The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Oz

“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”

– Dorothy

I saw The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland for the first time when I was a little girl, and it has been one of my favorite stories ever since. So I could not understand why, considering the fact that I love books better than movies, I have never thought of reading the book until now.

“It is such an uncomfortable feeling to know one is a fool.”

– The Scarecrow

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is a hundred times better than any movie version I have ever seen. The travelers had more adventures, and the story has more depth, what with all the debates and lessons about having brains, a heart, and courage going on. And I could understand why many have made different adaptations of it and created stories about the book’s characters, such as the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked) and Oz himself (Oz the Great and Powerful). Each of the characters is interesting and unique, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more adaptations in the future.

“But once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart.”

– The Tin Woodman

What I love most about this story is that, as it progresses, it shows us that the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion have already got a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively, and that they don’t need to travel all the way to the Emerald City to go see a wizard and ask for them. They had it in them all along.

“… my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”

-The Cowardly Lion

L. Frank Baum has created marvelous places one would wish were real. My favorites are the Dainty China Country, where everything — from the walls, to the floors, to the milkmaids, to the princesses,  to the animals — is made of porcelain and no taller than Dorothy’s knee (the downside though is that you must be extremely careful as they are brittle and break easily — the Cowardly Lion had accidentally broken their church with his tail), and the Country of the Quadlings, where everything is painted bright red and where lies the castle of Glinda the Good, which is guarded by young girl-soldiers dressed in red and gold, which I find very charming.

“How shall we cross the river?” asked Dorothy.

“That is easily done,” replied the Scarecrow.  “The Tin Woodman must build us a raft, so we can float to the other side.”

I’m glad of what became of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion in the end. They each got what (they thought) they wanted and had each a kingdom to rule: the Emerald City, the Winkies of the Country of the West, and the forest, respectively. And, as we all probably know, Dorothy got back home to Uncle Henry and Aunt Em.

Thereafter he walked very carefully, with his eyes on the road, and when he saw a tiny ant toiling by he would step over it, so as not to harm it.  The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything.

As for the great and terrible wizard of Oz, I can only hope he has arrived safely to where he wants to be.

“We are lost, for they will surely tear us to pieces with their sharp claws.  But stand close behind me, and I will fight them as long as I am alive.”

– The Cowardly Lion

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is the first of fourteen books in the Oz series and was published in 1900.

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6 comments

  1. I really love the book. I have an opinion that alot of people might be against but i think they should do a remake that is more true to the book and a nonmusical. I know the 1939 movie is a classic. But they can have the creatures that was in the book that they could not have in the movie back in 1939. For example, the Kalidahs which are beast that have the body of a bear and the head of a tiger and the Queen of field mice along with the other mice. Also have the wicked witches wolves, crows and swarm of black bees. They can also have The Country of the Quadlings and both The Good Witch of the North & Glinda, The Good Witch of the South. Maybe if the upcomming OZ The Great and Powerful does good at the box offiice, that can prove that a Wizard of Oz remake movie where Dorothy gets blown to OZ by the cyclone might still do great.

    1. Hi, Chris! I was thinking of wanting to see a remake that is more true to the book as well while I was reading it! I agree with everything you said. I would very much like to see the other wonderful characters and places of Oz on screen. My favorite is the country made of China, so I’d definitely want to see that. And yeah, I once told a friend about this and she didn’t agree with me because she said The Wizard of Oz is a classic (but she probably hasn’t read the book yet). Anyway, if ever there’ll be a remake, I do believe that a lot of people will still want to watch it, if well made.

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