Sunday, October 20, 2013

There's no place like home

In the article Creating the Myth  by Linda Seger, Seger writes about most movies being myth movies.  Myth movies are actually the stories in the film that relate to our own life.   "Myths are the common stories at the root of out own universal existence." (Seger 335) and she says that most successful films are actually based on these universal stories.  Seger begins to explain how  we begin to identify ourself in these films and that's why we keep going back to see them, even though they are very predictable.   Seger brings up the "hero myth".  She writes 10 basic steps about how most heroes are portrayed in movies and I've got to say as I was reading them, I was saying to myself, she's so right!  Step 4 explains how the hero usually receives help from an unusual source and uses the example The Wizard of Oz to help prove her points.

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the main character Dorothy Gale, receives help from the good witch of the north.  The Wizard of Oz is an American musical fantasy film about a young girl living with her dog ToTo and her guardians Aunt Em and Uncle Harry in Kansas during the 1930's. After been sleeping in her bed Dorothy wakes up to her house being caught right in the middle of a cyclone, where she then winds up in a technicolor world of Oz called Munchkin Land. After her house landing on the wicked witch of the east, Dorothy is then treated like a heroin to the muchkins and the good witch of the north, but is threatened by the witch of the west, and Dorothy then knows she must leave Munchkin Land. The witch of the north tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz can help her. On her way, Dorothy meets some  friends who join her, all seeking help from the wizard. After overcoming some obstacles, finally reaching Emerald City, the wizard refuses to grant any of their wishes, where then ToTo reveals the true "wizard" who is just a normal middle aged man who says he's a "hum bug".  He then grants all their wishes and tries to send Dorothy off home on a hot air balloon but it flies away without her.  Feeling down, The good witch of the east then shows up with red ruby slippers and tells Dorothy to tap her heals 3 times repeating "there's no place like home." This is the part Seger was talking about when the hero receives help.  After returning home, Dorothy promises never to run away again and although it is unclear if she was in Oz or not, Dorothy learned the value of family.

The website http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/852/The-Wizard-of-Oz/articles.html led me to an article on some basic information of this film.

1 comment:

  1. Wait. After all that talk about library resources, you went to an internet website for information about the film?! *sigh*

    You've got a decent summary here, but where does it fit in Seger's article? Is it a good reference? Why? What does it help her prove? Does she like the movie? Do you like the movie?

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