day while Dorothy was playing she heard a sound of wind and it lifted her house up. That rocking back and forth reminded her of sleeping in a crib and she fell asleep. When the house hit the ground again she woke up. When she opened up her eyes she saw sun rays going in through the window. The surroundings did not remind her of Kansas. Everything was full of bright colors and she saw green trees, a creek.
She saw four grown up people who were barely her height and dressed in vivid colors. They made her feel welcome and bowed down to her. They told her that she is in the Munchkin country and that she became a noble sorceress. Dorothy was more than surprised when they told her that she killed the Wicked Witch of East wither arrival. The girl couldn’t believe it and then they pointed out the legs peeking from underneath the house. The witch was wearing silver shoes. The old lady told her that her name was the Witch of North and that she was good. They believed that she was called by them to kill the evil witch and now they felt enormous gratitude towards her.
The witch of North was still explaining Dorothy were she was. She told her that she was in the Land of Oz and that there are the good and the bad witches. From the killed witch there is the Witch of the South and herself. In that land there were witches and wizards because they were cut out off the world. That was the first time ever that Dorothy heard about The Great Oz who was the strongest of them all and he lived in the Emerald city.
Despite all of the excitement in that town Dorohty still wanted to go home but the Witch couldn’t help her with that. She looked into her hat and told her that she needs to go to The Great Oz and ask him to take her home. She advised her to wear the silver shoes because they are magical and will bring her luck on her way. Before Dorothy left the Witch kissed her and left a shiny mark so that everyone who tries to mess with her knows that the Witch of North is protecting her.
And so Dorothy went with her dog to Emerald city following the yellow brick road because she was instructed so. The nature was stunning and she encountered many Munchkins who worshiped her because she killed the evil witch.
Dorothy spent the night at the Munchkin Boqa house who considered her a great sorceress because she was wearing a with dress and silver shoes. He explained to her that the blue is thecolor of the Munchkins and that the with is the color of witches and wizards.
The next day, early in the morning, Dorothy continued her journey. She was very tired and stopped by a field to get some rest. Then she saw a Scarecrow who winked at her. Soon he talked and told Dorothy to take him off the stick because his life has been miserable on it. Dorothy helped him and while talking to him she found out that he does not own a brain and that he would really want to have one. He was hoping that Oz will be able to help him.
The two of them hit the road together. When nighttime arrived they found a small house were Dorothy slept and Scarecrow kept her safe because he did not need sleep nor food.
In the morning they heard somebody calling for help. They saw the Tin Woodman who stood without moving anything. He asked them to oil him up because he couldn’t move.
They told him their stories about going to visit Oz and the Tin Woodman told them that he did not have a heart because of the spell that the Wicked witch placed upon him. He hoped that Oz could help him so he joined Dorothy and Scarecrow.
The road took them along a wonderful wood. Soon, they heard a powerful scream. They encountered a strong lion that attacked Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Toto. Dorothy was very scared but strong enough to defend her dog and slap the lion. Soon afterwards she yelled at the lion and he then seemed scared. He admitted that he is very scared and that he wants to be strong. He hoped that he could get help from Oz so he went with them to the Emerald city.
On the road they realized that Scarecrow isn’t stupid, Tin Woodman had feelings and Cowardly Lion wasn’t so scared. Lion carried the whole crew on his back over big hole. They had to cross over a chasm in order to get to the other side but it was too big. They saw a river and Woodman build a raft.
The next day, early in the morning, they tried to cross the river on the raft with the help of some sticks. The problem was that the river wasn’t good for traveling and Scarecrow got stuck on a stick in the middle of the river.
Lion jumped into the river and helped them cross the river but they didn’t know how to get Scarecrow back. In the end a stork helped them. She carried Scarecrow to the shore of the river. Everyone was safe and they carried on.
They had to cross a field of poppies but the poppy made them very sleepy. They knew that they had to cross the field fast but Dorothy could barely keep her eyes open. Soon they fell asleep and Tin Woodman carried them out with the help of Scarecrow because the two of them did not have a problem with the smell of poppies. The problem was the lion who was too heavy and they couldn’t lift him.
While Dorothy was asleep Tin Woodman and Scarecrow met a queen whom Tin Woodman saved from a big, yellow cat. The Scarecrow asked the queen to help them with the lion. She helped them and then Dorothy woke up.
When they were saying goodbye to the queen she told them that they can call her if they ever need help. When Lion woke up they hit the road again. They came to a place filled with green houses. Before nighttime they were received into a house and their hosts told them that they are near Emerald city. Also they told them that it will be hard to get to Oz because he does not want to see anybody.
In the morning a green light told them that they were near the Emerald city. In the afternoon they arrived to the green walls placed all around the city. They saw a door and rang the bell. A small green man answered the door and he told them that he was surprised because after many years somebody came to see the Oz.
They all got green glasses so that they don’t go blind from the light. He carried them sightseeing. The Emerald city was rich and green and even his inhabitants had green skin. They came to a magnificent building that was the palace of the great Oz. A soldier let them in and told them to wait until he announced them to the Oz. When he came back he told them that Oz will receive them one at a time and that a lovely girl will escort them to their rooms.
The first day Oz listened to Dorothy, He showed his head but not his body. He told her that he will help her is she destroys The Wicked Witch of West. Dorothy felt desperation because she couldn’t remember how she destroyed the first witch. The next day he talked to Scarecrow and he appeared as a beautiful woman. He told him the same thing he told Dorothy. He gave the same assignment to all of them and they were all discouraged.
They decided to find the Wicked Witch. The Witch lived in the Winkie country and they were all her slaves. A guard warned them that if they cross the border and go into her land that they will all be her slaves.
The Witchhad only one eye but she saw through it if it was a telescope. When she saw them arriving she send a pack of wolves to kill them. The Woodman helped his friends and cut the wolves with his ax. The Witch was furious and decided to send the crows but Scarecrow killed them all. She got even more mad and sent bees to stab them. They all stabbed Tin Woodman and died. After that she ordered the Winkies to bring her the strangers but Lion scared them with his roar.
The Wicked Witch took a diamond hat and called the winged monkeys to help her. The owner of the hat had a right to call the monkeys three times. This was her third time calling them. She called them firstly to help her with the Winkies and the second time to get Oz out of her land.
They threw Tin Woodman on harsh rocks and he was all sunk in. They got the hay out of the Scarecrow and threw his clothes on a tree. They tied up Lion and carried him into the garden of the Wicked Witch.
When they saw the kiss sign on Dorothy’s forehead they realized that she was protected by a good witch and knew they couldn’t harm her because the power of good was much stronger than the power of bad. They took her with great care to the Witch. She was upset when she saw the sign on her forehead. She thought that Dorothy was a naïve girl that didn’t know what the shoes on her feet meant. She ordered her to work in the kitchen and wanted to make the Lion pull her carriage like a horse.
When she came to the Lion he attacked her and she said that she wouldn’t feed him until he doesn’t obey her. But what the Witch did not know was that Dorothy was secretly giving Lion food and they were planning a escape.
The Witch decided to put a metal pole on the kitchen floor so that Dorothy would fell and lose a shoe. That happened and the Witch grabbed it. Dorothy poured water on her without even knowing that water destroys witches. The Witch started to disappear until she became a small brown spot on the floor.
Dorothy called the Lion and told the Winkies that they are free. They helped Dorothy and Lion to save their friends. They fixed the Tin Woodman and reassembled Scarecrow.
When they were all together they decided to stay in the castle for a few days. They knew that they have to go back to Oz to get their wishes fulfilled. When they said goodbye to the Winkies they were very sad and gave them gifts. They loved Tin Woodman and told him to come back and rule their countries.
Before they left Dorothy found the diamond hat. Even though she had no idea what its powers were she took it because she found it pretty.
They headed towards Oz again but the problem is that neither of them knew the way back. Dorothy decided to call the queen who promised them help if they ever needed it. The queen was surprised that she did not call the winged monkeys.
Dorothy did that and the flight back to Emerald city lasted for a long time. During the flight the king of the monkeys told her how they ended up being slaves to anyone who owned the hat.
When they came to the Emerald city they received the green glasses and the soldier took them to the green girl. She placed them into a room and went to tell Oz that they are back. He did not respond immediately but later on he let them all in. They did not see him anywhere and then they heard a voice coming from the top. Oz told them that ordinary mortals could not see him and also he told them that he would like to postpone his promises to them.
When they heard his decision they were furious and the Lion roared so loud that he even scared Toto who hid behind the curtains. The curtain fell down and an old man, with wrinkled face and bold head was standing behind it. It was The Great Oz.
Tin Woodman raised his ax and went towards him but the little men shivered in fear that someone will harm him. Then he admitted that everything was a fraud. He used tricks to appear asa woman, big head and a ball of fire. He told them that he was declared to be a wizard when he landed to this land in a balloon. He came from Ohio, that was near Kansas and he worked with balloons there.
Oz let people call him a wizard and out of fun he told them to build the Emerald city. Since then he locked himself in this palace and never came out. He was scared of witches who could do magic while he couldn’t. That is the reason he was happy that Dorothy destroyed the first witch and he was sad because he couldn’t keep his promise to her.
The Great Oz found a solution to their problems. He placed many pins and some salt into Scasrecrow’s head and told his that it was his brain. He cut a small section of Tin Woodman’s fingers and placed a small silk heart in it. He made Cowardly Lion drink a potion for which he claimed was thepotion for courage. Dorothy’s problem was a bit more complicated but he suggested that she should leave like she came, by air. He wanted her to travel by a balloon but as soon as Dorothy tried to get into the balloon the rope broke and Oz flew away with the balloon. As he was leaving he told his people that Scarecrow will rule the country until he came back.
Dorothy was very sad. Scarecrow remembered that they could call the winged monkeys. They couldn’t help them because they were not allowed to leave the country. She was advised to look for help with Glinda, the Witch of South because she was the most powerful of them all.
Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Woodman decided to help her because without her their wishes would have never came true.
They found themselves in danger many times. First they came in front of a forest whose woods would throw away anyone who would try to enter it. Woodman chopped the trees and helped them cross the forest. Then they were in the land of porcelain where everyone moved away because they were scared of getting broken. Then they found themselves in a land full of damps and high grass. Lion enjoyed it there.
Soon they found out that all of the animals were killed there by a great spider and they asked Lion to help them. He accomplished to kill the spider and the animals asked him to be their king. He accepted to rule their land but after he helps Dorothy.
The rest of the road went on fine. When they encountered another problem they called the winged monkeys who carried them to Glinda.
She listened to Dorothy and promised her she would make her wish come true if she gave her the diamond hat and Dorothy did it because she has already made her three wishes. Glinda then returned Scarecrow to Emerald city, Tin Woodman to Winkies land and the Lion into the forest. In the end Glinda returned the hat to the king of the monkeys and set them free.
Glinda told Dorothy that she can get back to Kansas in no time. She just has to hit the heels of the shoes three times and jump up. She said goodbye to her friends, grabbed Toto and did it. Even though she loved her friends she wanted to see her family.
As soon as she landed in Kansas she saw her uncle building a house and they were all thrilled to have her back.
Charachtres: Dorothy, Toto, Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, Oz, Em, Henry…
Dorothy - the main character of the story. She is an orphan and her aunt and uncle take care of her in Kansas. They are always very serious but despite that Dorothy is a happy girl and she loved her home very much. Her greatest joy was her dog Toto with whom she played every day. She was independent and responsible. She took care of herself and always fed her dog. She would always stand out because of her silver shoes because of which people believed she was a sorceress but she remained to be a simple girl and did not have a high opinion about herself. On her path she met a lot of people who had some problems and because of them they felt insecure. She helped everyone when she could. She was scared of a lot of things on her way but she managed to suppress that fear because she wanted to go back to Kansas. She was also worried about her aunt and uncle when she was away because she did not want to worry them with her absence or make them think that something bad happened to her.
Scarecrow - he had a bag filled with hay instead of a head and to get the impression of a face he had drawn eyes, mouth and nose. He had a pointy hat and some old clothes also filled with hay. He had blue boots. Dorothy met him at the beginning of her journey and he was miserable because he did not have a brain and everyone thought he was a full. He used to scare crows but when they saw that he can’t move they stopped fearing him. One even told him that he would be a good human if only he had a brain. Later on he thought about a lot of thing which shows that he did have a brain but lacked self-confidence. He was brave and witty and also showed great love towards Dorothy. Oz tried to convince him that he will get knowledge through experience but he still wanted a brain. Oz tricked him into believing he had one and from that moment one he was happy.
Tin Woodman - he is described as a man made out of tin with an ax in his hands. His legs, head and arms were screwed on to his body. He was the next one to join Dorothy after Scarecrow. He was standing in the middle of the forest for a year until Dorothy and Scarecrow didn’t oil him up. He used to be a man with a heart but then the Wicked Witch turned him into this and he lost his heart and couldn’t fall in love. He actually had a heart because he showed emotions such as happiness, sadness. Also he was always ready to defend his friends and couldn’t even kill a bug. He was happy when he received the fake heart from Oz because he believed that then he would be able to fall in love again.
Cowardly Lion - he joined Dorothy and her friends last on their way to the Emerald city. At first he scared everyone with his roar but then he showed himself of as a coward when Dorothy slapped him defending Toto. He told them that he used to be brave but that now he is a coward. He headed towards Oz so he would get his courage back. As all of the other characters he had courage but did not know about it because he lacked self confidence. He showed it many times when he defended his friends. The forest animals were amazed by his courage so they called him to rule their land. Nobody could make him believe that he was brave until Oz gave him a drink that allegedly made him brave.
The Great Wizard of Oz - at the beginning everyone believed that he will make their wishes come true. He seemed powerful and nobody actually knew what he looked like. Based on tricks he showed himself in different shapes to everyone. Toto accidentally showed him the way he is, like an old, wrinkled man. He came to the Emerald city by accident, landing down with a balloon. When people saw that they thought that he was a wizard and he let them believe that. He was scared of the witches because they actually had powers unlike him. He was very sorry that he couldn’t make their wishes come true but he did try. Even though he was a liar he was not a bad character. He took care of everyone and made their life better.
Lyman Frank Baum Biography
Lyman Frank Baum was born in 1856 and she was a famous American journalist, writer and play writer. Her roots come from Germany, Scotland and Ireland. She had a big family and he was the 7th out of nine kids.
1900 he published "The wonderful Wizard of Oz" and because of that book he became famous and it is one of the most famous books for young people. Until today the book has been translated to all world languages and about the Land of Oz many books have been written after this hit. The book will probably remain a hit throughout generations because it is truly a classic.
She died in 1909 in Hollywood. After his death the book was screen adapted and the star of the movie was Judy Garland.
Baum wrote 55 novels, 83 short stories, 200 poems. He wanted to get his work into the theatre or the TV many times.