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A few moments later the man simply turns and runs away, never to be apprehended. Ten years later a passage of time not mentioned in the comic that I hope is corrected in the final copy as it prevents an awkward segue from the prelude to the first chapter Ward Hopkins stands graveside at a matching pair of coffins: his parents have recently been killed in a car accident. The chair, however, has a secret of its own. Ward unearths from its bowels its bowels a novel with a piece of paper inside. Sarah is clearly an adolescent of privilege, a teen whose future is bright with the prospect of being the central nucleus about which a clique of gossip girls is sure to rotate.

Unfortunately for Sarah, evil keeps a watchful on her from the shadows, coiling to strike…. They are all intertwined, the violence, the secrets, the Upright Man and when they all eventually converge, what is brought to light are the horrifying truths about the Straw Men. Horrifying because when the final page is turned you have to wonder if it could really occur in the world around us.

This is a comic, after all, and the pictures have to do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, this does not happen in the novel and it serves to circumvent the mystery of the Straw Men as revealed later on. How detrimental it is to the plot remains to be seen in later issues of this series. The other departure occurs in Santa Monica. Again, this scene does not occur as such in the novel and in the comic it overly simplifies the villain, painting him as a stereotypical pedophilic lurker when he is actually much more complex, calculating, and manipulative.


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The editorial opined that had it not been for Denslow's pictures, the readers would be unable to picture precisely the figures of Dorothy, Toto, and the other characters. The distinctive look led to imitators at the time, most notably Eva Katherine Gibson's Zauberlinda, the Wise Witch , which mimicked both the typography and the illustration design of Oz. Denslow's illustrations were so well known that merchants of many products obtained permission to use them to promote their wares.

Costume jewelry, mechanical toys, and soap were also designed using their figures. A new edition of the book appeared in , with illustrations by Evelyn Copelman. Baum acknowledged the influence of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen , which he was deliberately revising in his "American fairy tales" to include the wonder without the horrors. Local legend has it that Oz, also known as The Emerald City, was inspired by a prominent castle-like building in the community of Castle Park near Holland, Michigan , where Baum lived during the summer.

The yellow brick road was derived from a road at that time paved by yellow bricks, located in Peekskill, New York, where Baum attended the Peekskill Military Academy. Baum was a frequent guest at the hotel and had written several of the Oz books there. Some critics have suggested that Baum may have been inspired by Australia , a relatively new country at the time of the book's original publication.

Australia is often colloquially spelled or referred to as "Oz". Furthermore, in Ozma of Oz , Dorothy gets back to Oz as the result of a storm at sea while she and Uncle Henry are traveling by ship to Australia. Like Australia, Oz is an island continent somewhere to the west of California with inhabited regions bordering on a great desert. One might imagine that Baum intended Oz to be Australia, or perhaps a magical land in the center of the great Australian desert. Carroll rejected the Victorian-era ideology that children's books should be saturated with morals , instead believing that children should be allowed to be children.

Building on Carroll's style of numerous images accompanying the text, Baum combined the conventional features of a fairy tale witches and wizards with the well-known things in his readers' lives scarecrows and cornfields. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is considered by some to be the first American fairy tale because of its references to clear American locations such as Kansas and Omaha.

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Baum agreed with authors such as Carroll that fantasy literature was important for children, along with numerous illustrations, but he also wanted to create a story that had recognizable American elements in it, such as farming and industrialization. Stories such as " Rip Van Winkle ", published in , and " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ", published in , predate the Oz tales by several decades. Many of the characters, props, and ideas in the novel were drawn from Baum's experiences. As a child, Baum frequently had nightmares of a scarecrow pursuing him across a field.

Moments before the scarecrow's "ragged hay fingers" nearly gripped his neck, it would fall apart before his eyes. Decades later, as an adult, Baum integrated his tormentor into the novel as the Scarecrow. He wished to make something captivating for the window displays, so he used an eclectic assortment of scraps to craft a striking figure.

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From a washboiler he made a body, from bolted stovepipes he made arms and legs, and from the bottom of a saucepan he made a face. Baum then placed a funnel hat on the figure, which ultimately became the Tin Woodman. Rockefeller was the nemesis of Baum's father, an oil baron who declined to purchase Standard Oil shares in exchange for selling his own oil refinery.

Baum scholar Evan I. Schwartz posited that Rockefeller inspired one of the Wizard's numerous faces. In one scene in the novel, the Wizard is seen as a "tyrannical, hairless head". When Rockefeller was 54 years old, the medical condition alopecia caused him to lose every strand of hair on his head, making people fearful of speaking to him. In the early s, Baum's play Matches was being performed when a "flicker from a kerosene lantern sparked the rafters", causing the Baum opera house to be consumed by flames.

Scholar Evan I. Schwartz suggested that this might have inspired the Scarecrow's severest terror: "There is only one thing in the world I am afraid of. A lighted match. In , Baum lived in Aberdeen, Dakota Territory , which was experiencing a drought, and he wrote a witty story in his "Our Landlady" column in Aberdeen's The Saturday Pioneer [24] about a farmer who gave green goggles to his horses, causing them to believe that the wood chips that they were eating were pieces of grass. Similarly, the Wizard made the people in the Emerald City wear green goggles so that they would believe that their city was built from emeralds.

During Baum's short stay in Aberdeen, the dissemination of myths about the plentiful West continued. However, the West, instead of being a wonderland, turned into a wasteland because of a drought and a depression.

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In , Baum moved his family from South Dakota to Chicago. At that time, Chicago was getting ready for the World's Columbian Exposition in After discovering that the myths about the West's incalculable riches were baseless, Baum created "an extension of the American frontier in Oz". In many respects, Baum's creation is similar to the actual frontier save for the fact that the West was still undeveloped at the time. The Munchkins Dorothy encounters at the beginning of the novel represent farmers, as do the Winkies she later meets.

Baum's wife frequently visited her niece, Dorothy Louise Gage. The infant became gravely sick and died on November 11, , from "congestion of the brain" at exactly five months. When the baby, whom Maud adored as the daughter she never had, died, she was devastated and needed to consume medicine.


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  4. Bossed around by his wife Matilda , Henry rarely dissented with her. He flourished in business, though, and his neighbors looked up to him. Likewise, Uncle Henry was a "passive but hard-working man" who "looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke". The stories of barbarous acts against accused witches scared Baum. Two key events in the novel involve wicked witches who both meet their death through metaphorical means. Baum held different jobs, moved a lot, and was exposed to many people, so the inspiration for the story could have been taken from many different aspects of his life.

    Baum, a former salesman of china, wrote in chapter 20 about china that had sprung to life. The original illustrator of the novel, W. Denslow , could also have influenced the story and the way it has been interpreted. Baum and Denslow had a close working relationship and worked together to create the presentation of the story through the images and the text.

    Color is an important element of the story and is present throughout the images, with each chapter having a different color representation. Denslow also added characteristics to his drawings that Baum never described. For example, Denslow drew a house and the gates of the Emerald City with faces on them.

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    In the later Oz books, John R. Neill , who illustrated all of the sequels, continued to include these faces on gates. Baum did not offer any conclusive proof that he intended his novel to be a political allegory. Historian Ranjit S.

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    Dighe wrote that for 60 years after the book's publication, "virtually nobody" had such an interpretation until Henry Littlefield , a high-school teacher. Littlefield's thesis achieved some support, but has been strenuously attacked by others. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become an established part of multiple cultures, spreading from its early young American readership to becoming known throughout the world.

    It has been translated or adapted into well over fifty languages, at times being modified in local variations. For instance, in some abridged Indian editions, the Tin Woodman was replaced with a horse. The film adaptation has become a classic of popular culture, shown annually on American television from to and then several times a year every year beginning in There were several Hebrew translations published in Israel.

    Thus, for Hebrew readers, this translators' choice added a layer of Biblical connotations absent from the English original. The New York Times , September 8, [44]. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz received positive critical reviews upon release. In a September review, The New York Times praised the novel, writing that it would appeal to child readers and to younger children who could not read yet.


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    The review also praised the illustrations for being a pleasant complement to the text.