Follow the Red Brick Road

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Rants, Reviews & Ramblings

An interesting question I read the other day asked about the Red Brick Road in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, and what one might have found at the end of it (as opposed to following the word of Glinda and the Munchkins, as Dorothy did, and following the Yellow Brick Road). What was it exactly they didn’t want Dorothy to see?

In the “Ding-dong, the witch is dead/We welcome you to Munchkinland” sequence, as the Mayor of Munchkin City is welcoming Dorothy, the Judge suddenly interrupts, angrily pointing out:

“But we’ve got to verify it legally

To see…

If she…

Is morally, ethically…”

During this interruption the Mayor seems almost to be mocking the Judge. Then others, presumably members of the judicial/political elite of Munchkin City, talk over the top of the judge, don’t let him finish, before the Coroner takes centre stage.

I would like to see a story from the perspective of the judge. Is he questioning the Mayor’s blind following of Glinda the Good Witch’s proclamations? A political intrigue about a conspiracy involving the Mayor and Glinda the Good Witch perhaps?

There are innumerable alternative takes and theories on The Wizard of Oz that suggest that the good and righteous characters aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. For example, why didn’t Glinda the Good Witch tell Dorothy right from the start that she could have used the ruby slippers to get home? Did she just do it so that the Wizard of Oz would leave and so she could take over?

So what’s down the Red Brick Road? The Yellow Brick Road, Henry Littlefield suggests, represents the gold standard monetary system, leading the way to the Emerald City (the green representing the US dollar,) which is ruled over by the Wizard (the President) of Oz (“Oz” being an abbreviation for “ounce”, which is the standard measure for gold.) So we could say that The Yellow Brick Road represents the path to Capitalism. Could the Red Brick Road then lead toward Socialism?

“Don’t follow the Red road! Red bricks under the bed! Don’t mention the “C” word!”

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