What Lessons Can We Learn From The Wizard of Oz?

Learn about the teachings of "The Wizard of Oz", the silver screen classic that has enchanted children from generation to generation.
What Lessons Can We Learn From The Wizard of Oz?
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 08 May, 2023

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a literary classic that was written by Frank Baum in 1900. Since then, it’s become a story that has captured the heart of many generations and is still relevant today. In 1939, this children’s book was adapted to the big screen and became a Hollywood hit. In this article, we’re going to tell you about the lessons learned from The Wizard of Oz and why you should see it.

The musical film The Wizard of Oz, produced by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, starred Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton, and Ray Bolger. Its success was such that it surpassed the book in recognition.

Since then, this story has been adapted to different formats, such as musicals, plays, comics, and songs. In fact, it’s one of the most referenced stories in popular culture.

What are the teachings of The Wizard of Oz?

This film tells the story of Dorothy, a young girl from the United States who is taken to a fantastic world by a tornado in Kansas. This place is inhabited by extraordinary and wonderful beings, such as tin men, good witches, evil witches, scarecrows, and talking animals.

When Dorothy is taken to this fantastic land, she’s immersed in a series of dangers and difficulties. She decides to undertake a journey to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz is, to ask him to help her return to Kansas.

Along the way, she meets a group of characters who give her many life lessons, such as a tin man who longs for a heart to feel, a cowardly lion who appears to be very fierce, and a scarecrow who wants a brain.

This production received 6 nominations for the Oscars and won two: Best Soundtrack and Best Song. It’s also recognized by the American Film Institute in the lists of the 25 best musicals and the 100 best American films of all time. Its teachings are so beautiful, they never lose their relevance and it has become a cult classic.

Now let’s take a look at some of the beautiful messages from this story.

Obra de teatro del Mago de Oz.
Adaptations of the play have been varied throughout history. Many movies and plays have been made.

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Lessons from The Wizard of Oz: Balancing feelings and reason

The eternal debate about whether to listen to the head or the heart is a dilemma we face every day. However, one might think that the most appropriate thing to do is to make a balance between these two areas.

The teachings of The Wizard of Oz show it this way. The Scarecrow and the Tin Man argue along the way about whether it’s better to have a brain or a heart, since one longs for the ability to think, while the other for the ability to feel.

In this sense, the movie allows us to reflect on how fortunate it is to have both capacities. As human beings, we have both reason and feeling. The important thing is that both are balanced.

Not all that glitters is gold

At the end of the movie, it’s possible to witness how appearances can be deceiving. Indeed, life can be full of disappointments and you can’t always believe everything you hear. In this way, the story teaches us that we must have our own criteria and not be fooled by strangers or ill-intentioned people.

We must be authentic

Just as it shows us that appearances can be deceiving, it’s also possible to deduce that The Wizard of Oz points out the importance of authenticity. This story shows that it’s important to act with sincerity, being true to our inner selves, and not pretending to be something we are not.

There’s no place like home

At the end of the adventures, the brave Dorothy realizes that there’s no place like home. In this way, the film leaves a message about the importance of valuing family relationships and being thankful for what you have.

Despite being an orphan, her aunt and uncle and the people around her love her. It also shows that even though we sometimes feel lost, there are always ways to return home.

She who perseveres, succeeds

Dorothy and her friends suffer a series of setbacks along their journey to the Emerald City. However, this girl and her companions never give up. She shows us the value of perseverance and making decisions that allow us to move toward our goals.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

In everyday life, it’s common for us to have many prejudices about people and to be deceived by the first impression they make on us. However, each person lives with different processes with dreams, fears, qualities, and defects. Therefore, it’s important not to be prejudiced and not to be carried away by stereotypes.

In the movie, what looks like a furious and brave lion ends up being a frightened lion. Each person is unique and we should take time to get to know them and understand their way of being.

Take care of your friendships

One of the most interesting and valuable lessons from The Wizard of Oz is the importance of friends. Dorothy’s journey and adventures are marked by the characters she meets along the way.

They became her friends and helped each other. In this way, the film teaches about the value of friendship and the importance of cultivating such relationships.

Amigos en una reunión.
Friendship is key to the story. It becomes clear that without the support of others, we can’t achieve our goals, and this applies to both children and adults.

The power is within you

A general conclusion that can be drawn from this beautiful film is that everyone has great inner potential. The scarecrow, the lion, and the tin man don’t have the best self-esteem. Moreover, they are looking for someone else to solve their problems: the magician.

However, the story shows us how the power to succeed and fulfill one’s desires lies within each person. Sometimes it takes a little self-belief and self-esteem to see the solutions. An analogy could also be made today with the importance of taking care of one’s mental health.

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The Wizard of Oz is also a feminist story

Now that you know more about the teachings of The Wizard of Oz, you will certainly want to enjoy this movie with friends or family. In addition to the morals we’ve already pointed out, the story is very interesting because it was quite progressive for its time.

Although today feminism has achieved many rights for women and more and more progress is being made on the road to equality, this has been a slow process. For its time, the narrative of The Wizard of Oz broke with traditions and placed a girl as the protagonist.

It also gave her qualities such as courage and the ability to decide for herself, showing a strong and determined Dorothy who was not dependent on a man to achieve her dreams. All this is due to the fact that Baum, the writer of the stories, was a supporter of women’s suffrage and women’s rights.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.