Asked in Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz

What is the book The Wizard of Oz about?

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03/21/2009

It's about team work, loyalty, honesty, home, friendship, family, determination, courage, common sense, and adventurous fun. Dorothy sees herself as part of a team, with her pet dog Toto and with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. She also sees herself and Toto as a team with her three friends. In both cases, the teams work together. Dorothy is loyal to her family in Kansas, her pet dog Toto, and to her new friends in Oz. She loses a chance to go back home, because Toto jumps out of the hot air balloon basket. Dorothy chooses to catch Toto, and the two don't get back to the balloon before take-off. Even the Wizard of Oz is an honest humbug. Dorothy's message throughout is the uniqueness of the place like no other: home, in the company of family. There are a number of instances in which one or more of the friends is left behind. And Dorothy finds the means to bring them back into the group. So the Cowardly Lion isn't left behind in the deadly poppy fields. The Scarecrow isn't left behind in the river, or destrawed and undressed in the Yellow Land of the Winkies. And the Tin Woodman isn't left behind - battered, bent, and broken - on the rocky plains near the Yellow Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy and her four friends have the determination and the courage to see their missions through to the end. They may get sidetracked, as when they get lost or when they must carry out a distasteful though necessary mission for the Wizard. But they never lose their commitment, or their sight of the end to their journeys. Despite all the adventurous fun and not-so-much fun, they begin, and stay with, the end in mind. But the two most striking themes in The Wizard of Oz may be the appreciation of home, and the value of common sense. For all five friends either have already what they seek, or have on or within their persons the means to get what they want. The Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion already have a heart, a brain, and courage, respectively. Dorothy already has the Slippers that can take her back to Kansas. In a rapidly industrializing world, technology as represented by artificial hearts, imaginative drinks, and paper degrees or restuffed brains may make it seem as though the answers don't lie within us and what we can figure out from the shared experiences and expertise of us and of those near and dear to us.