This weekend, I took my kids to see a children’s theater production of the Wizard of Oz. It was so much fun and wonderful to hear all the great music again. I had not watched the movie in years, and the last time I had was with my brother-in-law who, though a beloved member of our family, suddenly put on his history professor hat and reminded everyone of the political allegory that is the Wizard of Oz.
Did YOU know that this children’s story is really a parable on populism? Gold vs. silver. Farmers and workers versus bankers and industrialists. Ok, so in the book, Dorothy’s shoes are really silver and not ruby. And her silver shoes walk on the yellow (gold) brick road. Ok brother-in-law, I get it.
You can read this fairy tale as a political allegory about populism in the early 20th century, but instead, how about just enjoy it as the great children’s tale that it is. Sitting there with my kids singing along, I enjoyed the humor and the sweetness of the story. Maybe it is a political allegory, but this weekend, for me, it was just a great show to watch with my children.
Do we sometimes read too much into something? If we do that, then everything could be a statement on our politics, our economy, our society. And that sometimes is helpful, but this Saturday, it was more fun dressing up, singing along and seeing the scarecrow as just a scarecrow and the tin man as just a tin man. How do you see it?