Frank Baum and first published in as an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic, and social events of America in the s. She is Everyman , led astray and seeking the way back home. Richard Jensen, in a study of Midwestern politics and culture, devoted two pages to Baum’s story. Littlefield responded to Hearn’s letter, agreeing that “there is no basis in fact to consider Baum a supporter of turn-of-the-century Populist ideology. As a result, voters often had difficulty in determining what the candidates stood for. With Rockoff, the allegorical interpretation reached a peak of sophistication, yet its subsequent decline was no less precipitous than that of the Populist Party itself. As we learn near the end of the story, the Scarecrow-cum-farmer had brains all along-perhaps brains enough to grasp the true causes of his misery and the basics of monetary policy.

Leach’s argument is just as compelling as Littlefield’s. He is none other than William Jennings Bryan, the Nebraska representative in Congress and later the Democratic presidential candidate in and The twister that carries Dorothy to Oz symbolizes the Populist cyclone that swept across Kansas in the early s. Thirty years ago, Henry M. Based on the analysis by Henry M.

Historical Dictionary of the Great Depression, — Yet, as everyone knows, The Wizard of Oz is more than wizaed another celluloid classic; it has become a permanent part of American popular culture. Would not the Populists have done likewise if Bryan had defeated McKinley and, presumably, slain the trusts?

R In the book The Wizard of Oz.

henry littlefield thesis and wizard of oz

Many ascribed their misfortune to the natural elements, called it quits, and moved on. But even more impressive is the achievement of L. May also be comment on child labor Lollipop Guild.

So Was the Wizard of Oz an Allegory for Populism? | History News Network

Nor does it imply that each symbolic reference has a specific correlate; often the metaphors and analogies are merely suggestive. Proceeding down wizagd road, the duo encounter the Tin Woodman.


Wizarr the analogies developed by Littlefield and others, and adding a few of his own, Rockoff provided a detailed and sustained analysis of the political and economic issues symbolically refracted in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. What wonder that his wild nature, untamed by years of subjection, should still revolt?

The political interpretations focus on the first three, and emphasize the close relationship between the littlefiield images and the story line to the political interests of the day. The connection between The Wizard of Oz and the contemporary political landscape was not even raised untilwhen a summer school teacher named Henry Littlefield, while trying to teach the Presidential election and the turn-of-the-century Populist movement to bored history students, stumbled upon the idea of using the characters and events of The Wizard of Oz as metaphors to teach the concepts.

Given the even division of Democrats and Republicans, and the razor-thin majorities of most presidential elections, candidates rarely took clear stands on the issues.

So Was the Wizard of Oz an Allegory for Populism?

In Gannon, Susan R. Quite simply, Oz operates on two levels, one literal and puerile, the other symbolic and political.

henry littlefield thesis and wizard of oz

The SubTreasury Plan would allow them to store their crops in government warehouses and get government loans while they held their crops off the market during harvest season. When McKinley gets the chair, boys, There’ll be a jollification Throughout our happy nation And contentment everywhere! Share buttons are a little bit lower. Before he became a professional writer, Baum worked as a traveling salesman and owned a dry goods store.


She is each of us at our best-kind but self-respecting, guileless but levelheaded, wholesome but plucky.

What wonder that a fiery rage still burned within his breast and that he should seek every opportunity of obtaining vengeance upon his natural enemies. Indeed, the record shows littlefielv Baum hehry neither. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The City of Oz earns its name from the abbreviation of ounces “Oz” in which gold and silver are measured.

Populists and other free-silver proponents advocated unlimited coinage of the white metal in order to inflate the money supply, thus making it easier for cash-strapped farmers and small businessmen to borrow money and pay off debts.

Having liberated the Tin Man, the trio proceeds through the forest, only to be accosted by a roaring lion. In the book version of OzDorothy treads the Yellow Brick Road in silver shoes, not in ruby wizarr. First, Littlefield and his supporters never litglefield to have proved that Baum wrote a deliberate, conscious parable.

Friends and family members have attested to his penchant for jesting and playful dissimulation. This sophistication explains the disclaimer in litlefield introduction to Oz: The discovery was little less than astonishing: Adaptations and other derivative works.

Baum aimed not to teach but to entertain, not to lecture but to amuse. Clanton suggested that if the Wicked Witch of the East was the forces of industrial capitalism, then Baum’s Wicked Witch of the West was Populism itself.