The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz #1) by L. Frank Baum: A Book Review


It is fun to read such a children novel; it is amusing and hilarious. If I were young, I would be very keen on it. I would be fascinated by the magical fantasy; I would be in awe with the out-of-this-world scenes and entities- things far from the reality since I were such a babe in the woods, for my brains were not big enough to understand or be cynical about them. I would just believe whatever I read and imagine. Also, I would talk, for sure, about it with my friends. Alas! I did not get a chance to read such novels when I was young, for the grinding poverty averted my avid interest. At that time, I just read Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

If I were young, I would be fond of the characters. Dorothy is cool. She is cute and jovial, typical of a countryside girl. She seems to be fun to be with, especially with her naughty dog, Toto. If I were her friend, I would go along with her adventures, along with her friends Scarecrow, Tin woodman, and the Cowardly Lion.

Since I am not young anymore, my brains are now fully developed to absorb information, enough to be squeezed to draw logical reasons. So what should I say? Well, I find it illogical and inconsistent. I feel that its climax grows to be humdrum. The story is obviously intended to entertain and make-believe children and to insult someone’s intelligence as well. Everything in the story is beyond belief- not only from the magic, but also to the Winged monkeys, the China blah blah blah …all of those things could be rebutted by scientific reasoning. For examples , (a) If Scarecrow had no brains; he would not talk, see, smell, nor hear. Moreover, he should not be able to reason out or figure out the difficulties they deal with; rather, he should be such a simpleton or rube . (b) In chemistry, oxidation takes time before Tin woodman’s tinned arms and legs rust. Changing any parts of a body is, of course, probable in the aid of robotics. So Tin Woodman is bionic. L. Frank Baum might have had “intricate scientific estimation.” He was just predicting the future. Oh, there are some more. Anyway, since the entertainment value may be the intention, making a fuss with those things is neither here nor there. Rather, I should stick to its moral contents; the messages of the story despite the fact that L. F Baum insisted that there were no latent meanings for each character. Obviously, the story deals with philosophical questions, particularly in questions with Religion-its big role in a person’s life. And yet, there are some parts dwelt upon me:

(a) Do people need to depend on the heart, rather than on the brains? Like Scarecrow , he insists that he shall ask for brains instead of a heart, for a fool; would not know what to do with a heart if he had one, which is somehow rebuffed by Tin Woodman:

“ I shall take the heart, for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”

(b) Is the heart our superego?

(c) If we were heartless, could we not be passionate and compassionate?

In the context of psychology, each character shows low-self esteem. Scarecrow has intellectual mediocrity. Tin Woodman is broken hearted. Cowardly Lion wants to be brave. In other words, they are all attached to illusion. Through the psychotherapeutic help of the Wizard of Oz, they awoke to the reality.

Tut! Tut! Tut! That’ll do. I should not give a fiddle’s fart about the hidden meanings. I am glad to have felt like a child again. I still have a juvenile mental age. No doubt I enjoyed it. I would love to share it with my younger sister. ^^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)


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