Study Guide

The Wizard of Oz Lies and Deceit

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Lies and Deceit

Here in Oz, nothing is what it seems. That scarecrow might talk. The poppies may hide super-doses of Nyquil. And those big scary witches and wizards might turn out to be tiny little people after all (or at least more easily dispatched than they let on). Speaking of tiny people, check out how those Munchkins blend in with the local flora.

Dorothy learns how to see through those masks on her adventures, which is part of the whole "standing on your own" thing that the Hero's Journey is all about. And she has to do it in Oz. There's not a lot of deceitfulness in Kansas (except for Professor Marvel, who probably can't fool anyone over the age of eleven). But the outside world carries lots of people who will lie to you for their own purposes. The secret to success is figuring out how to look through the fa├žade and find the proverbial little man behind the curtain.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Why do the characters in the movie try to fool other people? What do they hope to gain by it?
  2. How does Dorothy react when she realizes that things aren't as they seem?
  3. What are the differences (if any) between nice characters who deceive and evil characters who deceive? What does that say about them?
  4. How much of the "deceit" in Oz is a real attempt to fool people, and how much is just Dorothy not being away of how things work here?

Chew on This

Lies and deceit only cause harm in Oz. Whatever the motive, they hurt people.

Once the Wizard is unmasked as a ordinary man, he seems relieved.

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