FINAL PAPER ONE
Summary of Studio 360’s BroadcastIn Studio 360’s Broadcast on The Wizard of Oz, Kurt Anderson takes on a variety of different aspects and theories seen from different point of views. We learn how The Wizard of Oz had an impact on the Russians by the way it captivated the imaginations of the Russians during the cold war, but we also hear how Neil LaBute, Nora Ephron, Salman Rushdie, and Bobby McFerrin used The Wizard of Oz to find inspiration and meaning in their lives. Listening to these different perspectives gives us an understanding of how culture and background makes one perceive The Wizard of Oz in a variety of ways. By understanding the background of Lyman Frank Baum, the original author of The Wizard of Oz, we can understand the reason for him to write the book. Baum had failed at every career he had tried to follow, such as being an actor or a newspaper publisher. However, Baum had a talent for telling stories, but he did not think he could make a career out of it until his mother in law convinced him to write them down. As a feminist, Matilda Joslyn Gage (Baum’s mother in law) had a great impact on Baum, and we can see the influence she had on him “all over Baum’s work” (?4mins). The Wizard of Oz first took off when the musical was staged in 1902 and would later become a Hollywood success when Baum moved his family to Hollywood to follow up on the success. From Studio 360’s broadcast, we learn that part of the reason for Baum to write the book was because he dreamed of a better world and a better life. He was simply dreaming himself out of his failed businesses and projects. He, therefore, used his imagination to create a world that took some of the strains that Baum had experienced in his own life away. Since everyone has problems on their own it is easy for all of us to let our dreams get carried away in the story of The Wizard of Oz. Since it is easy to relate oneself with the story, there is naturally a variety of different perceptions of The Wizard of Oz. Some people view it as a feminist tribute with Dorothy and the witches being lead feminist figures, while others see it as a tribute to the LGTBQ community where the cowardly lion could be perceived as gay and Dorothy herself as a lesbian. Since the movie and book were, and still are, so relatable for people it became a source of cultural references. According to Nora Ephron, The Wizard of Oz has influenced everyone of here movies and a variety of other movies as well. References such as “I get you and your little dog too” and “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Dorothy” keep appearing in movies all around the world in addition to everyday life. The cultural references of The Wizard of Oz are everywhere, the most interesting part, however, is how The Wizard of Oz entrenched readers and movie watchers from different parts of the world by letting them dream away into a better world as a way to escape their own reality. In Sovjet Russia, kids loved the book because there was no propaganda and they could truly emphasize with “Ellie” and dream away for a better world. On the other side of the world, in India, Salman Rushdie saw the movie in the 50’s who soon after became the inspiration for his book: over the rainbow. Rushdie discusses what home is and says that The Wizard of Oz is about making a home. He argues that in fact, there is no such place as home, as Dorothy says, but the home that matters is the one you make and the adventure of making that home. This became a way for Rushdie to dream about creating an adventure and a home for himself. In all essence, everyone perceives Wizard of Oz differently, and to a point that is arguably the intention Baum had behind the book. It is a way for everyone to recognize themselves, with themes such as uncertainty, love, and of course home.