The Characters of Oz

Essays on Their Adaptation and Transformation


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About the Book

When L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he created an American myth that has endured the test of time. Echoes of Dorothy and her friends are everywhere: popular television shows often have an Oz episode, novelists borrow character types and echo familiar scenes, and every media—from Broadway to The Muppets—has some variation or continuation of Baum’s work.
This collection of essays follows Baum’s archetypal characters as they’ve changed over time in order to examine what those changes mean in relation to Oz, American culture and basic human truths. Essays also serve as a bridge between academia and fandom, with contributors representing a cross-section of Oz scholarship from backgrounds including The International Wizard of Oz Club and the Children’s Literature Association.

About the Author(s)

Dina Schiff Massachi has written and presented numerous academic essays on Baum’s Oz and its various adaptations. She also appeared in the “American Oz” episode of PBS’s American Experience. She is a lecturer for the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte; one of her favorite classes is a course on The Wizard of Oz.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Dina Schiff Massachi
Afterword by Robert Baum
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8797-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5047-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Dina Schiff Massachi 1
Dorothy and the Heroine’s Quest
Mark I. West 7
But First, There Was a Scarecrow…
Katharine Kittredge 16
Heart Over Head: Evolving Views on Male Emotional Intelligence and the Tin Woodman
Dina Schiff Massachi 28
The ­­Proto-Sissy, the Sissy, and Macho Men: The Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the MGM The Wizard of Oz, and Dark Oz Stories
Dee Michel and James Satter 41
A Good Man but a Bad Wizard? The Shifting Moral Character of the Wizard of Oz
J.L. Bell 53
Witches, Wicked and Otherwise
Robert B. Luehrs 68
Witch’s Familiars or Winged Warriors? Liberating the Winged Monkeys
Dina Schiff Massachi 79
Glinda and Gender Performativity
Walter Squire 95
Ozma, Sorceresses, and Suffrage: Women, Power, and Politics in L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz
Mary Lenard 108
A Living Thing: The Very American Invention of Jack Pumpkinhead
Paige Gray 122
Trading Knitting Needles for Pistols: The Feminist, Violent, and Sexual Evolution of General Jinjur
Shannon Murphy 135
The Nome King
Angelica Shirley Carpenter 148
Piecing Together the Patchwork Girl of Oz
Gita Dorothy Morena 161
Afterword: Frank and His Imagination
Robert Baum 173
Bibliography: Further Oz Readings, Fiction and Nonfiction
Dina Schiff Massachi 179
About the Contributors 181
Index 183