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The History Of The Geographical Setting

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 3743 words Published: 9th May 2017

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The classic children story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written by Lyman Frank Baum. This novel is published by George M. Hill Company and it was first released in the year 1900. This story has been revised and written in many ways. The first classic movie of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was released in the year 1939. In my opinion, this story is a classic story, full with moral values and entertainment. It teaches the children the value of friendship and love. This story is a clean story and is appropriate for children.

In my opinion, plot in a story determines the five essential parts of the story which is the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and the conclusion. According to Laurence Perrine,

Plot is the sequence of incidents or events which a story is composed. When recounted by itself, it bears about the same relationship to a story that a map does to a journey. Just as a map may be drawn on a finer or grosser scale, so may a plot be recounted with lesser or greater detail. It may include what a character says or thinks, as well as what he does, but it leaves our description and analysis and concentrates ordinarily on major happenings. (1988, p. 41)


In my opinion, exposition in a story is the introduction of the story. The exposition in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is when Dorothy, one of the main characters in the story, is being introduced. This character is being introduced by giving the reader an image of the surrounding she is living in. This part of the story introduced Dorothy as an orphan whom is living with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. It also described the dull surrounding that Dorothy was living in with her aunt, uncle and her dog, Toto. Toto is the character that always makes Dorothy laugh and preventing her to be as dull as the surrounding she is living in. The presence of the cyclone was also mentioned in the exposition. Dorothy’s house was swept away and was carried far away from Kansas and landed on a faraway land, the Land of Oz. (p.99-p.101)

Rising Action

In my opinion, a rising action in a novel involves a building up of tension and also suspense in order to make a story more interesting and grabs the readers’ interests to read the story. The rising action in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is when Dorothy met the Munchkins and started for her journey to meet the great wizard of Oz. Throughout her journey, she had made a few friends that is the scarecrow, the cowardly lion and the tin woodman. In my opinion, the rising action also includes the obstacles all of these four characters had to go through in order to go to the Emerald City to meet the great Wizard of Oz. Other than that, the scene where Dorothy and her friends finally met Oz and was asked to complete a very difficult task that is to kill the Wicked Witch of the West first before all of their wishes could be granted. (p102 – p. 154)


In my opinion, a climax in a story is the most intense part of the story. It is a part of the story where the scenes are more complicated and involves a great deal of suspense and excitement. The climax in the novel is when Dorothy and her friends are on their journey to kill the Wicked Witch of the West. In my opinion, the climax also involves the hurdles that they went through, the part where the Wicked Witch of the West sent wolves, bees and winged monkeys to tear all of them to pieces. The Wicked Witch of the West being melted is also a part of the climax in this story. (p.155 – p.164)

Falling Action

In my opinion, falling action in a story is less intense compared to rising action and climax. It is a transition before a story moves to the conclusion. The falling action in the novel is when Dorothy and her three friends return back to the Emerald City to meet the great wizard of Oz to ask him to fulfill his promises. However, the great wizard of Oz is no wizard after all. He is just a humbug. Nevertheless, the tin woodman, scarecrow and the cowardly lion respectively got their wishes. The parting of Oz in a hot air balloon leaving Dorothy behind is also a part of the falling action in this story. Lastly, the falling action in this story is also when Dorothy travelled to meet the Witch of the South, Glinda, to ask for her help. (p.165 – p. 202)


POINT OF VIEW In my opinion, conclusion in a story is where the story is resolved. The conclusion can either be a happy ending or a sad ending. In the story, the conclusion is a happy ending. The conclusion in this story is when Dorothy meets Glinda and asked for her help to transport Dorothy back home to Kansas. Dorothy clapped the heels of her silver shoes together for three times and was transported back home. The story ends with Dorothy being in bed, reunited with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. (p. 202 – p. 206)

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According to Laurence Perrine (1988), point of view is, “The story is told by a narrator using the third person”. In the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the point of view is the third person objective point of view. The third person objective point of view is a story told by a narrator that knows everything in the story and his knowledge is unlimited. The narrator also has the ability to move from one character to another in order to express the motivations and feelings of his characters. The narrator is able to describe each and every character’s emotions. For example, in the story, the narrator describes Dorothy’s emotions, which is sadness, when she is not able to follow Oz to go home to Kansas.

“But I don’t want to live here,” cried Dorothy. “I want to go to Kansas, and live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.” (p.187)

Other than that, the third person objective point of view could be seen when the narrator describes the leaving of Oz;

When it was all ready, Oz sent word to his people that he was going to make a visit to a great brother wizard who lived in the clouds (p.185)


Setting is divided into three criteria that are geographical setting, historical setting and physical setting. Setting also describes the place and time an event takes place in a particular story. In this story, only geographical setting and physical setting is involved. Apart from that, the mood and atmosphere are also important elements in setting.

Geographical Setting

Based on my understanding, geographical setting is a setting that involves the place of where the scenes of the story take place. For example, in this novel, the main geographical setting would be Kansas and Emerald City. For instance, Kansas is the place where Dorothy comes from. Kansas was the where the story starts with a cyclone sweeping away Dorothy’s house into the cyclone and ends with Dorothy returning safely to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. The atmosphere of Kansas is very dull and has a very gray surrounding. The mood of this setting is gloomy and unhappy as this atmosphere is parallel to the characteristics of Uncle Henry and Aunt Em which are gloomy and unhappy. The description of Kansas could be seen in the first chapter of the story, in page 99.

“When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the gray prairie on every side”. (p. 99)

Next, the Emerald city is also one of the major geographical settings in this story. Emerald City is where the Great Wizard of Oz lives and rules his subjects. Many significant events have taken place in Emerald City. For example, the scene whereby Dorothy and her friends had travelled such a far journey to Emerald City to meet the Great Wizard of Oz. Other than that, Dorothy and her friends had also discovered that the Great Wizard of Oz was no more than a humbug. Apart from that, Emerald City is also the geographical setting whereby scarecrow was granted as a ruler by Oz. Emerald City is a very beautiful city. The city is mostly of green color and the city also glows. This creates a beautiful atmosphere that and gives the Emerald city the mood of a very beautiful and great kingdom. This is described in the eleventh chapter of this story, page 145.

“Even with eyes protected by the green spectacles, Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful city” (p.145).

Physical Setting

Based on my understanding, physical setting is a setting that revolves more on the detail of the story. For example, the description of the surrounding, how one dresses, colors that are seen and how a character actually behaves according to the setting. Physical setting gives the readers a clearer picture of the scene and enables them to imagine the story themselves. The description of the coming of the cyclone, one of the physical settings, is described in the first chapter, page 100.

“From far north they heard a low wail of the wind, and Uncle Henry and Dorothy could see where the long grass bowed in waves before the coming storm” (p. 100).

The description of the movement of the grass is one of the physical settings stated. This particular setting shows the atmosphere of Kansas right before the storm and it created the mood of gloominess and chaos as everyone was running for shelter from the storm.

Apart from the cyclone, chapter two of the story that is “The Council with the Munchkin” also involves physical setting. In the scene where Dorothy met with the Munchkin, the characteristics of the Munchkins are described with much detail that will enable the reader to imagine the story. The evidence of this setting can be seen in page 102.

“They wore round hats that rose to a small point a foot above their heads, with und the brims that tinkled sweetly as they moved” (p.102).

The description of the dressing of the Munchkin gives a vivid image of how the character actually looks like. These munchkins created a very odd atmosphere to Dorothy as she has never seen such creatures with such odd dressings. The munchkins even felt odd when they looked at Dorothy, in fact, they feared her presence, which the evidence can be seen in page 103.

“When these people drew near the house where Dorothy was standing in the doorway, they paused and whispered among themselves, as if afraid to come farther” (p.103).

This creates a very odd mood as both Dorothy and the Munchkins are different from each other.


According to Laurence Perrine “The theme of a piece of fiction is its controlling idea or its central insight” (1988). For example, in the novel of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, there are a few important themes that could be seen.

One of the main themes in the novel of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” would be the theme of friendship. Friendship is an important theme in this novel as it portrays the strong friendship between Dorothy and her three companions. This could be seen when Dorothy, the tin woodman, the scarecrow and the cowardly lion passes the poppy field. Both Dorothy and the cowardly lion fell asleep in the field of poppies. The scarecrow and the tin woodman saved Dorothy from the deadly poppy field;

‘So they picked up Toto and put the dog in Dorothy’s lap, and they made a chair with their hands for the seat and their arms for the arms and carried the sleeping girl between them through the flowers” (p.135-p.136).

Next, the theme of home sweet home can also be observed. Dorothy still wants to go home despite the dull surrounding that she was living in. She had a beautiful country to live in, but yet, she tries everything in her power to return home to Kansas. This is where the theme of home sweet home could be observed as to Dorothy, nothing could replace her home.

“Send me back to Kansas, where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are,” she answered earnestly. “I don’t like your country, although it is so beautiful. And I am sure Aunt Em will be dreadfully worried over my being away so long” (p.149).

In this particular line, we could see that although Dorothy had a choice to be in a much better and beautiful place, she still went through all the trouble to return home as her home is where she truly belongs.

Thirdly, the theme of determination could also be seen in this particular novel. All of the four characters which are Dorothy, the tin woodman, the cowardly lion and the scarecrow, are all determined to have their wishes come true. They went through a lot of hurdles in order to complete their journey and fulfill their desire. They were sure that the great wizard of Oz had the power to grant their wishes and had gone on with the journey with a great determination. Their determination has actually granted all of their wishes.

The scarecrow was both pleased and proud at the fulfillment of his greatest wish, and having thanked Oz warmly he went back to his friends. (p.181)

Then the tin woodman went back to his friends, who wished him every joy on account of his good fortune. (p.182)

“Full of courage,” replied the Lion, who went joyfully back to his friends to tell them of his good fortune. (p.182)

“From the Land f Oz”, said Dorothy gravely. “And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I’m so glad to be at home again!” (p.206)

The scarecrow had a brain made out of pins and needles, the tin woodman has a heart made out of silk and stuffed with sawdust, the cowardly lion had gained courage by drinking a potion made by Oz and Dorothy was finally able to return home to Kansas.


According to Richard Gill, “Characters in novel have been specially created by authors when authors create characters, they select some aspects of ordinary people, develop some of those aspects, whilst playing down others, and put them together as they please”(1985). In my opinion, characters determine the mood of the story and the flow of the story. Characters are also the one that are able to affect the reader’s minds and feelings. There are major and minor characters and they have their very own motivations. According to Kriszner and Mandell, “Motivation is the reason behind a character’s behavior” (2007).

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Major Characters

Based on my understanding, major characters are characters that play the most part in a story. Major characters also develop according to the plot of the story and are present throughout the whole story. For example, in the novel of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, there are a few major characters such as Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. Each of these characters has their own motivations.


The character of Dorothy in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is one of the major characters, a protagonist. She is, however, a static character. According to Laurence Perrine (1988), “The static character is the same sort of person at the end of the story as at the beginning.” Dorothy is a static character because her character does not change in terms of personality and roles. Dorothy’s character’s main focus was to return home to Kansas from the beginning until the end. This can be seen in the first chapter of the story, page 105, and it can also be seen in the last chapter of the story, page 203.

“I am anxious to get back to my aunt and uncle, for I am sure they will worry about me. Can you help me find my way?” (p.105)

“My greatest wish now,” she added, “is to get back to Kansas, cannot afford it” (p.203)

The desperate need to return home to Kansas is this character’s motivation. The character’s motivation was the reason behind all the trouble Dorothy went through just to return home to Kansas.

Cowardly Lion

The character of the Cowardly Lion in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is a protagonist and this character is a dynamic character. According to Laurence Perrine (1988), “The developing (or dynamic) character undergoes a permanent change in some aspect of character, personality or outlook”. The Cowardly Lion is a dynamic character because the character transformed from being a coward to a courageous lion. The personality of the character changed and this character’s motivation is to gain courage. This can be seen in page 125.

“Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.” (p.125)


Similar to the character of the Cowardly lion, the character of Scarecrow in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is also a protagonist and is also a dynamic character. The motivation for this character is to have brains and the scarecrow had travelled all the way to meet Oz in order to fulfill his one and only goal that is to have a brain. This character is a dynamic character as the personality of this character changed. This character had transformed from being just a scarecrow to a ruler, replacing Oz. This could be seen in page 185.

“I am now going away to make a visit. While I am gone the Scarecrow will rule over you. I command you to obey him as you would me” (p. 185)

Minor Characters

In my opinion, minor characters are characters that play very little role in a story and most of them may be static. Minor characters also do not develop as much as the major characters do. In the story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, I have picked two minor characters which are Aunt Em and Toto, Dorothy’s Dog.

Aunt Em

Aunt Em is Dorothy’s aunty. She is the wife of Dorothy’s uncle, Uncle Henry. Aunt Em is a static character. Aunt Em is a very dull and unhappy character. She used to be a young and pretty wife but over time, she became thin and never smiled. Aunt Em might be living an unhappy marriage with her husband, Uncle Henry. This can be seen in the first chapter of the story, page 99.

“She was thin and gaunt and never smiled now”. (p. 99)

Aunt Em’s motivation would be to provide love and care for Dorothy. As Dorothy is an orphan, she only depends on her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry for love and protection. This can be seen in the last chapter of the story when Aunt Em was relieved to see Dorothy.

“My darling child!” she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. (p. 206)

Toto, Dorothy’s dog.

Toto is Dorothy’s dog. In my opinion, Toto is a flat character. This is because Toto is present throughout the whole story but the character of Toto is scarcely developed. According to E.M. Forster, “A flat character is barely developed or stereotypical” (1927). Toto is a cheerful dog, and likewise Dorothy, Toto is not influenced by the dull surrounding. The evidence is as the following:

Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. (p.100)

Toto’s motivation is to accompany Dorothy and to cheer her up. This can be seen in the first chapter of the story.

It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. (p.100)


Based on my understanding, stylistic devices, also known as figures of speech, is used to make a story more interesting and livelier in order to capture their attention. Stylistic devices are also used to analyze a text. There are many stylistic devices being used in the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” such as simile, symbol and personification.


Based on my understanding, simile is a comparison of things that are unalike by using words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to connect it. For example, in the novel (page 158), the dead and scattered black bees is being compared with little heaps of fine coal.

And as bees cannot live when their stings are broken……like little heaps of fine coal (p.158)

Other than that, the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West being compared to brown sugar is also an example of simile.

“I’m very sorry indeed,” said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her very eyes. (p. 163)


According to Laurence Perrine, “A literary symbol is something that means more than what it is” (1988). Based on my understanding, symbol can be a place, person, thing, event that represents another meaning. For example, the heart that the Tin Woodman seeks from the great Wizard, Oz, represents happiness and love.

“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” (p. 122)

Next, the brain that the Scarecrow seeks for symbolizes wisdom and knowledge.

“I feel wise indeed,” he answered earnestly. “When I get used to my brains I shall know everything.” (p. 181)


Based on my understanding, personification is putting human characters into other things, especially non-living things. For example, personification could be seen in chapter nineteen when the fighting trees are applied with human characters that are the ability to grab and seize using its branches.

He walked up to another tree, as he spoke, but its branches immediately seized him and tossed him back again. (p. 192)

Next, the application of human characters into the Scarecrow, a stuffed man, is also considered to be a personification. The Scarecrow is able to walk and talk just like a normal human being.

Dorothy was puzzled at this, for it sounded queer to hear a stuffed man speak, and to see him bow and walk along beside her. (p. 111)


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