Coloring Oz – Dorothy 2

Some folks have a weird idea that boys won’t read stories that feature girls as heroes. I suspect that the boys who have that problem were already indoctrinated with that thought by their parents before they’d learned to read. One of my early role models was a little girl from Kansas who, when dropped in a foreign land, didn’t cry or fuss she just picked herself up and set off for home. Not because she missed it really. Dorothy Gale wanted to get home so that her Aunt and Uncle wouldn’t worry about her. She slapped a lion, made some good friends, killed a couple of witches and overthrew a wizard. All before her eighth birthday.

She went back four more times before finally bringing Aunt Em and Uncle Henry with her and settling down in Oz on the fifth excursion. She wasn’t anything special. She wasn’t an outcast or a weirdo or a extraordinarily talented. She wasn’t a chosen one. There were no prophecies of her coming. She was just determined, smart, practical and knew how to look out for her friends.

4 thoughts on “Coloring Oz – Dorothy 2

  1. What you said.

    In high school, Mrs Ranch-Apple’s psychology class, we were supposed to bring in something that had deep meaning for us and describe that meaning to the class. I brought in The Wizard of Oz. I figured I couldn’t be any weirder to them than they already thought me so I might as well talk about something that meant something. And I said pretty much what you said, that I saw Dorothy as a role model, a defenseless child yanked out of her element, dumped into a strange land, who had to survive not so much by her wits as by being practical. Wash your face, pack a lunch, ask directions. That she picked up helpful friends along the way wasn’t because she was gregarious or great entertainment but because she was solidly practical. “Do you think the Wizard could help me?” they asked, to which she invariably replied, “I don’t see why not, and if he didn’t, you wouldn’t be any worse off than you are now.” It’s not like she never cried or was afraid, but she went forward because forward was the only way to go.

  2. She also had to help her friends out first before they were any good to her – get Scarecrow off his pole, oil the Tin Woodman, smack the Lion. (Wow, that all sounds … dirty.) They did a lot of the heavy lifting (and killing!) when things got tough but I seemed to me that that was about teamwork more than about rescuing Dorothy. I may have learned to appreciate and enjoy the Movie but I’m still frustrated that its portrayal of Dorothy is the one most of the world sees.

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