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Populism and The Wizard of Oz

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Presentation on theme: "Populism and The Wizard of Oz"— Presentation transcript:

1 Populism and The Wizard of Oz

2 Background Information
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was not intended to be an innocent fairy tale. Author, Frank Baum, a reform-minded Democrat who supported William Jennings Bryan's pro-silver candidacy, wrote the book as a parable of the Populists, an allegory of their failed efforts to reform the nation in However, Frank Baum never allowed the consistency of the allegory to take precedence over the theme of youthful entertainment.

3 Hidden Representations:
The Wicked Witch of the East: represented eastern industrialists and bankers who controlled the people (the Munchkins).

4 Hidden Representations:
The Scarecrow represented the wise but naive western farmer.

5 Hidden Representations:
The Tin Woodman represented the dehumanized industrial worker.

6 Hidden Representations:
The Cowardly Lion was William Jennings Bryan, Populist presidential candidate in 1896.

7 Hidden Representations:
The Wizard represents William McKinley who tried to be all things to everyone, but turned out to be a fake. President William McKinley

8 Hidden Representations:
The Yellow Brick Road, with all its dangers, represented the gold standard.

9 Hidden Representations
Dorothy's silver slippers (Judy Garland's were ruby red, but Baum originally made them silver) represented the Populists' solution to the nation's economic woes ("the free and unlimited coinage of silver")

10 Hidden Representations
The Wicked Witch of The West represents the railroads and the control they had over the populist supporters.

11 Hidden Representations
Emerald City represents Washington DC, where leaders reside and people look for significant change in their life.

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