Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A LOOK AT GREGORY MAGUIRE'S REVISED VERSION OF OZ

A LOOK AT GREGORY MAGUIRE'S REVISED VERSION OF OZ
By Forrest W. Schultz
I read The Wizard of Oz when I was a boy and did not like it. Later, as a young man, I heard a lecture by Westminster Theological Seminary Professor C. John Miller which provided the theological reason of why it was so bad. The most succinct way of putting it would be to use C. S. Lewis's terminology: the traditional fairy tales are good because they were written by authors who were "Old Western" men, but that L. Frank Baum was a "Modern Western" man.
Last year I learned about a highly-touted play called Wicked, which was based on a book with that same title written by Gregory Maguire. This book is a very much revised and improved version of Oz -- so much so, in fact, that it is worth reading. It is well written with interesting characters and events.
There also is a lot of discussion of very important matters, such as the nature of evil and the purpose of life. Although some of this discussion is helpful in learning of the questions, it does NOT provide any answers. Also it is disconcerting that the character that is closest to anything resembling christianity, a "mininster" named Frex, is portrayed in a very unfavorable light while he is going about his "ministerial" work throughout most of the story, and he only becomes human and decent toward the end of his life after he retires.
Also the land of Oz is mostly dreary, especially when compared to a land like Narnia. And Narnia has heroes, a real right and wrong, a sense of purpose, and real accomplishments. Also the talking animals in Oz are ludicrous and bear no comparison to the talking animals of Narnia.
The moral of this tale is that Oz can not really be improved. It needs to be scrapped and replaced with a land like Lewis's Narnia or Tolkien's Middle Earth.
Amen!

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