The Wizard of Oz
by Frank Baum
Plot Analysis –
The Wizard of Oz
Major Conflict (Problem) =
– A Tornado causes Dorothy to be swept into land of OZ, and now she
needs to find her way back to Kansas.
– Dorothy thinks that life will be better someplace else (I.e. “over the
rainbow), so she runs away from home, gets caught in the tornado, and
ends up “over the rainbow” in another world, now desperate to find her
Crisis Events (Complicates the Crisis) =
– The Wicked Witch of West wants the Ruby Slippers
– Dorothy needs to get the witch’s broom in order to get help from the
– Dorothy meets 3 friends who are searching for qualities they covet, but
think they don’t possess.
– Dorothy is chased by the Wicked Witch who is trying to get the ruby
slippers (things are not as great as she thought they would be someplace
Plot Analysis Cont.
Climax (Turning point: Determines how the rest
of the story will turn out)
– The Wicked Witch of West captures Dorothy and she will die when the sand in
the hourglass runs out.
– Dorothy realizes that she is in over her head, realizes the consequences of her
actions (Auntie Em is sick with worry), and realizes she may die.
Conclusion (Resolution: The solution to the
– Dorothy kills the witch, gets help from the Wizard, and returns home realizing
home was always where her heart was.
– Dorothy realizes that…”If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't
look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really
lost it to begin with!
– Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow realize that they always have possesses the
qualities they were seeking.
Protagonist – (Central figure of the story; the advocate of a central
movement or cause)
– Dorothy: The main focus of story is on her
desire to “find her heart’s desire over the
rainbow” and all other actions revolve around
Antagonist -The person or force in the story that is causing the
conflict (not all stories have an antagonist)
– The Wicked Witch: This person represents the
force of opposition (problems) found in all
situations even when one (Dorothy) thinks it
Round Characters ( A fully developed character with both
good and bad traits revealed and background is revealed; Usually are seen
from various perspectives. )
– Dorothy: The reader knows several sides of
Dorothy. We know her as a teeneager who is
frustrated by the injustices of the adult world,
as a niece, as a friend, as a hero to the
Munchkins, and as an opponent to the witch.
Flat Characters (Only one or two traits given; usually only seen from one
perspective; usually stereotypical)
– In the Wizard of Oz, all other characters are flat, (the
Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Wicked Witch of the West,
Glinda, Wizard, and Dorothy’s family) because we
only know how these people relate to or oppose
Dorothy, and we really only know them by this
Archetype (A generic, idealized model of a person, object or concept
from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned or emulated.)
– Good Witch vs. Bad Witch: Glinda and the Wicked
Witch of the West represent the commonly personified
forces of good versus evil.
Dynamic Characters (A character who changes from the beginning of
the story until the end. )
– Dorothy: Dorothy realizes the her teenage naivety was just that,
naivety, that there is no perfect place, and that all that she needs
in life to be happy is already at her disposal.
– Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow: All three of these characters
realize that they do not need to rely on somebody else to feel
better about themselves and that all that they were looking for,
they, too, already possessed.
• Lion: “You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You
are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away
you have no courage; you're confusing courage with wisdom.”
– Wizard: The Wizard realizes that he can not deceive people to
Static characters – (A character who does not change from the
beginning of the story until the end.)
– The Wicked Witch of the West: Even in the
witch’s death, she still epitomizes the
doctrines of evil. “Who ever thought a little
girl like you could destroy my beautiful
Setting & Its Significance:
– Kansas: Kansas is significant because it represents
Dorothy’s reality and the place where she must
face all of her problems and the injustices of the
world. It also is the place where Dorothy eventually
realizes was where her “heart’s desire” always was.
– Oz: Oz is significant to the setting because this is
the land “somewhere over the rainbow” where
Dorothy assumed there would be no problems, but
soon discovers she is wrong – there are just as
many problems to face there as there was in
Tone and Mood:
Tone: The author’s attitude toward his or her subject,
characters, or audience.
– The tone of this story is Enlightening and
contemplative because it gives one life lessons to
consider; endearing because it invokes warm
affection for the characters; lighthearted; and
Mood: The atmosphere of the story.
– Despite some instances of the frightening and and
threatening presence of the “wickedness” of the
Wicked Witch of the West, overall the mood of this
story remains enchanting, lighthearted, and
optimistic (good does overcome evil).
Formula for Theme Statement:
Adj. = race, age, marital status,
Adj. & Name job, geography, temperament,
etc…(relevant to theme)
– When <define protagonist> comes in conflict
with <define antagonist/antagonistic force> in
a situation in which <relevant circumstances,
conditions, or events> the result may be
<define outcome, changes, epiphanies, lessons
Theme Statement cont.
– When a young, naïve, frustrated girl who
desires to find a place where there are no
problems comes in conflict with opposition in
this “ideal” place in the form of the Wicked
Witch of the West, in a situation in which she is
forced to overcome that opposition or
possibly lose her her own life, the result may be
that she realizes that there is no “perfect
place”, that injustices and trials always
exist, and, finally, that everything she needs
to be happy was already at her disposal.