Wizard of Oz

Essay by Aaron2University, Bachelor'sA+, March 1997

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The film The Wizard of Oz is definitely about the concept of returning home. This is made clear throughout the film. Dorothy's entire time in Oz is spent trying to get back home to Kansas. Then when she gets back home she tells Aunt Em that 'all I kept saying to everybody was 'I want to go home.'' This fits perfectly with the time, 1939, that The Wizard of Oz was produced. One reason was that due to the depression, many people were forced away from their homes and into cities. Another reason was that America was on the verge of entering into another war, WWII, and the threat of having to send troops away from home was very real. And, as stated by Paul Nathanson in Over the Rainbow (156), 'going home is fundamentally linked, for many Americans, with growing up.' With this in mind, it seems a good way of evaluating The Wizard of Oz is by Dorothy's process of growing up, her maturation.

Also, since Dorothy's adventure to Oz is clearly in the form of a dream, it seems a good way of analyzing Dorothy's maturation is by looking at this dream compared with real ones, and using modern dream analogy from the Freudian perspective.

The act that spurs the entire action of the movie, according to Freudian Daniel Dervin ( Over The Rainbow 163 ), is Dorothy witnessing the 'primal scene'. The 'primal scene' refers to a child witnessing sexual intercourse between mother and father; an moment that is both terrifying and confusing to the child. According to Dervin, this event sends Dorothy towards her final stage of childhood development ( Freud believed in three stages of childhood development ) the phallic phase. Terrified of the idea of being destroyed by father's phallus, Dorothy projects (...