Monday, August 28, 2006

You Haven't Met The Wizard of Oz Till You've Read the Book

My 6-year old daughter is going into 2nd grade and had to read 5 books over the summer--so we bought a few, and since the list we were given included it, we also bought a copy of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

I was surprised to see the book on the list, because based on the movie--I assumed that the book would be aimed at an older audience.

Not only was I wrong, but the book and the movie are very different from each other.

Unlike the movie, in the book:

o Oz is across the desert, not over the rainbow
o There are no farmhands or travelling mindreader to parallel the Oz characters
o The Wicked Witch of the West does not appear in the story until the Wizard of Oz sends them after her
o Dorothy and the Lion are captured by the winged monkeys, while the Tin Man and Scarecrow are badly damaged
o The Wizard gives bran and pins ("a bran new brain") to the Scarecrow, a felt heart to the Tin Man and a liquid to drink to the Lion.

And that's just for starters.

With all the news going on in the world, this is not exactly dynamite stuff.
But it will make for an interesting English paper.
I just hope I remember to tell my daughter about this ten years from now.

At Columbia, for my senior paper, I compared Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamatzov and the Talmud.
Like father, like daughter.

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