“The Wizard of Oz” is a popular Children’s Literature in the world. After reading various of interpretation theories in internet. For example, Parable on Populism of Littlefield, Henry , Analogy between the Yellow Brick Road and the Information Superhighway of Gandy, Oscar , The Wizard of Oz as a Secular Myth of Nathanson, Paul and Salman Rushdie’s Theories of Oz and so on. Actually, there are huge difference thoughts between these scholars, most of them are more than ostensible story beyond The wizard of Oz itself.
Take for example, Rushdie rejects the conventional view that its fantasy of escape from reality ends with a comforting return to home, sweet home. On the contrary, Rushdie think it is a film which speaks to the exile. The Wizard of Oz shows that imagination can become reality, that there is no such place as home, or rather that the only home is the one we make for ourselves.”
Being a grown-ups of both non-native speakers of English and non-western culture, I hold the different view on the story itself.
Backing from my first impression of knowing the Wizard of Oz is when I was 10 years old elementary kid. The most attracting part is the interesting characters scarecrow, tin-man and cowardly lion but except for Dorothy-the little girl. In my view, I think the story it self has a clear explanation of finding ourselves. All of characters are looking for something that they thought they don’t have. However , is that true?
I , as be a Taiwanese, has influenced by American culture little by little since I was a kid.
We watch American TV programs , American movies and American value all the time. However, the most unforgettable culture shock for me is ” Searching for our identity”. I still remember there was a time that some typical characters in American soaper. They sometimes get themselves do nothing but thinking, wearing different clothes or fooling around. Those characters seem to be young man mostly. They always answer like “I am looking for myself” if people ask them.
Comparing with western culture to Chinese culture, our education doesn’t courage young man to think independently. We tend to follow what our senior’s thoughts. In other words, we seldom think about what do we lack in ourselves not mention about the identity of ourselves. According to my personally observation, lots U.S students or European students ,they would like to spend some time which is probably years to travel or work after compulsory education. They make themselves stop moving forward to next step in their life for a while. After getting to know themselves better, they will devote themselves to their further education or work again. Obviously, people who grow up in Chinese cultures seems don’t do so. Before getting to know ourselves better, we tend to rush to next step. And the worse thing is that we follow the others’ view when we encounter with choice.
Other parts such as the viewpoint of family value itself in the story which also stands for typical American value. Dorothy is a little girl with full of curiosity and eager to find a way to resolve her problem in reality which could represent for American characters in some respects. By meeting other three main characters, they also stand for some kind of symbols of finding their identity as well. Through consistent will of finding a way to go home in the story, The story then highlights the family values of American culture.
On the other hand, it took me spend decade to understand that tin man is used to be a real man and the real reason that he become to be a tin man is because of some accidence. I used to think that tin-man is a robot. I even ever ask other classmates’ view on tin man in class while our teacher- River was teaching the literature. To my surprised is other classmates also hold the same view as I have before reading the novel. What a coincidence. After all, as far as I am concerned, reading children’s literature is a totally fresh experience because what I’ve learned from the story is not only the difference values between western culture and Chinese culture but also the similarity on values which might be an universal tendency of finding out the goal of life. We maybe all lack something, that’s why we are here for experiencing this life.