Cui Malo? Fraud and Politics in the Wizard of Oz
19 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 16 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
In L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" Dorothy travels to the Emerald City seeking the mysterious Wizard himself. She finds a beautiful, prosperous, orderly city where everyone seems happy. The forbidding Wizard sends her on a quest to eliminate the Wicked Witch of the West; when Dorothy returns, the Wizard is revealed as nothing more than a “humbug.” How should we judge the Wizard? He has been a benign and successful ruler in the Emerald City, and yet he is a fake and a con artist who knowingly made false promises to Dorothy. Baum challenges his readers to think through the Wizard's case and judge for themselves.
Keywords: fraud, children's literature, lying, impostor
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