First of all, let’s celebrate as Words That Fly turned two months old on Thursday. I know it’s a little belated but I sort of didn’t remember. Yup, if Words That Fly was my child, I’d be doing a LOT of sucking up right now. Instead, I’m going to celebrate by making all my posts are extremely interesting and invigorating. Today’s great classic is The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I hope it inspires the same feelings of nostalgia that it inspired in me.
Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West had her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?
(Blurb taken directly from the back of the book.)
This was the first time I’ve ever read the Wizard of Oz and I chose to start by first reading the introduction by Cornelia Funke. Surprisingly, I found myself nodding along with her words. My first impressions of The Wizard of Oz came from watching the movie on TCM when I was younger, and it was not until much later in my life that I was aware there was a book. Although my first and most lasting impression of the characters would always be shaped by that movie I could accept that the book could change how I imagined them as well as the fact that different people imagined these classic and iconic characters in different ways without changing who these characters were fundamentally.
Reading the book brought even greater joy. The style of writing, the endearing nature of the characters, as well as the beautiful setting all contributed to a beautiful children’s story. I must say that I watched The Incredible on Saturday afternoon with my mum and I couldn’t help basking in the calming, innuendo-free, refreshing tale that L. Frank Baum wove when he wrote this book. This was surely a children’s book meant to appeal to children.
Author’s POV/ Voice:
The author used the third person POV and spoke in a very simple language, full of easy-to-understand explanations. It was truly a book that one did not have to think about to read. I can see it being very easy for even young children to understand as well as to get lovely images of the scenery in their mind from his straightforward descriptions.
Today I will not speak about individual characters. Instead I will speak of the groups. Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and teh Cowardly Lion are all very similar characters drawn together by their determination to have their deepest desire fulfilled. For Dorothy it is to go home to a place that is not as beautiful nor as happy but is a place she holds dear in her heart. The Tin Woodman wishes to gain a heart so that he can again feel. The Scarecrow wishes for brains so he is no longer a fool. Last but not least, the Cowardly Lion wishes for courage.
What I loved most about these characters is that for the entire story they had what they needed all along. Dorothy had the slippers which would take her and Toto home, the Tin Woodman felt strongly about everything so that he could not stand to hurt any living creature, the Scarecrow always thought everything through even the fact that he was indeed a fool, and the Cowardly Lion was courageous as he put himself before his companions in the face of danger.
The way these characters were written was so endearing. As they read the book or were read to, children might be able to see that the Tin Woodman was not heartless, that the Scarecrow was not a fool, and that the Cowardly Lion was actually brave. They would see these tidbits and it would make them think. Many would at least realise that some of these characters’ traits did not add back and in the end they would come away with a lesson to look deeper.
The point of the entire story is that a little girl named Dorothy is journeying through a strange land to the Emerald City so that she might ask the Wizard of Oz to send her back home. Along the way she meets others who join her so that they might ask the wizard to help them too. It was a regular, even a very simple adventure story full of not-so-hidden messages but overall a beautiful story.
Cover & Blurb:
When I first saw this cover, I’m sure I gasped with delight. It’s so beautiful and the blurb is like the book. Simple and easily understood but also very interesting.
Highlight of the Novel
The best part of this story were it’s hidden messages. By the end I had garnered that sometimes we have the means to accomplishing our goals and that we just don’t know that. It makes me think that maybe we should try harder to do things ourselves, that we should really think things through. I also came away with the idea that loyalty to friends is of paramount importance. Dorothy might never have made it to the Emerald City and back again if not for the good friends she made along the way.
Thank you all for taking the time out for reading my posts so diligently. Thank you for sticking with Words That Fly for so long that. Hopefully, you’ll all enjoy it for many more months to come. Have a lovely Sunday everyone and I hope the week’s equally as enjoyable.
Follow the yellow brick road!
K, the Popinjay.