LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature


on March 21, 2013 1:49pm

In class we talked about if a novel could be considered a classic if there was a popular fan base and the book was enjoyable to read. Many people see The Wizard of Oz like Twilight or Harry Potter even, but I believe we should examine this further. What is a classic anyways? We read novels like Pride and Prejudice, Robinson Crusoe, or David Copperfield and think that because they might be somewhat dry or for an older audience that they embody the qualities that make a classic novel. But I believe that The Wizard of Oz fits into the category.

Even though Baum was ahead of his time with his series by making memorabilia, he is no different than say Jane Austen. She might not have advertised like Baum did, but today her novels are immensely popular, there are hundreds of book clubs and societies in her name; so does this make her work any less credible? Absolutely not. Thus, I believe that Baum’s work in The Wizard of Oz is definitely a classic! When reading the novel, the world created was incredible! He might have drawn from Carroll, but his ideas were inventive. One of the largest characters in the novel, the Wizard, was in fact only a con man tricking the people into thinking he was granting their wishes. I believe that Baum was genius for coming up with a back story like that.

All in all, the novel allows children to explore new worlds and expand their creativity. There is a large following of the book, but it is appropriate because the book deserves recognition. Even though he profited greatly from the novels, he is not unlike many of his predecessors before him who became very wealthy off of their works; and many of those books are considered classics today.


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