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Old 11-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #1996
Slayer_of_Kings
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The Wizard of Oz (1939)- Interesting to watch this again after I now know what it means. L. Frank Baum's tale is not just an innocent children's fairy tale but rather a political allegory for the Populist movement of the late 19th century (L. Frank Baum was a staunch Populist). Dorothy comes from Kansas (one of the main Populist states), which represents America. The Populists were for (among other things) the free coinage of silver on an equal footing with gold. She follows the yellow brick rode, aka. the gold standard, to find her way to the wizard that will hopefully get her home (to economic prosperity). Oz is Washington D.C. Along the way she meets the scarecrow (the naive American farmer) and the tin man (the soulless urban industrial proletariat) and the cowardly lion who is William Jennings Bryan, who ran for president as a Populist several times. The dreamy field of poppies is the pacifist movement which lulled Bryan. Toto represents the teetotalers of that era.

So Dorothy follows the yellow (gold) road, but is saved in the end by her silver slippers (in the book they're silver). And of course the Wicked Witch of the East (were the evil East Coast financiers and bankers--main boogeymen of the Populists) is the villain. The flying monkeys are intended to represent the Chinese laborers in the West who were thought in Populism to be taking jobs away from white workers and in collusion with big finance.
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