Academic journal article Mythlore

The Wizard of Oz as a Parable

Academic journal article Mythlore

The Wizard of Oz as a Parable

Article excerpt

THE WIZARD OF OZ AS A PARABLE. Steve Adams. GFENC Productions. 222 pp. ISBN 9781514847374. $14.95

ERSTWHILE COMMUNITY COLLEGE GEOLOGY instructor Steve Adams of North Carolina has crafted a study of L. Frank Baum's 1900 fantasy that must leap a high hurdle."I wish to disclose from the outset that I cannot quote from the movie 'The Wizard of Oz'," Adams writes in the first words of his preface. "The license fee is formidable. [...] Nor can I use terms and phrases exclusive to the movie that differ in the book. [...] I must stick to the book's terminology for the 'Tin Woodman' and the 'road of yellow bricks.' In the book, Dorothy's slippers were silver. I will call them the 'red slippers'."

Adams's attempt to find a spiritual paradigm in a work of make-believe is less egregious than the horrid Chicken Soup for the Hobbit Soul but far less lucid than Presbyterian minister Robert L. Short's 1965 best-selling The Gospel According to Peanuts. Adams drops a boggling pantheon of names: Joseph Campbell, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, P.L. Travers, and William Shakespeare. His religious sources include Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Quakers. On the cover, the Tin Woodman is posed as Buddha meditating. …

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