The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Lyman Frank Baum
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 15

Dorothy and the other travelers arrive at Emerald City. They are forced to wait for several days before the Oz agrees to meet them. The Oz only agrees to meet the group after the Scarecrow threatens to bring the Winged Monkeys. The travelers are taken to Oz’s Throne Room the next morning. The Oz talks to them in a booming voice. They cannot see him but he sits on the throne, and he assures them that he is the one. The travelers inform him that they have fulfilled what he had sent them to do. On their part, they hope that the Oz will keep his word to fulfill the specific wishes they had. The Oz informs them that he will think about it. In a rage, the Lion roars, in which it aims to threaten the Oz. In fear, Toto jumps over and knocks down a screen that is in the corner of the room. Behind the screen, there was the actual Oz. He was a charlatan who was using special effects to fool people whom he ruled. He had done so for many years without them noticing his actions. 


Dorothy and his friends are devastated to find out that the Oz is not a wizard. There are two reasons for their disappointment. One of them is the destruction of the illusion they have held for so long. They had believed and worshipped a supernatural being that does not exist. The second reason for their disappointment is the realization that the Oz cannot grant them the wishes they had. They had traveled for so long and faced various threatening situations and, therefore, felt that they had invested so much in getting nothing in return. They also realize that they cannot depend on outside spiritual forces to get salvation. Thus, they have to rely on themselves and, therefore, put more effort into realizing the different wishes that they held onto for long. The self-reliance concept has been widely used in children’s literature, especially that of the Golden Age. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is, therefore, a good example of the Golden Age literature.

Myths and fairy tales have also used the concept of shattering illusion as a way of detailing different stories. People have, therefore, had to face some of the realities they are exposed to. They realize that what they have believed is not true and, therefore, ensure they can rely more on themselves and the different capacities that they currently have. One of the instances in fairy tales where shattering illusion is used is where the coach of Cinderella turned into a pumpkin. The occurrence was more to her surprise.

Chapter 15 also shows that the Oz manages to benefit from being exposed. Now, he does not have the fear that someone might expose him and show who he is. The situation creates a paradox. Through the process of unmasking Oz, it shows that he attains the capability to assist Dorothy and her friends most appropriately. He is not a Wizard who can use magic to grant wishes. He is human and can, therefore, use his ingenuity to enable Dorothy to achieve her wish. to

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