Pink Floyd's DSotM (Dark Side of the Moon) can be synchronized to TWoO [The Wizard of Oz (1939)].
DSotR and Emily of New Moon
Our missing link is the dark 1990s TV series EoNM (Emily of New Moon), loosely based on the 1923 L.M. Montgomery novel of the same name. What we can say about DSotR is that it appears to be the contrasting of the fairytale and the tragedy (See DSotR Annotated List). What we have for our tragedy, however, is just a bare-bones sketch of someone being described on the album as unable to adapt to the pressures of modern life, while gradually succumbing to mental illness. For those who like to have some "meat on their bones", EoNM offers us a chance to "flesh-out" our tale of the tragic. Set in the late Nineteenth Century, it is about a family that has difficulty adapting to change. In the novel, we see the characters groping around by candlelight, every new moon, while everyone else is using oil lamps. In the TV series, this dysfunctional family relies on oil lamps, while everyone else is converting to electricity.
Founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, originally claimed he wrote the song "See Emily Play" while stoned, when he had a vision of a girl named Emily. Barrett eventually left the band due to mental illness and after suffering a nervous breakdown. DSotM, recorded after Barrett left the band, was the band's first concept album whose theme deals with the "insanity" brought on by the modern lifestyle, and the album was in part dedicated to Barrett. Bear in mind that the below interpretation of DSotR does not necessarily take into consideration what the band may have been thinking when they produced DSotM, but is based on the album's mystic connection to The Wizard of Oz and Emily of New Moon.
Martha MacIsaac plays Emily Byrd Starr, the child of forbidden love. And as Emily says, all forbidden love, like Romeo and Juliet, ends in tragedy; so it is that both her parents die of consumption leaving young Emily an orphan, whom none of her uptight relatives want to assume responsibility for. Her aunts and uncles cast lots to determine who will have the responsibility of raising Emily -the task falls on Aunt Elizabeth Murray, who lives at New Moon Farm with her sister Laura and cousin Jimmy Murray.
Each of the songs from DSotM can be thought of as a ballad to one of the tragic characters with whom Emily crosses path. Each of these "ballads" shows us a contrast between Emily's "bright half" and this other character's "dark half", and how this character's dark half inevitably leads to tragedy. In the final song, "Eclipse", Emily's dark half is contrasted against Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz.
BREATHE IN THE AIR -Elizabeth Murray
This song was originally a song about nature, and it concerned the destruction of nature for profit. In this song, we can see Emily being contrasted to her Aunt Elizabeth. Elizabeth's only use for nature is in how it can be exploited for the good of the farm. Emily, on the other hand, is what we might call an early animal rights activist, who would prefer not to eat meat or eggs, if only meat and eggs weren't just about the only thing to eat in winter on Nineteenth Century Prince Edward Island.
The line "Don't be afraid to care" means seeing beyond one's own self-interest, but also seeing beyond societal prejudices. Although Elizabeth is a pious Christian, she tends to look down her nose at people, including Emily. When Emily's father dies, Elizabeth only takes Emily in grudgingly out of a sense of duty, since she regards Emily as an evil child. Many of the people Emily makes friends with are the kinds of people Elizabeth would never associate with, lest their ill reputations somehow tarnish her own.
Elizabeth's tale is one of tragedy in that, in the end, she doesn't "breathe in the air"; instead, she drowns somewhere out in the gulf, after she enters into a partnership with her brother to buy a fishing trawler, and the trawler gets wrecked on a reef with Elizabeth on board.
ON THE RUN -Eve Kinch
In this song, we can see Emily being contrasted to Eve Kinch, the daughter of an abusive man who comes to live with the Murrays after their house burns down. While Emily shows great fearlessness in confronting everything from death to sinister apparitions, Eve is the exact opposite, who shudders at the sight of her own shadow.
The tragedy of the person unable to find his or her courage is a life spent running from trouble, avoiding trouble, and hiding in life's sidelines. And this is how the story ends for Eve: Accused of a murder for which she is probably innocent, she becomes a fugitive, never to be seen or heard from again.
TIME -Laura Murray
As Benjamin Franklin once said: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." All of us battle time, and all of us, to some extent, suffer from an inability to manage time. For some of us, we try to live our entire lives in a single day; others seem oblivious to the passage of time while trying to make up their minds. Emily is more the former, while her Aunt Laura is more the latter, almost half expecting the world to stop turning while she is making up her mind.
Laura's tragedy is in her inability to make up her mind, while the world does keep turning. And while it is true that there is nothing wrong with choosing to remain single, Laura belongs to that class of persons whom we might describe as being "unhappily unmarried", or "unhappily separated" as is her situation later in the series. Laura would like to have a man who loves her, and maybe a couple of kids, but like the other Murray women, nothing that does come her way is ever good enough. Instead, Laura clings to the memories of things that might have been, and refuses to compromise when a "less than perfect" gentleman does finally come her way. For Laura, the time to find a suitable husband and have a child with him is just going to run out.
THE GREAT GIG IN THE SKY -Robbie Burns
In DSotR, "The Great Gig in the Sky" comes on after Dorothy has run away from home and as she is deciding that she needs to return to her Aunt Em. The sequence follows her returning home, getting knocked unconscious, and then being carried up into the sky by the twister. Symbolically, it represents the death of an innocent, who gets carried up into heaven. In Emily of New Moon, Robbie is the little orphan boy whom Malcolm adopts after returning from a trip back to Scotland. The boy feels unwelcomed because of his dark skin, and tries to run away from home. The family goes looking for him, but when they find him, he turns to move away, and goes over a cliff and falls to his death.
To contrast Robbie to Emily, we see that they are both unloved orphans. Emily gets a fighting chance only because her skin is white and she comes from a proud family, who otherwise would have had nothing to do with her. And although Emily herself doesn't feel entitled to any privileges for being white, or for being a Murray, this is her good fortune, as unfair as this may seem. So it is perhaps ironic that nobody thinks it more unfair than Emily herself.
MONEY -Isabel Murray
Money is something Emily never has a lot of, and it is something she would be unlikely to ever have a lot of either. It's not that she lacks talent or ambition, but she can't stand to see anyone suffer, and if a little money can alleviate someone's suffering, Emily is usually quite willing to suffer a little herself, just so someone else doesn't have to suffer at the expense of her comfort.
When it comes to money, nobody could be more different from Emily than Emily's Cousin Isabel. When it comes to money, Isabel is ruthless. She has neither pity nor sense of duty, when it comes to alleviating the misery of others at her own expense. Unlike Elizabeth, Isabel has no qualms about dropping a Murray child off at the orphanage, if that child isn't the heir to some family fortune. It is Isabel who forces Robbie to run away, when she makes plans to drop him off at an orphanage behind Malcolm's back. Even her own father, Malcolm, cannot get in the way of her greed for money. When Malcolm makes a living bequest dividing up New Moon amongst Emily, Laura, Jimmy and Isabel, Isabel feels cheated, and tries to have her father committed to the assylum.
US AND THEM -Perry Miller
This is a song about violence, while chore boy Perry Miller is the product of a violent home. When he was an infant, his father would take his anger out on Perry. One night, in a drunken rage, his father seemed ready to kill Perry, but he was saved by his mother taking an axe and killing his father. His mother ended up being condemned to life in prison, with Perry being raised by an aunt.
As a young man in the series, Perry is not the kind of guy to pick a fight just for the sake of fighting; nevertheless, his constant boasting and sense of honor is a source for rivalries to develop, which sometimes turn physical. Like many young men who feel a show of physical strength is the best way of defending one's honor, Perry eventually ends up in the military, and it is in the military where many such hero types meet their end. Although Perry himself is not killed in battle, many of his comrades in arms take a bullet, after enlisting to fight in the Boer War.
ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE -The Wee Angel
Emily, like Malcolm, has the gift of second sight, allowing her to see things which no one else can. The Wee Angel is one of those earth bound spirits whom Emily is able to see. While angels are usually depicted in white, Emily sees the Wee Angel as a small girl robed in yellow, and having yellow wings, as a way of symbolizing shame. This was Malcolm's love child born out of wedlock, who died of a fever when she was only young. As with Robbie, Malcolm's affection for the Wee Angel only provoked Isabel's jealousy -a resentment carried on long after the child was buried. And also like Robbie, who was hated for his dark skin, Malcolm does not love his yellow winged angel any less, because of what other people think -hence, the title of the song -"Any Color You Like".
BRAIN DAMAGE -Jimmy Murray
James Murray is the guy who milks the cows and does most of the farm related chores around New Moon. When he was a lad, Elizabeth, who was resentful of him, pushed him down a well, where he hit his head, and suffered a brain injury.
The tragedy of Jimmy's tale is that of guilt and remorse. Elizabeth is never able to forgive herself for what she did. Jimmy has difficulty remembering, but when he does finally remember what happened, he is overcome with remorse over what he might have become, had he been allowed to lead a normal life. Emily too suffers guilt, after her wish is granted, and Jimmy becomes a genius. When she sees all the trouble Jimmy gets himself into as a result, she has regrets about what she had wished for, and when she sees the wishing moon again, she wishes things back to normal. On the positive side, Jimmy is eventually able to forget what might have been, and carry on with his life. The song contains the line, "You re-arrange me till I'm sane" which is a reference to the way in which society treats those whom it has deemed to be maladjusted. So also on the positive, Emily realizes that she loves Jimmy for who he is, and not for who he could be, or who he might have been.
ECLIPSE -Emily Byrd Starr
Each of the above characters is contrasted to Emily in a way that makes Emily sound like "Little Miss Perfect". On the contrary, Emily has her share of vices, the chief of which is pride. If we understand The Wizard of Oz, we know that the wizard represents pride, and Dorothy's own struggle with pride is a lesson in how pride is overcome by humility. For this reason, Dorothy and TWoO serves as our contrast to Emily. This contrast between Dorothy and Emily occurs mainly in the final two episodes of Emily of New Moon. TWoO is our fairytale, while EoNM is our tragedy. Since the new moon is the dark side of the moon, DSotR is the story of what happens when the fairytale and the tragedy collide, as when the light and the dark collide during an eclipse.
In the final two episodes of EoNM, Emily has an adventure that might be described as paralleling Dorothy's journey in TWoO. It begins with Emily deciding to run away to New York with a publisher (Mr. Grand) to start a new life in the Big Apple. Emily begins to have doubts as she gets on Mr. Grand's wagon. Mr. Grand, whom we might compare to Professor Marvel, tells Emily that she can forget who she is and where she came from. Recall from TWoO that when Professor Marvel was trying to guess why Dorothy was running away, he guessed that Dorothy was running away, because she wanted to see big mountains and big oceans and so on. We know that the real reason Dorothy was running away is that she was just trying to protect Toto; Nevertheless, Dorothy says to Prof. Marvel, "It's like you can read what's inside of me." And thus, Dorothy's ultimate conclusion (there's no place like home) was about being true to her own heart. In EoNM, as Emily and Mr. Grand are about to set off for the lights of the big city, Emily tells him that she cannot forget who she is. And like Dorothy, Emily is ultimately convinced to turn around out of concern for an aunt.
The series finale (Seller of Dreams) is comprised mainly of an elaborate dream sequence and flashbacks to earlier episodes. Emily's journey into dreamland begins with a lovers' spat between herself and her beau, Teddy Kent. (Ironically, Teddy, or Theodore, is the masculine form of Dorothy.) Emily finishes a novel and submits it to Teddy for a review. When he gives Emily an honest but unfavorable review of the work, Emily is furious with herself and the whole world. In her despair, she tosses her novel on the trash pile, but when she sees Jimmy burning the trash, she scurries to save her work. As she rushes down the stairs at New Moon, she trips, hits her head and is knocked unconscious. Here, things go dark, as during an eclipse, when the scene switches from full color to a black & white dream sequence (the exact opposite of what we see in The Wizard of Oz), in which Emily meets an older more experienced writer, who offers Emily some tips on writing a good novel.
In the dream, Emily's mentor tells her to draw from her own experiences. She tells her that if she is writing about an orphan to remember back to her own experiences when she first found herself orphaned. And just as DSotM ends by going back to the first song (with the heartbeat and "All you touch and all you see . . ."), the final episode of EoNM ends with Emily "going back in time." Emily's dream then goes into a sequence of flashbacks from earlier episodes, recounting Emily's journey from the time her father died and progressing through her experience of coming of age as an orphan growing up on Prince Edward Island.
To put Emily's novel into some kind of timeframe, the last date we are given is in the previous episode (October 1899). Emily talks about events continuing through to the end of autumn, but doesn't say exactly where this episode leaves off, or where the next one picks up. The final episode doesn't give many clues as to dates either, other than the fact that it is cold outside, and a certain period of time seems to have elapsed since the previous episode. All we can say is that this episode is set somewhere literally near the turn of the century (i.e. 1 January 1900) -the end of a century, or the end of an era. When Emily's mentor tells her to start over, symbolically this represents the start of a new century.
A couple of significant events would occur in the early months of this new century that are important for symbolic reasons: In May of the year 1900, there was an eclipse of the sun over Prince Edward Island. (As with any total eclipse, this eclipse coincided with the new moon.) It was also in that same month that L. Frank Baum finally found a publisher for his children's novel -The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This also means that the final episode of Emily of New Moon originally aired on the 100th anniversary of Oz' first being published -the final year of a tragedy-filled century . . . or, the start of a new century/millennium -the chance for a new beginning.
Emily asks her mentor what she should do with her novel, perhaps hoping that there can yet be an "happily ever after" for her tragic tale. The mentor tells Emily to put it aside and start fresh. The important thing to note is that she did not tell Emily to give-up -she told her she needed to start over. Now every episode of this tragedy-filled melodrama series ends with Emily writing a letter to her deceased father, reflecting on these events as she experienced them. The final episode ends not with Emily writing another morbid letter to a deceased man, but with Emily beginning the first chapter of a new novel. Symbolically, this was a way of saying that it was time for people to put the tragic past behind them, and move ahead into the future -ahead into the new century.
Recall the scene from TWoO, where Dorothy, lion and Toto are poisoned by the witch in a field of poison-laden poppies. (see DSotR synchronization list) We know that Dorothy, who is saved by white snow, could be a symbol for Snow White, who was also poisoned by a jealous witch. Earlier in the movie, we heard the voice of Adriana Caselotti calling to tin man: "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Miss Caselloti was the voice of Snow White, in the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Romeo, from Romeo & Juliet, represents the ultimate tragic hero of perhaps the most famous of tragedies. Romeo died because he did not believe that Juliet would rise from her sleep, and so he killed himself. In TWoO, when tin man sees that Dorothy has fallen under the witch's spell, he begins to weep, and his own tears cause him to rust. And thus, like Romeo, tin man is done in by his own despair. When Dorothy is awakened by white snow, she symbolizes Snow White. Dorothy then takes the oil can and once again frees tin man, who could represent Romeo. This symbolizes that the fairytale overcomes the tragedy.
The eclipse represents a brief moment where the darkness overtakes the light. That which sires the darkness is pride, and it is pride that desires to keep the darkness permanently in the position of the light, high in the sky. Emily has this brush with death, while clinging to the past (as she was trying to save her dark novel from the flames). This novel represents Emily's pride -she was unwilling to admit to herself or others that she had done a poor job. In an earlier episode, when Aunt Laura told Emily she had sinned by praying to a pagan goddess for success on an entrance examination, Emily had said, "Then strike me dead!" for she would rather suffer death than endure failure. And as each is judged by one's own words, so it is that Emily, her first serious attempt at writing a complete failure, lies close to death. She recovers from her injury, after she finally concedes that the novel wasn't all that great, and that she needs a lot more experience, before she is a truly great writer. And just as Snow White was awakened with a kiss, so too is Emily, proving again that when the fairytale and the tragedy collide, it is the fairytale that triumphs.
If Emily is a somewhat obscure character compared to Dorothy Gale, this should not surprise us. Emily is even "eclipsed" by her own cousin -Anne of Green Gables. The TV series was a flop, although it wasn't all that bad a show. But Emily Byrd Starr is Emily of New Moon, and the new moon represents the "invisible" part of the lunar cycle. It has been said that DSotR is an example of Carl Jung's synchronicity, and for Carl Jung, bringing to the light that which was in the darkness was the beginning of the healing process. Jung divided the mind into the conscious and unconscious, and the path to self-actualization involved a person's becoming aware of the unconscious. (see DSotR: Coincidence, Apophenia or Synchronicity) DSotM, of course, ends witht the song "Eclipse" and an eclipse (where the moon's dark side passes before the sun) represents the bringing to light that which is the darkness -the unconscious.
So while DSotR ends on what sounds like a dark note, for Jung, this represented the beginning of healing, so once again, we see proof that the fairytale really does overcome the tragedy. A solar eclipse also corresponds to the new moon, and the new moon can be seen as the end of one cycle of the moon, or the beginning of the next. Emily's tale is a tale of tragedy, but Emily was willing to forgive and forget and put the tragic past behind her, and move ahead into the new dawn. The night is always darkest just before the dawn; this is why she is Emily of "New Moon" -the darkest part of the lunar cycle. But the new moon is not just about the dark -it's about a new beginning -moving forward into the new dawn.
In the episode entitled Paradise Lost, Emily takes a poisoned apple from the serpent after he commands her to take and eat it. For Emily, the forbidden fruit is her writing, representing knowledge. After Aunt Elizabeth finds the nasty things Emily had written about her, she forbids her to do any more writing, and tells her to confine her reading to history and the Bible. Emily, of course, disobeys, and continues her writing and reading of novels in secret.
Emily complains that a woman is the property of her husband, like his dog or his horse. (The curse of Eve.) In Dorothy's Kansas, the world seems to be run by women, and the powerful tycoon, Miss Gulch, epitomizes the independent woman, while her bicycle, which later changes into a broomstick in Dorothy's dream, symbolizes woman in the driver's seat. Dorothy's time spent lost in Oz represents humanity's exile from Paradise. This exile from Paradise began with the acquisition of knowledge (the Tree of Knowledge); likewise, Dorothy's exile begins when she takes the slippers of the witch of the east, which symbolize knowledge. The slippers also held the key to her getting back to Kansas. The reign of darkness began with the acquisition of knowledge, but what the man and woman had believed was a lie (the darkness). The knowledge needed for them to return to Paradise was the ability to separate the truth from a lie. This knowledge is represented by Dorothy's slippers, which Dorothy did not yet know how to use. This represents the fact that the secret knowledge was "buried" in the parables and fairytales of their youth, which neither the man nor the woman had understood.
Dorothy sets the scarecrow free, who represents the farmer; she sets the tin man free, who represents the scientist and industrial worker, and she tells lion, who represents the soldier, that she is not ashamed of him because he is a coward. And thus, Dorothy freed man from the curse of Adam. Tin man, lion and scarecrow, in turn, agree to help Dorothy find her way back to her matriarchal Kansas.
The darkness is described in the Book of Revelation as a creature having seven heads and given authority for forty-two months. One of the heads is described as having been fatally wounded but then healed. This fatally wounded head was pride and its owner was said to be the Roman Emperor who claimed to be the incarnation of Apollo (the statue given breath and the ability to speak.) In 1969, people in New York City witnessed a miracle which they described as statues coming to life. The statues were actually victims of an unusual brain swelling known as encephalitis lethargica, which caused sufferers to be imprisoned in a semi-permanent catatonic state. The miracle was a new treatment that offered hope for victims: Patients who had been virtual statues for forty years or more were miraculously resurrected from the dead -even if only temporarily.
Notice that The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, thirty years before the first Apollo mission to the moon in 1969, with seven Apollo missions coming over forty-two months and one of the missions having a near fatal accident. Notice also in The Wizard of Oz that we have "three wise-men" (tin man, lion and scarecrow) seeking gifts and being guided by a bright yellow road; a maiden whose pigtails symbolize innocence (but before being presented to the wizard the pigtails are undone), and lost sheep shepherding each other, when they hear what sounds like a choir of angels: In the poppy field, just before reaching Emerald City, our pilgrims hear what sounds like a celestial choir heralding their arrival at the Emerald City: You're out of the woods; you're out of the dark; you're out of the night." Incidentally, Apollo was known as the god of light. Notice also that as Dorothy is startled by the wizard, she exclaims "Jiminy Cricket" -at the time, a minced oath for Jesus Christ, while the character of Jiminy Cricket would not be "incarnated" until the following year, in the Disney movie Pinocchio. Another interesting fact is that Dark Side of the Moon was recorded while the Apollo astronauts were travelling to the moon and back.
Pride is the one who claims that the light is gone, and that the darkness is the light (I am Oz, the great and powerful!); and thus, pride sires the darkness . The one who believes in the darkness and tells others is its mother: Dorothy believes in the darkness: "We hear he is a wiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was." But just as pride sires the darkness, humility brings forth the light (I am Dorothy, the small and meek). In Dark Side of the Rainbow, as Dorothy is discovering the true identity of the wizard, Pink Floyd sings, "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." As Dorothy was discovering, the one pretending to be the light, Apollo, was actually the darkness. each of the main characters from TWoO represents one of history's or literature's most tragic heroes, while Dorothy is Joan of Arc. Joan's destiny was to reveal the true king of France and to expose the pretenders. Unlike Joan, Dorothy is initially fooled by the imposter; here, she represents humanity in its current state of ignorance.
Eve sinned because of pride: The serpent told her: "You will be like God when you eat of the fruit." God told them that they were dust, and that they would return to dust. God placed a curse on the earth, so that it would produce thorns for the man, and told woman that she would be the servant of man. It is one of the most misunderstood passages of the Bible: It is cited by many claiming that women are the weaker sex, and therefore, why it is good for women to submit to men. What is really important in this allegory, however, is not that Eve was a woman and Adam was a man. Eve could just as well have been a man, and Adam a woman, and this would not change the essential meaning of the story. Eve does not represent womankind so much as she represents all those vain individuals who would position themselves in the judgment seat of God. Adam does not so much represent mankind as he represents all those who blindly go along with those who like to play God. When God told the woman that she would be the servant of the man, this was a prophecy that one day, those who follow blindly would be given wisdom, and, like Dorothy, they would no longer be deceived by those who like to play God, but who are really just serving their own selfish ambitions.
In The Wizard of Oz tin man is picked up and dropped by an unknown force after declaring spooks to be ridiculous. This was to foreshadow that NASA, which did not subscribe to superstitions, would be humbled by an old superstition. It also was to foreshadow that the one who says the light is gone (the one who sires the darkness) would be humbled by the one who brings forth the light.
The darkness hates motherhood: Pride shows the deepest ingratitude to those whom it owes the most thanks. (As opposed to the light, which can refuse its mother nothing.) The darkness ordered his own mother assassinated, after several failed attempts to arrange for her an accident. Judy Garland, who had played Dorothy, died of a sleeping pill overdose one month before the lunar landing. In the movie, Dorothy is poisoned by the witch just before reaching Emerald City. But just as sure as the fairytale overcomes the tragedy, so too humility overcomes pride: Notice that the Apollo program suffered its humiliation on Friday the thirteenth of April (Houston time), 1970, while en route to the moon, when Apollo 13 suffered an on board explosion that nearly cost NASA the lives of its astronauts. NASA had to use the moon's gravity to slingshot its astronauts safely back to earth. The moon and the number thirteen are both a symbol for womankind. NASA had rejected the idea of the added cost of designing a space suit to send women to the moon, even though 13 women trained for the missions at their own expense. Recall that in The Wizard of Oz Dorothy got left behind by the wizard, when Dorothy jumped out of his balloon to catch Toto. (The explosion which crippled Apollo 13 occured when it was already 14 April London time. 14 April also happens to be the anniversary of the Titanic's hitting an iceberg. The captain of the Titanic, which was under British management, ordered women and children into the lifeboats first, because there were not enough lifeboats for everyone.)
For Emily, the forbidden fruit is her writing, which she had continued in defiance of Aunt Elizabeth's wishes. Her writing eventually causes her to become proud and judgmental, after she starts a gossip column. Emily boasts that her writing will make her independent, and she indeed has the brains to find her way in the world, but lacks the killer instinct like Miss Gulch has, that is the real determining factor for success in the "dog-eat-dog-world" of the Twentieth Century.
The reason Dorothy succeeds is not because she has any more of that "killer instinct" than Emily, but because of the ruby slippers, symbolizing the knowledge that would set her free. The first thing that Dorothy needed to learn was that sharing overcomes greed. The good witch, who gives Dorothy the slippers, represents sharing; the wicked witch, who demanded that Dorothy hand the slippers over to her, represents greed. Witches represent the scholars, and these two witches represent different ideas about how humanity should adapt itself to a society that is changing rapidly, as a result of new technologies and new ways of doing things.
Women's struggle for equality is represented by the witch's broomstick, which the wizard commanded Dorothy to steal from the witch. Dorothy takes the broomstick after melting the witch of the west. The witch is a symbol for ideologies, while Dorothy's taking the witch's broomstick is symbolic of American women's winning the right to choose, which was an important symbolic victory in the struggle for equality. (in the USA, this victory came on the heels of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, which ended American involvement in the Vietnam War. This peace agreement, in turn, came on the heels of the end of the Apollo Space Program.) The war was important for symbolic reasons, because it was a war of ideologies. At the heart of these ideolgy wars of the Twentieth Century was the conflicting views over how to divide up the wealth in the modern economy. While this war was going on there was fear that the world was inching towards global nuclear war -this is represented by the witch's hourglass, which symbolizes the Doomsday Clock and its "minutes to midnight countdown." The unwillingness by either side to compromise (which is really greed) symbolized that greed leads to death; the ultimate willingness by the US to make concessions symbolizes that sharing leads to life. So it was rather ironic that women winning the right to choose coincided with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. When Dorothy defeated the witch, she was not trying to harm the witch; rather, she was trying to save scarecrow, whom the witch had set on fire.
Each of the main characters from TWoO represents one of history's or literature's most tragic heroes (see DSotR: Synchronization List). In this story, however, each gets a "happily ever after", symbolizing the triumph of the fairytale over the tragedy. Note that Scarecrow could represent President Lincoln, who ended slavery in the United States. It is interesting that the symbolic liberation of women comes when Dorothy, who was willing to sacrifice her own life, saves the life of a guy who represents another guy who sacrificed his life so that others might be free. Notice in our synchronization list this other peculiar connection to another example of synchronicity: the Lincoln-Kennedy parallel. Notice that Kennedy, who had taken the world to the brink of nuclear war, was also assassinated. The witch tries to kill scarecrow, but she fails, due to the intervention of Dorothy. TWoO draws a comparison between scarecrow and Lincoln, but scarecrow actually represents Pope John Paul II, who survived an assassination attempt. A certain prophecy had suggested that this pope would be shot and killed. For those who understood this prophecy, the prophecy actually foretold that his life would be saved. The prophecy had, in fact, relayed instructions for bringing an end to the ideology wars of the Twentieth Century, while this pope was the one who had obeyed these instructions. But unlike Lincoln, the kind of bondage represented in the movie is a spiritual bondage: Ever since Kennedy had taken the world to the brink of global nuclear war, humanity had lived under the constant threat that all life on earth would be exterminated. (For those who understand, note that there is a much deeper significance to all this.)
Recall that Adam and Eve were told that they would die, because they had disobeyed. They had disobeyed because of pride -"You will be like God, knowing good and evil". Recall the sequence from the movie involving the pigpen incident. Each of the main characters suffers a humiliation in this sequence, all except Hunk (scarecrow), who laughs hardest at the others. Scarecrow is humbled in this showdown with the witch: It's a complete reversal of the classic fairytale, in which the hero screams helplessly and is saved by the damsel. The lesson here is that humility overcomes pride -the serpent: Also ironic is that this lesson in humility comes with Dorothy taking the witch's broomstick, symbolizing woman in the "driver's seat", while it was pride that had led woman to sin and be made the servant of man. Also note that the Wizard (the one pretending to be a god) is a male, while Dorothy is a female. Once again, what matters is not who is male and who is female, but that in the end, the proud are conquered by the humble.
That humility overcomes pride is, in fact, the next thing which Dorothy needed to learn. With Dorothy, there is no pretense about her wanting to go back to a simple country farm where she is just a "nobody", when she could stay in Oz and be a celebrated slayer of wicked witches. Dorothy got left behind when she jumped out of the balloon to run after Toto. Toto, who is a dog without any legal rights, symbolizes the "nobodies" of society, and Dorothy's running after him symbolizes one who is not too proud to defend a "nobody". After missing her opportunity to travel with the wizard, Dorothy tells the others that the one thing she has learned is that there is no place like home.
When Dorothy first meets the wizard, he says: "I am Oz, the great and powerful!" to which Dorothy replies: "I am Dorothy, the small and meek." The final thing Dorothy needed to learn was that pride sires the darkness, while humility brings forth the light, and that the light overcomes the darkness. The curtain opened on the wizard when Toto got caught on the curtain, which concealed a little old man, symbolizing that the light overcomes the darkness. The curtain parted as the wizard was reneging on his promises to Dorothy and the others. The wizard did not want to honor the promises he had made, because he felt he was too important to leave his duties for the trifle concerns of a few peasants. The darkness is pride's first-born son, and the darkness is this feeling of self-importance. This was the lie which the serpent had told the woman: "When you eat of the fruit, you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The light is love, and the greatest love is the willingness to die for one's friends. Three days after the completion of the Apollo missions, a group of young men returned from the dead. The men had not actually died, but were lost and considered dead, after their plane went off course and went down in the Andes Mountains. They survived by eating the flesh of their comrades. This was to symbolize that the light gives its own flesh that others might live, while the darkness thrives by devouring the flesh of those who have gone astray.
One of the themes of the movie is that the light is best understood when contrasted against the darkness. Pink Floyd sings, "Everything under the sun is in tune; but the sun is eclipsed by the moon." The eclipse symbolizes both a tragedy and a revelation. The revelation comes when that which does not accept the light is, nevertheless, exposed, as it tries to assume the position of the light. The darkness, which is normally invisible, is exposed as it passes before the light in an effort to conceal the light. The wizard represents the darkness, and his being exposed represents a time of revelation: It is pride that sires the darkness. For Carl Jung, who defined synchronicity, the bringing into the light that which was dark (the unconscious) was the beginning of the healing process. (see DSotR: Coincidence, Apophenia or Synchronicity?) The eclipse coincides with the new moon; the new moon represents tragedy, but also a new beginning -a period of revelation and moving forward into the light.
At the end of Dorothy's journey, when the good witch explains to Dorothy that she has always had the power to return to Kansas, they ask her why she hadn't told Dorothy this before. The good witch replies that she would not have believed it, and that she needed to learn it for herself.
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