Margaret Atwood’s visions and revisions of "The Wizard of Oz"

Teresa Gibert


L. Frank Baum’s "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900) and Victor Fleming’s film “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) play an important intertextual role in Margaret Atwood’s critical and fictional writings. Atwood has often been inspired by both versions of this modern fairy tale and has drawn attention to the main issues it raises (e.g. the transformative power of words, gendered power relationships, the connection between illusion and reality, the perception of the artist as a magician, and different notions of home). She has creatively explored and exploited themes, settings, visual motifs, allegorical content and characters (Dorothy, her three companions, the Wizard and the witches, especially Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West), subversively adapting her literary borrowings with a parodic twist and satirical intent. Parts of “Life Before Man” (1979) may be interpreted as a rewrite of a story defined by Atwood as “the great American witchcraft classic”.


Margaret Atwood; “The Wizard of Oz”; “Life Before Man”; fairy tales; intertextuality; parody


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