Color And Its Uses
The use of color was very important in the book and film, The Wizard of Oz. Below is a discussion of its uses and the author’s background in the study of color. Hopefully, you will find this interesting. You will find specific citations at the end of this page, from the sources where each of these quotations were found.
Early in the book, we see how Baum was influenced by
color. It also appears that he may have
wanted to specifically make references to the
Oz itself is divided into different regions, or
countries. Each country of Oz has its own
distinct color (see diagram below). The
arrangement of this color scheme is also very important. “There is no great symbolic meaning to the
color scheme of Oz… but it is not arbitrary either. The change from one region to another follows
the principles of color theory. Each of
the three major countries visited in the Wizard of Oz has a primary
color, one of the three from which all others derive. Dorothy and her companions do not journey
directly from one primary color to another.
Instead their path passes through a secondary one. To get to the West, they must go through the
green countryside around the
Baum was very aware of how color schemes worked and had even written about the subject. “Baum published William M. Couran’s “The Scientific Arrangement of Color,” in the September and October 1898 issues of his trade magazine The Show Window. Baum wrote his own summary of its principles in Chapter 5 of The Art of Decorating Dry Goods stores and Windows (1900) at the time he was working on The Wizard of Oz.”4 So, the logic seen in the Wizard of Oz is also present in other works written or published by Baum.
its significance is also reflected in Dorothy’s journey through the land of Oz
as she is told to follow a road of yellow brick in order to find the Wizard,
who resides in the
One other factor involving color shows the influence
1 Gretchen Ritter, “Silver Slippers and a Golden Cap: L. Frank Baum’s The
Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Historical Memory in American Politics,” Journal of
American Studies, 31 (1997), 2, 183.
3 Michael Patrick Hearn, The
Annotated Wizard of Oz,
Company, 2000, p. 61.
5 Ibid., p. 51.
6 Ibid., 39.
7 The diagram below is based upon one found in Hearn’s Annotated Wizard of Oz,
found on page 61.
West Winkie Country Yellow East Munchkin Country South Quadling Country Red