Trauma, Creativity, and Unconscious Confessions: The Lost Childhood History Behind L. Frank Baum's the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

64 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2011 Last revised: 11 Aug 2011

Reginald Leamon Robinson

Howard University School of Law

Date Written: July 25, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Trauma, Childhood Maltreatment, Literary Analysis, Repression, Psycho-Existentialism, Eastern Metaphysics

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Reginald Leamon, Trauma, Creativity, and Unconscious Confessions: The Lost Childhood History Behind L. Frank Baum's the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (July 25, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1904605 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1904605

Reginald Leamon Robinson (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

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