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The Wizard of Oz

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Is There Really No Place Like Home?

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl’s journey through a literal whirlwind of events, The Wizard of Oz leaves the audience with a tagline crystalizing the young girl’s experience: “There’s no place like home.”

Early in the film, Dorothy makes the unorthodox choice to leave her home after a neighbor attempts to take away her dog and have him “destroyed.” Dorothy’s repeated pleas to her aunt and uncle, warning them of the threats, had fallen on deaf ears and met with indifference until the neighbor showed up at their door with an order from the sheriff. Even then, the aunt and uncle hardly put up resistance. It is at this juncture that Dorothy takes the matters into her own hands. The escape melds into a long dream – her famous journey to the Emerald City – in the course of which she finds “courage,” “mind,” and “heart,” all culminating in the catchphrase “There’s no place like home.” The tagline suggests that Dorothy comes to the realization that escaping home was not such a great idea; it is ‘cowardly,’ ‘mindless,’ and ‘insensitive.’ But is it? One could argue the opposite: Dorothy, if anything, showed tremendous ‘courage,’ ‘brilliance,’ and ‘sensitivity’ by taking a firm stance against the callousness of those around her. There are plenty of places better than home, especially her home.

I cannot think of a classic film with a worse moral than The Wizard of Oz.

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