Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful is now reaching movie theaters. A while back, I wrote about the original Oz for the Wall Street Journal:
Yet there is a long history of digging deeper into Baum’s books and searching for hidden meanings. The most famous of these is to interpret “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as a parable of the Populist movement of the 1890s: Dorothy represents the American people, the Scarecrow symbolizes farmers, the Tin Woodman stands in for factory workers, and the Cowardly Lion is William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate. One of the leading concerns of Bryan and the Populists was to get off the gold standard (the Yellow Brick Road) and replace it with the silver standard (the color of Dorothy’s slippers in the book).
But is it true? You’ll have to read the rest.