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Posted February 25, 2013
After reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, I was completely pleasantly surprised. I have seen the movie more times than I can count and have performed the play more than once so I am extremely familiar with the story. I was very sure there was no way the story of the Wizard of Oz could re-spark my interest but I was wrong. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum's writing is very simple making it accessible to all age groups. After realizing this, I understood how the book became such a classic. The simplistic writing didn't take away from the story at all, though. I found that the plot of Dorothy traveling through Oz, trying to return to Kansas, was far more intricate than in the film adaptation. The story was much more fantasy based, as well. The whimsical details created a story so magical I couldn't help but be pulled in. The story also spoke to a message about personal potential, a theme I had not connected to before while watching the movie. Throughout the novel, there are many instances of the scarecrow, lion, and tin man acting contradictorily to what their supposed problem is. For example, the lion acts against his fear and protects the rest of the characters while in the woods. This courageous act proves that the lion and all of the characters do not need the help of Oz and was capable all along. This is reinforced when Oz gives them gifts that have no real effect at the end of the book. This lesson of personal potential is a great one for kids to learn and in general, is an uplifting message for all. All in all, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a classic for a reason; it tells a wonderful, captivating story that speaks to all ages and people.
Posted February 25, 2013
Since I was a child, my favorite movie has always been The Wizard of Oz. I can remember having the entire collection of plastic Oz characters, a Wizard of Oz lunch box, sleeping bag, and of course the famous back pack. I dressed up as Dorothy at least twice for Halloween and forced my dog along the way acting as Toto. But something I had never realized was that I never read the book. Recently comming across the opportunity to do so, I find the book just as amazing as the movie--if not better. Although I couldn't seem to get the image of Judy Garland out of my mind, I found that Dorothy is more adventureous than ever in Baum's novel. By reading The Wizard of Oz readers find out that the Land of Oz is even more fantastic than portrayed in the film version. Dorothy and company befriend a Queen of Mice, a China Princess, and even the King of the Flying Monkeys. Reading Baum's novel made me realize the wonders of being a child and visioning the fantastic voyage of Dorothy; however, the novel also made me realize that The Wizard of Oz is not only for children, but for adults as well. Reading this novel gives adults a chace to escape from the chaos of everyday life and enter a world full of wonder and excitement (not to mention the chance to revisit childhood). Baum's novel reminds us the of meaning of friendship, courage, love, and most of all that 'there is no place like home.' I recommend readers of all ages to revisit this timeless classic and enter into the Wonderful World of Oz.