April 20, 2021

#08-073: The Wizard of Oz

black-and-white publicity still of (left to right) a man in a lion costume, a girl in a pretty dress, a man dressed as a scarecrow, and a man made of tin. All seem to be animated and laughing.
The Lion, the Girl, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man

Note: One of my favorite films (featuring one of my favorite songs) tells the story of an orphaned girl who learns "there's no place like home,"

Get Ready: How important is "home" to you? What do you think of when you hear the word?

If you ever had me as a teacher, you were probably forced to watch the 1939 classic musical film The Wizard of Oz in my class. The story as filmed is a great illustration of the idea of the "hero's journey"--only this hero is a girl.

Dorothy Gale lives on a farm with her aunt and uncle (no mention is ever made of her parents). She wanders around feeling blue, pestering the three farm hands and dreaming of a place "somewhere over the rainbow," where everything will be just wonderful.

Into this depressing existence comes a mean old lady named Miss Gulch, who tries to take away Dorothy's dog Toto because he keeps digging in the old woman's garden. Dorothy tries to run away, and on the road meets an old con man named "Professor Marvel." He encourages her to return home as the weather changes: a tornado is about to strike.

By the time Dorothy gets home, the farm-dwellers have taken shelter in the cellar, and she's alone in the house. A window frame hits her on the head and knocks her out; she awakens as the house is flying through the air.

It lands on an evil witch in a strange place called Oz. A good witch named Glinda arrives and tells her she must seek help from a Wizard in the Emerald City. Along the Yellow Brick Road that defines her path, she meets three allies: a scarecrow without a brain, a tin man without a heart, and a lion who lacks courage. Each joins her in her quest, hoping the Wizard will help him, too.

After several adventures, including killing the sister of the evil witch on whom Dorothy's house landed, Dorothy learns she was able to go home all along, just by clicking her heels three times and reciting, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."

Once home, it seems she was only dreaming. But she recognizes that her three allies in Oz were in fact the three farm hands; the witch was Miss Gulch; and the Wizard was Professor Marvel. Dream or reality, her experience has taught her to appreciate the life that she has, and that there really is no place like home.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film)

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. allies
  2. cellar
  3. con man
  4. gulch
  5. marvel
  6. pestering
  7. quest
  8. reciting
  9. scarecrow
  10. wizard

  1. a human-looking "dummy" placed in a field to scare away birds
  2. a room located underneath a house
  3. an adventure undertaken in order to obtain something
  4. friends working together on a task
  5. repeating out loud
  6. bothering; annoying
  7. a miracle; a wonder
  8. a person who cheats others out of money; swindler
  9. a man who can (supposedly) do magic
  10. a deep, narrow streambed without water

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for April 22, 2021

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. d; 2. b; 3. h; 4. j; 5. g; 6. f; 7. c; 8. e; 9. a; 10. i