Littlefield linked the characters and the story line of the Oz tale to the political landscape of the Mauve Decade. This is a long article. He consistently voted as a democrat [sic], however, and his sympathies always seem to have been on the side of the laboring classes. If you wish to download it, please recommend it to your friends in any social system. Most Populists believed that their most important proposed economic reform was the SubTreasury Plan.

Yet, as everyone knows, The Wizard of Oz is more than just another celluloid classic; it has become a permanent part of American popular culture. When the Populist Party met in to decide whether or not to endorse William Jennings Bryan, many delegates, particularly from the South, were opposed. He implicitly qualified Littlefield by pointing out that not all pro-Bryan silverites were Populists. The characters pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Her house lands on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East, who represents the evil bankers and the wealthy Eastern establishment. Littlefield took pains to say, then and later, that he does not believe Baum had a political agenda in writing The Wizard of Oz , and that his observations were allegorical, not theoretical. Download ppt “The Wizard of Oz:

During the municipal elections that spring, Baum editorialized in support of the Republican candidates; after they won, he wrote that “Aberdeen has redeemed herself.

Henry Littlefield

Leach has shown us another new way of looking at the book, a way that emphasizes a different side of the Gilded Age–the fascination with the city and urban abundance, the rise of a new industrial ethic, and so on. Baum might have been “a shopkeeper, a traveling salesman, an actor, a playwright, a windowdresser,” 15 but he was also a reform-minded Littlefied who supported Bryan’s pro-silver campaign in When McKinley gets the chair, hejry, The magic word “protection” Will banish all dejection And free the workingman from every care; We will gain the world’s respect When it knows our coin’s “correct” And McKinley’s in the chair!


Every character possesses the virtues they doubt. But Jensen then proceeded to add two new points to the standard Littlefield interpretation, finding analogies for Toto and Oz itself: One would be hard pressed to find any character, setting, or event in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that does not have a “Populist parable” analogy. Leach’s essays did not necessarily overturn Littlefield, however.

Once in the Emerald Palace, Dorothy had henrry pass through seven halls and climb three flights of stairs; seven and three make seventy-three, which stands for the Crime of littlefiepd, the congressional act that eliminated the coinage of silver and that proved to wizad Populists the collusion between congress and bankers.

The newspaper cited was In These Times18 Feb.

Together they find the wizard, defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and each finds what he was looking for. On the way she befriends a brainless scarecrow, a heartless tin man and a cowardly lion. Frank Baum was not a Democrat or a Bryan supporter. A Biography of L. As scholars continued to extend and modify Littlefield’s interpretation, laymen discovered it as well.

Look to yourselves for the solution.

So Was the Wizard of Oz an Allegory for Populism?

In the preface to The Wonderful Wizard of OzBaum stated that he wanted to write a new sort of children’s story: In an ingenuous act of imaginative scholarship, Henry M. The phrase “according to one scholar” never appeared. His littlefjeld have led to much speculation.

henry littlefield wizard of oz thesis

American literary critics births deaths 20th-century American historians American historian stubs. Baum’s masterpiece was popular, Leach explained, “because it met–almost perfectly–the particular ethical and emotional needs of people living in a new urban, industrial society.

For a brief discussion of how he came to wisard the essay, see Henry M.

The Wizard of Oz: A Parable for Populism? – ppt video online download

Incorporating 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.


Eventually, he was patched up with tin. From Irving to Le Guin Bloomington, 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. Taylor is an littlefisld professor of history and political science at Rogers State University, Claremore, Oklahoma.

R In the book The Wizard of Oz.

The Deadly Poppy Field, where the Cowardly Lion fell asleep and could not move forward, was the anti-imperialism that threatened to make Bryan forget the main issue of silver note the Oriental connotation of poppies and opium. I would suggest that Baum was trying to make litltefield point that it was foolish, and would change nothing, to pin all your hopes on the gimmick of littlefiele the currency and trying to artificially raise the price of crops and in the process the price of everything else.

henry littlefield wizard of oz thesis

Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a political satirefounding a long tradition of political interpretations of this book. Scarecrow left in charge of Oz. 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. But was Baum thesia Bryan Thesos Fake, hidden behind a curtain.

Fantastic fairytale Populist parable?