We all know that the wizard of oz turns out to be useless and that his gifts are satiric shams – that in fact Glinda and Dorothy turn out to be the ones with the real power. The only ones that feel empowered by Man #1 Wizard of Oz are the three (loveable) goofs that attend/ escort Dorothy - because the Wizard's meaningless awards are like a confirmation or feedback, just like a student craves an A+ on their paper even though it was already an A+ paper before the "A+" itself was penned in red marker ON the paper. You get it?
And even Glinda only really helps Dorothy by creating that snow to undo the Wicked Witch's poppy-sleep curse. Even though at the tail end of the movie the Scarecrow points to Glinda's approaching bubble with, "Look! There's someone who can help you!" - we find out from Glinda that Dorothy "Doesn't need help any longer" (italics mine). I find those last two words important as well. Even though apparently Dorothy "always had the power to go back to Kansas" - she still needed help at the beginning of the film.
What is the significance that I am trying to get at? Though Dorothy is the source of all the real power in "The Wizard of Oz," as most protagonists are, I suppose, that doesn't automatically mean she has power over the pacing of the plot. The very important lesson? Power≠Needing No Help. How do I apply this to feminism? I philosophize that this indicates that a woman doesn't have to refuse help to prove she's strong, or to prove the men around her are weak. (I'm exaggerating the plot details/ point here, so that you'll get it! Hopefully you do get it.)
- hits basket “or I’ll bite you myself!” “You wicked ol’ witch”
- house falls on wicked witch of the east “no, no, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to kill anybody!”
- smacks lion on nose to protect toto “no but you tried to” compare to “she tried to, didn’t she?” plus “my what a fuss you’re making!” (My translation: "Grow a pair!")
- ~crying gets them in (not violence, just using a conventional "feminine" tool to pull the plot along)
- Hurt the witch when the witch tries to take off her shoes “I’m sorry? I didn’t do it”
- Melts the Wicked Witch of West “I didn’t mean to kill her. Really I didn’t. It’s – It’s just that he was on fire!” (Dorothy appears to be using that excuse quite often...)
- Dorothy re-opens the curtain after Toto (not exactly violence, but brave and determined)
- Shoes Click (not violence. I included this just as a reminder that Dorothy was able to just by clicking her shoes to get back to Kansas)
BUT BUT BUT is Toto as much of a Catalyst as she is????
Let's think about that. Toto, because he'd been chasing a certain ol' cat "every day"/once or twice a week, was the reason Mrs. Gultch got angry enough to want to "destroy" him.
Dorothy claims that this wasn't his fault, he didn't know he was doing anything wrong, that she let him go into Gultch's garden. So maybe Dorothy still reigns as catalyst. But then again, if there were no Toto, there would be no Toto to let into Gultch's garden, you dig?
Therefore it was Toto, after he had saved himself from Gultch's basket, was the reason Dorothy ran away. Toto was the reason Dorothy mastered the might to slap a lion right on the nose, hard. Because Toto escaped all by himself from the witch (from a similar basket) and led the trio (the scarecrow, the tinman, and the lion) to Dorothy's whereabouts, she was saved from death by hourglass. Toto is the one who initially opens the Wizard of Oz's curtain! That's taking 4 catalyst points out of the 9 I listed above from Dorothy, plus some additional ones all for Toto. Hmmmmm. Though I'd like to say that this is a woman's movie, let's not forget Toto.
After all, Toto does bark at all the bad guys.
- Dorothy talks to Toto. Dorothy often adresses Toto: "Don't be silly Toto, Scarecrows don't talk." (Yes, thinks Toto, and neither do I!)
- A interesting tidbit: Dorothy, the Trio, and the Wicked Witch of the West are shown to be literate. Dorothy in the opening is seen with a pile of schoolbooks strapped in a buckle as was done in her presumed time period; Dorothy and the Trio (Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion) read the Notice in front of the city of Oz "Door out of Order, Please Knock" - Dorothy pointing at each word as they read it aloud together. Both of these instances not only show her literacy, but stress the newness of it in her schoolgirl mentality and approach to reading, as a child, a kid. (The Wicked Witch is shown to know how to read when she writes "Surrender Dorothy" in the sky with her broom-smoke.)
- Dorothy has a sort of stiff school-girl posture, - gentle, but rigid enough to indicate that her polite manners and language are new to her, freshly taught, if beginning to become second-nature. Her arms are often held up bent at the elbow, he back straight, her movements neat and gentle, but retaining a certain suddenness of movement that retains the simplicity of an impulsive child. Wow, I'm not sure that description made sense! Anyhow, her "schoolgirl" posture is in my opinion as much "SCHOOL" as it is "GIRL," and that Judy Garland isn't simply trying to be a sterotypical "lady," but rather a believable girl who has been told the proper way to behave. Example? "Well, we haven't really met properly, have we? - How do you do? [with a curtsy]" - "very well thank you": all in with a very rehearsed demeanor, a smile on her face for remembering how to meet someone new in the right and "proper" way.