I bought this book sometime back in the days and it has been sitting on the bookshelf since then. It seemed quite out of place reading it as an adult, but a good book is a good one regardless of the reader’s age.
It is, indeed, the first book of its kind (that I read so far) in which the main protagonist does not absolutely wish to leave her Home to find new adventurous mystical lands in spite of her gray life, gray Aunt, gray Uncle, gray House and gray everything else. One would think that a girl would get bored in a place like this, instead Dorothy quite enjoys her daily life. When her world disappears before her eyes and she lands in a magical world, her very first thought is to get back home: which, frankly speaking, is what someone would expect from a sensible person in that situation but it is not necessarily how novels tend to unfold.
Nevertheless, she finds new friends along the way, she travels long miles, she defeats witches, she gains the respect and affect from entire cities: she becomes a heroine. She, however, remains coherent with her decision: she has to get Home, to her gray and quite lonely daily life.
I’ve always read about young adventurers, with whom I often identify, who would throw themselves into the unknown just to have a few of the many experiences Dorothy had. When they first step into their new chapter of life they swear to never want to get back, and that they will soon find happiness in the new-found land. Surely they eventually get back to their daily life because they miss their family and a familiar reality, but Dorothy is never bothered by the thought of remaining in Oz and enjoying the riches it has to offer.
Another theme that I quite enjoyed is the concept of how people are never satisfied with what they have, or rather are not aware of it. Take for example the Lion: who complains he is not courageous enough to truly portray his role as a King of the forest. He actually represents the definition of courageous, as courage, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation”. He commits the mistake of believing that being brave means to never have fear.
Tin Man turns out to be the most loving and sensitive character, so he actually would not need a heart; and Scarecrow is clearly the brightest as he is the one capable of solving all the problems that the group encounters. Even Dorothy herself wishes something she always had: the possibility to get back home (alias, the witch’s silver shoes).
So, that triggered my curiosity. I always had, like many other people, the fear of not being enough: specific to my situation the fear of not being clever enough. Am I like the Scarecrow, who only needed time to develop its intelligence? Am I, perhaps, already bright without seeing it and I am looking for a Wizard of Oz to grant me this quality?