Oz as Utopia

1356 Words Dec 4th, 2008 6 Pages
Taylor Wilton
Dr. Ethna Lay

The Wonderful Worlds of Utopia

Americans crave Oz because of it 's utopian vision. On the surface, Oz appears to be a perfect utopia to Dorothy. When she first arrives, Oz is bright, colorful and full of magic and wonder while her home in Kansas is dull, lifeless and devoid of hope. In Kansas, it 's as if the citizens are stuck with no real plans or goals for the future. In Oz, traveling down the elaborate, intertwined yellow brick road offers Dorothy a great chance for adventure and hope and magic. This also goes for Elphaba from the Broadway show, Wicked. Bot of their desire is to go home. The end of the yellow brick road and the Wizard offers a chance for both of their prayers to be answered.
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Cashdan claims that The Wizard of Oz tends to "focus on shortcomings in the self as opposed excesses (218)." The themes in each fairy tale focus on different subjects. For instance, the theme in Snow White is vanity, and how looks won 't get you anywhere. In other traditional fairy tales like Cinderella, they teach that "intelligence, hard work and courage count for little unless one has acquaintances in high places (Cashdan, 9)." The Wizard of Oz focuses on more inner conflicts than other stories such as Snow White and Cinderella. The story is about Dorothy 's journey to make herself a happier person and find a happier life. "Helping her companions fulfil their destinies helps her fulfil her own (218)." Cashdan also explains how intelligence can outweigh physical attributes. This is comforting for both children and adults alike because, overall, no one wants to be juded on outer appearance, even if they are indeed good-looking. Intelligence is more important in the long run. In Wicked, Glinda is obsessed with her prettiness and seems to outweigh Elphaba 's popularity, but Elphaba is the one who triumphs in the end when the teacher gives her special privelages with a wand because she realizes how smart and gifted she is, disregarding her looks completely. Also, in The Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow symbolizes how uncomfortable it is to feel unintelligent. "He knows his lot in life will be vastly improved if he can make sense of the world. And

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