Witches from The Wizard of Oz



Witches from The Wizard of Oz

Important to note right off the bat is the fact that the so-called “witches” in L. Frank Baum’s classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz aren’t the inherently evil witches immediately conjured up by most works of fiction. Rather, the witches’ meaning in Baum’s Wizard of Oz is more akin to that of a sorceress. Still, Wizard of Oz manages to tap into the witches’ interpretation in mythology and folklore to make them a part of Baum’s rich political allegory.

That being said, it’s arguable that out of all the witches’ interpretations from The Wizard of Oz, the one that describes them as the political interest of the respective parts of the country is indeed the most accurate. In Baum’s classic kids’ story, Oz is very clearly meant to represent America itself. That being said, the best meaning for the witches, since there is one for all four of the geographical quadrants, is one that involves them representing the political interests of the country’s geographical regions.

In the north, the witches’ meanings are used to represent industrial factory workers. In the story, the Good Witch of the North kisses Dorothy on the forehead, giving her protection and protecting her on her journey. This is meant as a stand-in for the Populism-supporting North, which had a pretty big stake in the electorate at the time. Of course, like the Good Witch of the North, the American North didn’t quite understand the potential that silver had in the current currency debate. As such, Baum used the witches interpretations to show that the North truly didn’t understand the power that silver possessed. The Good Witch of the North has no idea that the silver slippers could have gotten Dorothy home the entire time.

In the South, Glinda is the most powerful witch in Oz. Understandably enough, this particular witches’ meaning represents the American South, which also supports populism. Like the North Witch, Glinda has a supporting and guiding role with Dorothy. At the end of the story, it’s Glinda that shows Dorothy the way home and gives the other characters their purpose.

With the East Witch, Baum intended to use the witches’ meaning to indicate the hardships that gripped the nation until the winds of change (represented by the cyclone) brought about serious political reform. It’s easy to see this comparison represented in the way that the East Witch is immediately killed when the cyclone drops Dorothy’s house on her.

Finally, Wicked Witch of the West serves as the story’s true antagonist. There are many potential witches’ interpretations, as evidenced by the benign nature of the witches from the north and the south. The West Witch, however, is evil like the one from the East. Hers is a malicious rule, and she clearly represents the harsh droughts and unforgiving natural conditions that farmers battled at the end of the 19th century.

There are a variety of potential interpretations for the witches in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The most well-evidenced, however, are the ones that tie it with the currency reform debate that was at the forefront of the political landscape when the novel was written. With this in mind, it’s nearly impossible not to ascribe the witches’ meaning to the country’s political interests at the time. accesorios accesorios