The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy Essay

Submitted By ciliahh05
Words: 1699
Pages: 7

Cecilia Sanchez
Noah Segal Friday 11:00am November 28, 2012
Yellow Brick Road to Initiation The central themes of Greek mythology are not only found in Greek text books or stories specifically about Greek gods or goddesses like Zeus, Odysseus, or Aphrodite. Greek themes can be found on any bookshelf and even in movies that do not exactly state anything about Greek mythology. The classic American movie The Wizard of Oz follows Greek themes by the heroic initiation that Dorothy Gale embarks on her journey in the world of Oz that relates to a classic Greek myth, The Odyssey. Dorothy’s “Departure” begins with “Refusal” as a tornado comes into her homeland of Kansas. She is torn away from everything she knows. She no longer has her family by her side, the only sense of familiarity she has is her dog, Toto. Her world figuratively and literally changes color, as the sepia tone turns into bright beautiful colors when she enters the world of Oz. The fact that there is color symbolizes the way that Dorothy’s world is now full of freedom. Before, in Kansas she was not even allowed to have a dog but now she is able to bring him along with her on the journey. Also, when she was in Kansas she was more obligated to stay with her family, now that is away from them she has the option to go back to them, but only if she really wants to for the right reason. The fact that when she enters the world of Oz she immediately wants to go home demonstrates this “Refusal” she encounters on her heroic initiation. In fact, the entire journey she embarks is only because of this refusal to stay in this different world and the need she feels to return back to her Auntie. Since Dorothy is committed onto going back home to be with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry the Good Witch of the North, Glinda, comes in as her first form of “Supernatural Aid.” Glinda is able to clarify why Dorothy is being praised for “murdering” the Wicked Witch of the East and also offer Dorothy protection from the Wicked Witch of the West by making Dorothy wear the red Ruby Slippers. Glinda is also the reason why Dorothy knows to seek the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City in order to return home to Kansas. Dorothy receives three other forms of supernatural aid with the brainless Scarecrow, the heartless Tin-Man, and the cowardly Lion. These three forms of aid also protect her from the Wicked Witch of the West while Dorothy simultaneously helps them on their quests to get a brain, heart, and courage by taking them along on her journey to find the Wizard of Oz. Glinda stays cautious of Dorothy’s actions throughout the entire movie and serves as a sort of guardian angel making sure she makes it to Emerald City to see the Wizard. Dorothy’s form of “Supernatural Aid” is similar to that of Odysseus’s from The Odyssey. Similar to the way Glinda is there for Dorothy from the beginning, Athena is there for Odysseus in The Odyssey. Athena helps bring order to Ithaca by making Telemachus more authoritative and brave and also by helping bring Odysseus home. Due to Athena’s mentoring Telemachus is able to go out and search for his father. Athena, just like Glinda, offers indirect aid that pushes the hero forward to his goal. One specific way that Athena helps Odysseus is by dressing him as a beggar when he returns to Ithaca so that the suitors do not attack him when he arrives. Although it is Odysseus that is able to defeat the suitors, without Athena’s help he would not have been able to. Glinda and Athena direct and guide the protagonists in the right direction to bring them home. The Wizard of Oz and The Odyssey also share the fact that there is more than one form of “Supernatural Aid” in the heroic initiation. In The Odyssey all the gods and goddesses, except Poseidon, join together to decide Odysseus’s fate and conclude that they will help him out with their powers to take him back to Ithaca and Penelope. In both instances the protagonists would not be able to accomplish their goals without the