Wizard of Oz as a Fairytale Essay

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Wizard of Oz as a Fairytale

This question is deceptive in its apparent simplicity as it raises some problematic issues, which extend beyond the text right across fairytale scholarship.

The term "fairytale" itself is a contentious one and is unpopular with many folklorists (see Luthi, Warner, Luke). Often epithets like "wondertale", "magic tale" are employed. Even in some English translations of European works the more semantically accurate Russian or German terms (volshebnye skazka and [zauber]Marchen) are used.

Often authorities expound at length upon is the difference between myth and folktale and then folktale and fairytale. Space will not allow us to open that can of worms her. For our
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This distance is necessitated by Oz's irreconcilable differences from what Baum himself calls "the old-time fairy tale" exemplified by the "fantastic stories of Grimm" (Baum, 1).

So , with fairytale consistency, we shall begin at the beginning:

On the very first page of Oz Baum actually states that his wish was to create a modern American fairy tale similar to "the old time" collections of the Grimm brothers.

This artistic intention instantly problematises the text in the context of its generic status. It begs the question of whether a story can be a true fairytale if it is so informed by its natural predecessors which sprang almost spontaneously from ancient and anonymous sources. Baum writes with a scholarly knowledge of fairytales behind him. In fact he wrote a 1902 essay "On the Fairytale."

Fairytales have a vaguely documented chronology that potentially stretches back to thousands of years BC. They are sourced from myth, legend, the collective unconscious, rumour, tradition or "abstractions from real events" (Propp, xvii). It could be argued that Oz has the same ultimate roots but its lineage is traceable due to its age and the relative youth of the socio-political cultural environment that spawned it. In "wonder tales" the author is not a considered presence; they are cumulative creations that arose out of

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