It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 07:28 AM
I guess you learn something every day, and I always love to learn something new!

Now, it's entirely possible I've been living under a rock, but I didn't know this. We get a weekly paper here and the first thing I always do is to pull out the crossword puzzle and start crunching away on it. Exciting country life, right? Anyway, the puzzles vary in difficulty; some are easy, and some are near impossible, but they all have a theme. This past week I pulled out the crossword puzzle insert and the theme was..."The Wizard of Oz".

I immediately thought to myself this puzzle would be a slam dunk because I must have watched the 1939 movie 100 times if I've watched it once. So I dove right in. About 25% of the way through the puzzle I realized I was completely stumped. How can I not be able to answer these questions??? The answer to this question was my first revelation. I guess I never realized it, but the famed 1939 movie is actually based on a book which was published in 1900, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", by L. Frank Baum. Call me stupid, but I never knew this. Makes perfectly good sense though, but I just never thought about it. As it turns out, my crossword puzzle was based on the book, not the movie. Well, this sent me down a rabbit hole of discovery which was really fun. I hope it will be for you too.

'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' wasn't just a single book, but rather it was the first book in a series of (14) books about Oz, all of which had been published before the making of the 1939 classic movie with Judy Garland and others. And Oz, as it turns out, is a very magical place indeed.

As is often the case, motion pictures often leave out parts or all of the back story. Call it 'Editorial License' if you wish, but sometimes just how much of the back story is omitted can be pretty amazing. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is no exception.

I will limit my post here to some of the things which are the most notable.

Of particular interest is Oz itself. In the movie you get hints of some of these things, but it's never really explained. The "Land of Oz" was actually broken up into (5) pieces.


You kind of get this idea in the movie there is an "East", a "West", and a "North", but there is no mention of the "South". Nor is there any mention of the names of these places. Now, in the movie, you know Dorothy's house landed in 'Muchkinland', but you don't know about any of these other places. Also interestingly, Munchkinland is reversed with 'west' in the movie vs. the book. In other words, Munchkinland is in the East. This is just a minor note though, but here's a much bigger item.

One thing you never get in the movie is who the witches are and what their purpose is. As it turns out, each of the four main quadrants of Oz is ruled by a witch. The witches of the 'East' and the 'West' are both wicked witches, and the witches of the 'North' and the 'South' are both good witches. "Emerald City" is the true seat of power for all of Oz, but because Oz is very remote many don't even know of the existence of "Emerald City", and the witches have capitalized on this and assumed regional power as a result. The witches know of Emerald City though, and this explains why Glinda, the "Good Witch of the North" (Glinda was actually South in the book) knows to tell Dorothy to seek out the Wizard in Emerald City.

Another interesting thing is the colors. Each of the four main quadrants has a color. Munchkinland (when swapped east for west) is yellow. And this is why the road to Emerald City is "The Yellow Brick Road". It also explains why so many other things in Munchkinland are yellow. It turns out each of the four lands of Oz also have their own colored brick road, so you don't know it, but there is a "Blue Brick Road", a "Purple Brick Road" and a "Red Brick Road" and all of them lead to Emerald City. Just so happens Glinda tells Dorothy to take the 'Yellow Brick Road' because they were in Munchkinland and it was yellow.

Another item you don't really see explained in the movie (you do, a little, but most don't catch it) is the fact that the Wicked Witch of the East is the most powerful of all four of the Witches, and Glinda (north) is the 2nd most powerful witch. So when Dorothy's house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, Glinda is now the most powerful witch in Oz. This is how she is able to constantly help Dorothy overcome the spells of the Wicked Witch of the West (the last remaining wicked witch).

And this last part is definitely not explained in the movie! All of the witches also have a color code. The Wicked witches wear black, and the Good witches wear white (no surprise here). However, do you recall what color dress Dorothy is wearing in the movie? It's a blue dress with white flecks in it. So the Munchkins are happy that Dorothy has killed their wicked ruler (the Wicked Witch of the East) when her house lands on her, BUT they also think Dorothy herself is a witch, and because she has white in her dress she must be a good witch. WOW, right???

There's tons more, but I thought those things were pretty interesting and thought I'd share.

All because of a silly crossword puzzle!!
edit on 8/10/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 07:35 AM
One other thing.

As I noted the role of the north and south witches is reversed in the movie from the book, much the same way as Munchkinland and Winkieland are reversed (in name only, but not color). In the movie you know Glinda is from the 'North' (South in the book), but you never hear anything about the good witch of the South.

Her name was Locasta, the Good Witch of the South (in the movie, North in the book).

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 07:51 AM
Another little interesting factoid is "why" you don't know some of these things from the movie.

In the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Dorothy's house gets swept away in a real 'cyclone' (tornado), and it is hurled over the Rocky Mountains into the land of Oz.

The producers of the 1939 classic musical drama felt starting the movie with this was too much fantasy and wouldn't sell, so instead they made the premise of the movie that Dorothy gets knocked unconscious by debris and the whole adventure is just a dream.

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 08:09 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I'm glad you checked out the books, it's valuable to learn of our historic literature that has greatly influenced our culture.

I have a little tidbit to share with you, did you know that Locusta was one of the most notorious poisoners in history? One of Nero's favorites, I actually stumbled across a video about her last night a few hours ago.

I'm guessing this is where Baum derived the name of Locasta from. People back then were well educated in history, especially Roman. He would likely have known of this infamous poison expert.

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 08:14 AM
I live in upstate ny and Baum lived a 30 min drive from me. They do Oz fest every year, and I did not know about the switch in north/south east/west....

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 08:16 AM
And by the way FCD, if you don't learn something new every day, you are not living life, just existing..and there is no point in that

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 08:41 AM
And it may well could have been a political analogy of its day

“In 1964 Henry Littlefield, a Columbia University-trained historian, wrote a breakthrough article in the scholarly American Quarterly titled “The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism.” In the article, Littlefield made the bold claim that Frank Baum's 1900 book "conceals an unsuspected depth." The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was, Littlefield thought, “a Midwesterner’s vibrant and ironic portrait of this country as it entered the twentieth century.” Specifically, Littlefield argued that the story of The Wizard of Oz was an elaborate metaphor for the Populist movement (a rising political force in the 1890s) and a critique of the complicated national debates over monetary policy.”

With each character representing certain aspects of US society, but maybe not?
And her shoes are silver not red
edit on 10-8-2019 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 08:57 AM

originally posted by: Raggedyman

... And her shoes are silver not red

In the book, yes.

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 09:40 AM
Well isn't that interesting this little girl needs to find the lion, all power no courage, the scarecrow, all heart no brain, and the thinman, all brain no heart.

when the 3 form a team and Choose to follow Dorothy(all courage no power). She can enter emerald City!

I think it's talking about aspects of our mind and pointing out the ones most vital for our survival... as spiritual beings.

Watch what happens when the fishes awake!

Sincerely No Clue

posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 03:17 PM
I got entranced a few years back in mt "Zardoz research" phase.
Have you read the other five six books in the series?
There are some really "off the wall" stories there.


new topics

top topics


log in