WWOO: Episode 10

Episode 10: Walking into the Emerald City!!!

Welcome to the Emerald City!!! We’re meeting the famous guardian of the gates in this chapter as Dorothy and her friends finally emerge into the city of Emeralds.

When we last left Dorothy, it was getting close to the end of Day 5 and they were awaiting Lion to wake up. We now start at the evening hours of Day 5 where the Lion finally woke up and his new-found friends filled him on what has happened since he fell asleep. In the book, we know that the Lion felt almost ashamed that such little flowers took down such a big creature, but what do you think he felt when he found out that a mouse kingdom helped him into the cart? I feel that he definitely wants to feel important which may be a sign that he already has courage, yet another example of a character that is not what they appear…now, what other series do we know where this is done? Hint: a major kid wizard who attends a famous wizarding school.

As the main protagonists continue their journey down the road, they notice that the color theme is picked up again when the fences along the road have changed from blue to green now, which can only mean that they are approaching the Emerald city. Every time I read these books, I just envision some old turn-of-the-century style play where the actors are inexperienced and attempting to put on a show as though we were sitting in a saloon. Its very exciting to experience that as there are very few towns with saloons. Also, as they check out the sights, Dorothy makes a statement that she has been eating fruit (and possibly bread) for the past five days. Where exactly do you think that she is finding this food in this land? Also, is she stealing fruit from trees or is it perfectly acceptable to take fruit from any trees in the area?

Interesting enough, as the characters point out that the citizens of the Emerald City are not as nice as the residents of the Munchkin Country. I wonder why that is. Is this a statement about industry versus farming communities? Here’s a great video that discusses this aspect. Also, I want to point out that the Land of Oz and Emerald City nomenclatures seem to get juxtaposed multiple times in the series, but it should be know that the Emerald City is in the center of the Land of Oz.

If you want to check out the inspiration behind the video, check out the documentary, “Secrets of Oz”, available on Youtube.

As they find a random house, the characters ask to stay in a green farmhouse on the outskirts of the Emerald City, which makes me think that there is a suburb of the city with no name. This also where the characters learn that apparently the wizard is so talented at magic that he can transfigure himself into whatever he wishes them to see, which we will get into the next chapter, which has its own meaning and interpretation. Additionally, during the course of the conversation with this Emerald City suburban resident we discover that Dorothy has never looked at a map of Kansas and no one in this land of magic still has never discussed the idea of where Oz is connected to other areas in related to where its located, even though Baum suggests that Oz is somewhere on planet Earth due to the path of the tornado. However, even if it is a magic tornado as a form of transportation, is it hidden as it travels or is there some other fact that we are missing? It is great to have such variation in these stories as it leaves so much open for interpretation from a variety of different perspectives.

As Day 6 opens, we find Dorothy and her friends continue to their journey to the Emerald City and the beautiful glow across the horizon. As we later discover in another book that the Emerald City was created on a falsehood, which really makes a statement about the corruption amongst the creation of municipalities. Now, the interpretation of the guardian of the gate seems to be very limited here as Baum describes exactly the entrance process into the city. First, they ring a bell. Second, they enter a high-arched room. Next, they were asked the reason for visiting the Emerald City, which really put off the Guardian of the Gate. Lastly, they get spectacles to wear in the city. That last part really made me wonder how fake this city was and how real the Emeralds were if they did that kind of damage. Were they radioactive? Was their a factory that made the Emeralds so sharp that they might cut the cornea? Either way, there is very limited interpretation of this, yet we have so many different takes on the way that Dorothy and her friends get into the city.

Now, in the Wiz, there was a mild mannered guardian who allows the quartet to enter into the city through a golden vault door and code.

In the muppet wizard of oz, Scooter played the guardian of the gates and forced them to wear glasses as Baum intended. The movie is definitely worth checking out as it is funny to see the Emerald City scene.

However, it is seen, this role is crucial to the story as the characters are crossing the threshold into the unknown and this guardian was the key. So, when we move forward into the next chapter, Dorothy and her friends get to experience the second of the Oz countries: The Emerald City.

Emerald City Glasses: there are tons of places to get Emerald City glasses but it might also be fun to make your own glasses if you are feeling crafty.


Character Analysis

Also, if you want to be creative, create a diorama or a visual representation of the guardian of the gates scene…check this one out