Trauma, Creativity, and Unconscious Confessions: The Lost Childhood History Behind L. Frank Baum's the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Reginald Leamon Robinson
Howard University School of Law
July 25, 2010
In this paper, the author applies Alice Miller's psycho-existentialism to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so that he could explore why Lyman Frank Baum wrote what has become a cultural icon. In The Body Never Lies, Miller argued that although children have repressed their traumatic maltreatment, their bodies will always retain memories not of the social morality that parents teach children so that they can rationalize their suffering, but of the actual, physical and emotional trauma caused by parental maltreatment. And so despite the repression, Miller argued that adult children need to express their childhood trauma, and they often do so through artistic and creative pursuits, which reveal symbolically their childhood maltreatment. After applying Miller's framework, the author concludes that more than likely Lyman Frank Baum was maltreated by his mother and father, which gets revealed symbolically through Oz's characters, plot, action, and resolution.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 64
Keywords: Trauma, Childhood Maltreatment, Literary Analysis, Repression, Psycho-Existentialism, Eastern Metaphysics
JEL Classification: Z00working papers series
Date posted: August 3, 2011 ; Last revised: August 11, 2011
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