The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Sources of Images and Ideas

Sources of Images and Ideas

Baum acknowledged the influence of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, which he was deliberately revising in his "American fairy tales" to include the wonder without the horrors.

Local legend has it that Oz, also known as The Emerald City, was inspired by a prominent castle-like building in the community of Castle Park near Holland, Michigan where Baum summered. The yellow brick road was derived from a road at that time paved by yellow bricks. These bricks were found in Peekskill, New York where Baum attended the Peekskill Military Academy. Baum scholars often reference the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (the "White City") as an inspiration for the Emerald City. Other legends allude that the inspiration came from the Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego, California. Baum was a frequent guest at the hotel, and had written several of the Oz books there. In a 1903 interview with Publishers Weekly, Baum said that the name "OZ" came from his file cabinet labeled "O-Z".

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