This is the longest series I’ve done so far! Hello again my dears! And welcome to the fifth installment of Home Again! This week, we’re taking a look at good ol’ Dorothy!
Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz is a bit different from the Judy Garland film we know. For one, her journey takes her to the Witch of the South having met the Witch of the North upon her arrival. Secondly, her shoes in the book are silver. Not red. Fun fact. 🙂
Like Alice, Dorothy fell asleep. Of course, whereas Alice was bored, Dorothy was waiting for a tornado to pass. When she wakes, she steps outside her aunt and uncle’s home to find she isn’t in Kansas anymore.
Dorothy has arrived in a new land called Oz, and she’s done so with a bang. When her aunt and uncle’s house landed in Oz, it just so happened to squish an evil witch wearing some very stylish silver shoes*. Of course, accidental manslaughter is fine when the person that’s dead was an evil dictator of a village of people called Munchkins. But only in that scenario! Which is why Dorothy is rewarded by the Witch of the North, who tells her she can grave rob! The things that happen when your house gets swept up by a tornado, I tell ya.
Anywho, Dorothy takes the evil witch’s shoes, and puts ’em on her feet when the Witch of the North tells her that if she wears these shoes– that have an unknown power– and follows a yellow brick road she’ll find a wizard who will help her get home.
When I put it like that, it definitely sounds like a dream. But even dreams can take us on journeys and teach us things.
On this yellow brick road, Dorothy meets three characters. The scarecrow without a brain, the tin man without a heart, and the lion without courage. Each of these characters teaches Dorothy something about herself. For one, she doesn’t deem herself above those without primary functions like cognition and a heartbeat. And two, while her friends are without a few things, Dorothy makes up for them. She is clever enough for the four of them, compassionate enough, and brave enough. All of this proven when they are faced with flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West.
See, each character is missing one thing. One thing which Dorothy has. She has one heart, one brain, and one bucketful of courage (pun not intended)
Each of these things her new friends are missing. They’re different facets of Dorothy’s self, but rather than take away certain aspects of Dorothy in becoming personified, they’re missing one of three prominent things she has. It’s not until she learns they’re missing one of these prominent things, that she realizes she has cleverness, compassion, and courage all within her. It is with this knowledge that she is able to continue her journey after realizing the “wizard” of Oz cannot help her.
She has one final destination, the place of the Witch of the South, who tells her that the shoes are able to send her home if she wishes hard enough. It is then, that Dorothy returns to Kansas.
Thank you for reading,
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*Should you be curious about the role shoes play in storytelling, click here.