Meema story details


The story begins with Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto.  They live on a Kansas farm belonging to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. One day, Toto gets into trouble with their neighbor Miss Almira Gulch.  The grown ups either don't understand or can't seem to protect Dorothy and Toto from Miss Gulch who tries and almost succeeds in taking the dog away.  Tramatized, Dorothy imagines a better, more just world and sings "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow." 

Having decided to to run away, Dorothy doesn't notice the approaching storm and is unable to join the others in the storm cellar.  When the storm hits, she's struck on the head and experiences a terrifying moment when both she and her house are apparently picked up in the tornado.  

When she awakes, she finds herself in Munchkinland in the Land of Oz. There she meets the timid but friendly Munchkinds and Glinda the Good Witch.

Moments later, however, the Wicked Witch of the West arrives looking for her sister, Wicked Witch of the East, who had appently been killed by Dorothy and her falling house.  Glinda transfers the ruby slippers to Dorothy's feet before the Wicked Witch of the West could fetch them for herself.

Dorothy is understandably shaken by all of this and asks how she can find her way back to Kansas.  According to Wikipedia, "Glinda tells Dorothy to keep the slippers on and follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where she can ask the Wizard of Oz to help her return home. On her journey, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, who wants a brain, the Tin Woodman, who desires a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who needs courage. Dorothy invites them to accompany her to Emerald City, where they can also ask the Wizard for help."

At last they're off to see the Wizard.



The Wizard of Oz is rich with characters and themes for discussion.  But it's important to realize that not all of these themes will be equally engaging for everyone.  But regardless of the theme, remember to think about a) how it makes you feel, b) what you notice in the story and c) what else comes to mind when you recall the Wizard of Oz.

For example, you might start by talking about things you noticed in the story itself.  For example, did you notice how apparent deficits in each of the characters represent different aspects of leadership?

  • intelligence
  • compassion
  • empathy
  • loyalty
  • courage

However, such an abstract discussion of virtues is not for everyone.  Instead, you might talk about how it makes you feel.  Maybe it makes you feel uneasy.  Or anxious.  Or afraid.  You volunteer specific examples in your own life about what it means you to feel safe and at home.  You might compare that with going to a new school or to camp, a foreign country or even another community where people are different and you feel out of place.  You can talk about how it feels to meet strangers:  perhaps a little weird at first, but sometimes you can make friends and even work together like Dorothy did.

What else did you notice?  Did you notice that Dorothy is a young girl?  She does seem afraid and lost at times.  But in other circumstances, she seems pretty competent, confident, even powerful, perhaps more so than any of the adults in the story, all of whom suffer serious disabilities.  In fact, ALL of the principal actors are women.

What does it remind you of?  Can you remember the first time you saw the picture?  Was it on TV or in the theater?  In color or black and white?  Did you get dressed up to see it?

What quotes do you remember from the picture?  "If I only had a brain?"  "No place like home."  "We're not in Kansas any more, Toto."  "The man behind the curtain."  And so on.

You get the idea.

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Categories: filmTags: wizard, dog, tornado, storm, scarecrow, tin man, lion, farm, witch