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Symbolism in The Wizard of Oz

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Some Christian believers who may only look at the surface of this movie have suggested that it is occult-leaning and should be avoided. But I see rather a picture of the search of man for reality. There are many fictional stories which reveal the hidden heart of man and his situation.Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City And they are always the most popular of our culture – in addition to Oz, there is The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast,  and Porgy and Bess all stories of man’s inner struggles.

The American Dream

It is also a broad statement of the hopes that under gird the American Dream. Many people fail to notice that ultimately this is a dream.

Third, it is the reflected political vision of the “tired and poor” of Europe tossed up on the shores of the USA. Several Jews played a major part in the creation of this movie and its music, esp. Somewhere over the Rainbow. Even after a decade of war, flapper-excess, the Great Depression and the blossoming of the mob thanks to Prohibition these upheavals could not stem the tide from Europe which drove thousands of Jews and many others to America after World War 1 and beyond.

America is still the land of promises where bluebirds fly. Jews working on the movie expressed their hopes for America where a lost girl and three other flawed creatures could join forces to locate the person who will realize their personal dreams. The Wizard of Oz continues to be one of the top box-office draws of all time because it expresses the individual dream of all people for a happy productive life.

Dorothy is Everyman

I prefer to see it as Man’s eternal search to answer the basic questions – who am I, where am I going, and what is truth. In this interpretation Dorothy becomes Every Man. Dissatisfied with life, feeling put upon authorities and contested by evil forces (the witchy-woman who wants to dispose of poor little Toto, the dog) she tries to run away when the tornado scoops her up.

Dorothy was a real orphan. Her dreams meant escaping her unhappy life; many people genuinely feel fatherless and unwanted. Psychologists say some people actually believe they are not the real children of their parents.

The problem of denial and image

Denial of who and what we are can continue into adult life. Dorothy ends up in a totally improbable world where she accidentally kills an evil witch, is applauded by scores of very small people, treated as an honored guest and sent on her way to find the Utopian Personage known as The Wizard.

And we all want that, to be appreciated, to be sent to someone who can solve all our problems with one sweep of the hand. Christians sing, “Earth is not my home, I’m only passing through.” This is true – we are all temporary, still we all want a life of happiness and fulfillment. On the Yellow Brick road to truth, which is the Kingdom of Oz, Dorothy must deal with the three parts of a human being symbolized by her three companions – the will, the intellect and the emotions, which in theology is known as the soul.

The soul needs rest

The Tin Man needs a heart, the Scarecrow needs a brain and the Lion needs a spirit consistent with his true nature, i.e. lionhearted. The Emerald City is both a symbol of American money, the greenbacks, but also of heaven for Christian believers, the New Jerusalem built of emeralds.

Christians will notice that Jesus is compared to the King of the Beasts, the ruler of man’s total nature.  Salvation to a believer is the union of those three disparate parts of his nature under the leadership of God. God in this movie is pictured as a Wizard, which we find out later actually is not a god-figure as his clay feet are exposed. Dorothy and her friends (her three part divided soul) have been looking for the wrong thing. As do we.

Oz admits to being a fraud

Poor Oz. He knows he’s only human and playing god so when Dorothy chews him out for being a hypocritical control freak he quickly repents and promises to make things right. He tells the four of them they already have their answers.

There is no Utopia

And that of course is life. The Utopian fix-all God is not available and all the smoke and mirrors of secular life cannot hide it in the end. Yellow is the symbol for holiness, the road they must take to get to a heavenly home and a true God.

Along the way Dorothy and her friends must deal with a devilish attack as do all humans and they escape with help, some of it other-worldly when the poppies put them to sleep. Yes, we have angels in attendance.

Self understanding

In fact, Jesus is that kryptonite which handles the enemy’s kingdom for us, as we come to realize that we cannot be as perfect as we would want and that everything we sought for ourselves was really inside all along; The lion had courage, the tin man was a softy, and the scarecrow solved problems. Not one of us is anywhere near as bad off as we think or as powerful as we had hoped. Nor are we as lost as we had assumed. There is a God. Those red shoes, symbol of the blood of Jesus, will take her back home.

Dorothy ends up in her own bed, surrounded by the same people and the same problems but with a new attitude of gratitude about herself and her family. Salvation for a believer is not an event but a process of coming to make peace with life, its limitations and of course, its final goal.

Dorothy makes it – and so can we.

 #Biblesymbols #dreaminterpretation #dreamsymbolism

This will be a chapter in my forthcoming book, Dream Interpretation and Biblical Symbolism 

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8 Comments

  1. Very good…and most interesting. Something for which I must give some thought. We are NOT temporary, however, but our flesh and blood, we realize that Titus !:2 makes our hope brings faith in what is to come.
    Lindajm

  2. Could The golden brick road beg symbolism of why judas betrayed christ for gold and they have him supposedly hanging in the back ground?

  3. I have a totally different understanding of of this ,the wizard of oz is indeed a prophesy and thhe holy spirit has been revealing the symbolism in it to me for the last couple of years ..its not something that can be understood in just one day ,its a journey and I have had to learn as I go ..just like Dorothy in the movie so im going to try and explain a little of it as I see it and its almost completely different than what I have read here .From the begim
    nning of the movie which I haven’t w3atched in twenty years or so but really need to because I may get some facts confused here but the first thing I remember is dorothys little dog toto is captured by her teacher ?symbolism here is hate greed and jealousy this represents what satan wants to do to us ,take away anything that brings us joy or happiness because he is jealous because we have taken his place and he hates us ,toto represents our spirit satan wants to steal our spirit . next thing I remember is the storm or tornado ,this symbolizes the industrial revolution ,also in the bible book of job ..his sons homes are destroyed by great winds and job is ironically from a land called uz…when dorothys house lands on the wicked witch from the east ..I think this represents satan also the antichrist will rise from the east as prophesied in the bible this is what happens when we except jesus we destroy satans planand angels inheaven rejoice just as the munchkins did ,the represent gods children..and when we except jesus jits like having the ruby red slippers satan cant touch us ..he cant touch our feet jesus is with us every step he can only temp us ,the wicked witch s sister is symbolic of satan also satans already dead and been cast down but his spirits still here ..that’s my opinion now and that’s why the world is covered in darkness the earth is under a curse because of satan ,his pride ..the father of all lies he is the original sin he tempted eve caused her to sin and adam too this is when satan was cast out of heaven earth was heaven until the curse now satan is cast down and crawls on his belly eats dust every day and afflicts the heals of men ..he was in the form of a serpent when he tempted eve and this is why a lot of people are afraid of snakes they think they represent the devil but I think angels can take many forms we know they can take the form of humans ..we entertain angels on a daily basis.But my discernment of this is that now satan is bugs germs bacteria …they are a curse to us they afflict us every disease or sickness comes from some sort of bug ..virus this is satan death ..bugs crawl on their belly and eat dust every day …sulfer is the best antifungal antibiotic there is I think it can kill cancer or anything and the hybrids know this that’s why they don’t tell people they want to keep the population thinned down that’s my opinion …based on things like majic Johnson hes had aids for forty years ,,,guarantee they know the cure they probably came up with the disease in the first olace ..my opinion buy one day satan ,death will be cast into a lake of burnin g sulfer and will kill him forever I think all the bad spirits will go into worms ..hell is described as a place where the worm never dies.. back to the wizard here the yellow brick road represents the streets of gold that leads to the emerald city ,,the new Jerusalem is described in the bible as the color of jade and a emerald colored rainbow around the throne .. gods throne is the earth so the earth will have a emerald green rainbow around it ..my discernment of this is that the earth will be glowing green the curse will be broken and the earth will be alive again right now the earth is dying dark and dying sins killing it and when cane killed able god cursed the land heaven didn’t have weeds and briers and thorns and man didn’t have to work the land to get stuff to grow I think the earth provided people with food all they needed ..like in the movie the trees wanted their fruit back ..to me that was symbolic of man being cut off to the land the earth is mad at us because of sin the earth has gods spirit in it when blood is spilled the earth cries to god ,the tin man is symbolic of the earths resources metals material things cant bring you love or a heart .the lion needed courage all he needed was faith ..faith kills fear ..faith comes by hearin g the word of god ,all fear is is lack of faith the scarecrow represents the earths grains and food to me the crows trying to eat him are the greed of the rich ..eat the rich …good saying toto symbolizes dorothys spirit …satan is always trying to capture our spirit .even in this earthwe have pets ,like I have a cat .. its like the me of cats its my familiar spirit ..and yes satan tries to afflict them too flees and worms all types of bugs afflict our pets or our familiar spirits…thers the part of the movie where they go down the wrong road ..this happens in real life when we don’t read the signs … god always provides a way out though this road is symbolic of sin and worldly things when we sin we are on the wrong road the poppy fields are the scorcery satan wants to keep us under his spell with all the medicine of the world the false prophet is also represented in the movie as the fake fortune teller the false prophet will appear one day to be god and many will be deceived ..I think its happening right now with the cult religions of the world,so we have to have jesus to even be on the right road that leads to heaven and one day jesus will come back to rule with a rod of iron …peoples eyes will melt in the sockets the witch melting in the movie could meen the same thing maybe 2020 is the year to open our eyes ,ithink its a sign …how much clearer could god say to us to open our eyes 2020 seeing clearly whats really going on …I think gods spirit is being poured out for those that’ ask ..ask and you shall receive Dorothy gets the crown in the spiritual world this would be the crown of life …theres a lot that I left out but this is basically what I see ..hope this shines some light on things

    • This is the kind of thing I wish I saw from all my readers. The word of God, the symbols of God, are for you and your life. There will be many different messages because god has a personal message for all of us.

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