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Land of Oz

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The Land of Oz is the most attractive and delightful fairyland in all the world. In the book, Baum intended the land of Oz to be an actual real place, possibly in a different dimension that can be visited due to an open portal that is rarely ever found. It is stated that Oz is cut off from the rest of the normal world because it is all surrounded by a great vast deadly desert. Anything living that touches this desert, dies by instantly turning to sand. Oz is not just a delusion or dream that Dorothy had as it was made to be in the movie. In the later Oz books that Baum wrote as sequels to his first book, it is stated that the long-lost daughter of King Pastoria, Princess Ozma the child Queen and rightful ruler of Oz, magically cut the portal off and closed any possible way to be visited by outsiders to keep Oz pure from any non-believers. She did this after Dorothy Gale was made an official Princess of Oz. Ozma invited Dorothy and Toto live in Oz permanently along with a few other people including even Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

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Geography

Each country in the land of Oz has a specific color that represents the counties:

  • Yellow for the Winkies of the West
  • Green for the middle of Oz where the Emerald City is located and it's citizens who live there. The city is the capital in all the land.

There is a Yellow Brick Road in the land of Oz, it leads to the Emerald City. This brightly paved road runs many, many miles and is the most famous and known road in all the land.

This can be seen in the official Map of Oz.

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Oz is roughly rectangular in shape and divided along the diagonals into four countries: Munchkin Country in the East, Quadling Country in the South, Winkie Country in the West, and Gillikin Country in the North. These surround its capital, the Emerald City, in the center. The land is surrounded on all four sides by the Deadly Desert, which helps to protect it from discovery and invasion. Oz is the largest fantasy country.

History

The history of the Land of Oz is cloudy, since the various Royal Historians have given conflicting accounts of past events. In a sense, like our world here on planet Earth, Oz also is possibly millions of years old. And has so many secrets and unknowable mysteries that a lot is left to the unknown or imagination. And like all fairy/fantasy lands, imagination is what keeps Oz alive, beautiful and in existence.

The Fairy Lurline enchanted the Land of Oz so that it became a fairy country, and left one of her fairies to oversee it. During the reign of Ozma's grandfather, four wicked witches banded together to depose the king and rule the four quadrants of the land themselves. Mombi captured the king and kept him prisoner, but was later conquered by the Good Witch of the North. The Wicked Witch of the South was conquered by Glinda.

When O.Z. Diggs landed his hot-air balloon in the center of the land, he was thought to be a Wizard and the proper ruler of Oz, due to the initials emblazoned on his balloon. He built the Emerald City and reunited the four kingdoms, although he lived in fear of the four witches. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz)

Dorothy Gale was brought to the Land of Oz by a cyclone, killing the Wicked Witch of the East. She also later killed the Wicked Witch of the West and revealed the Wizard as a humbug. The Scarecrow was crowned as the next King of Oz. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

When General Jinjur and her Army of Revolt conquered the Emerald City, Glinda decided not to help the Scarecrow regain the throne. Instead she began a search for Ozma, the rightful ruler. She discovered some collusion between the Wizard and Mombi, and finally restored Ozma to her throne. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

Ozma's inexperience in foreign affairs made an enemy of the Nome King and he later unsuccessfully attempted to invade Oz, after which Glinda erected a protective barrier of invisibility around the entire country. (Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz)

The Land of Oz was completely cut off from the outside world until the Royal Historian was able to make contact with the Shaggy Man via wireless telegraph. (The Patchwork Girl of Oz)

Culture

Population: Oz is inhabited by more than half a million people, although many of them are not made of flesh and blood. The Royal Historians claim that all of them are happy and prosperous. No disease is known in the land, and no one dies unless they meet with an accident which prevents them from living.

Government: Oz is an absolute monarchy, its ruler named Oz or Ozma. This rule is incompletely enforced, as many parts of Oz have never heard of the reigning Princess Ozma. The Emperor of the Winkies, the Monarch of the Munchkins, the King of the Quadlings, and the Sovereign of the Gillikins are all vassals of the Ruler of the Emerald City.

Economy: Although money has been used in the past, since the reign of Ozma began it is not a monetary economy; magic is a source of much of its production. There are no rich or poor people, and greed is unknown. Everyone is willing to share what he has in order to make his neighbor happy. (See: Money in Oz)

Everyone works half the time and plays half the time, and the people enjoy the work as much as the play. There are no overseers, and each is proud to do his best for his friends and neighbors.

Since the Land of Oz is cut off from other countries by the Deadly Desert, it produces all of its own food. Most of its produce is the same as the rest of the world, but there are some foods which are known only in the land of Oz, such as lacasa nectar and tamornas. Also, in many parts of Oz other commodities such as books and guns grow on bushes.

Legal System: The people of Oz are generally so well behaved that there is not a single lawyer among them. Eureka the kitten is one of the few defendants who have ever been put on trial. She was judged by a jury of nine (consisting of both people and animals) and was defended by the Tin Woodman.

There is only one prison in Oz and it is rarely used. Ojo is the only prisoner to ever spend the night there.

Flag: The Royal flag is divided into four quarters colored sky-blue, pink, lavender, and white. In the center is an emerald green star. The colors represent the four countries of Oz, and the star the Emerald City. (See: Flags of Oz)

National Anthem: The national air is "The Oz Spangled Banner" and there are many other popular tunes.

The people of Oz enjoy festivities and music. Performing groups like the Imperial Cornet Band, the Royal Court Band, the Emerald City Cornet Band, and the Tin Band play at many special occasions. (Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Road to Oz)

Dominant colors

Each of the countries of Oz has its own characteristic and dominant color. In the Munchkin Country that color is blue, in the Winkie Country, yellow; in the Gillikin Country it is purple, and in the Quadling Country, red. The area surrounding the Emerald City is dominated by green. Yet misunderstandings arise on the extent of this color domination. A careful reading of the works of the Royal Historians reveals the true facts.

An obvious point is that the Yellow Brick Road that winds through the Munchkin Country is yellow, not blue. When Ozma's party returns to Oz from Ev, after their first defeat of the Nome King, they land in the Munchkin region, and see its "green slopes and wooded hills" before them as they cross the Deadly Desert. (Ozma of Oz)

When Tip builds Jack Pumpkinhead in the Gillikin Country, he uses an orange pumpkin for the head, and dresses the stick man in a red shirt and pink vest, which are readily at hand. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

When the Shaggy Man dresses himself in splendor in the Emerald City, he chooses a rose-colored velvet suit, with cream-colored vest and stockings. The furniture around him is done in cloth-of-gold with scarlet embroidery. (The Road to Oz)

The Forest of Gugu lies in the purple Gillikin Country; but it is the home of a yellow leopard and a gray ape, and bears of "all sizes and colors," among other animals. (The Magic of Oz)

Other examples of color variety in Oz can be given, to show that the color scheme of Oz is far from uniform or absolute, despite the exaggerated claims sometimes made. (There seems to be something about Oz that leads people to hyperbolize and exaggerate on a range of subjects, including death and aging.)

Background

The Land of Oz was created by L. Frank Baum in his book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and is the setting for most of the "Oz" stories, including those written by Baum's successors.

The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man takes place in the Outer Zone, which is a futuristic version of the Land of Oz.

References

  • Suzanne Rahn. The Wizard of Oz: Shaping an Imaginary World. New York, Twayne, 1998.
  • Richard Tuerk. Oz in Perspective: Magic and Myth in the L. Frank Baum Books. Jefferson, NC, McFarland, 2007.
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