Modern Society in The Wizard of Oz Essay

Modern Society in The Wizard of Oz Essay

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I have chosen to write about the wizard of

Something is typically considered modern according to dicitonary.com, an online repository of word definitions as ‘characteristic of present and recent; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete’. This viewpoint of the contemporary manifests itself in the onward march of technological progress and the innate human desire to advance and improve on those that came before us. To be modern is to accept that the past is of a lesser state of development than how we are living in modern times, and that the current paradigm of contemporary society is a clear and present progressivist as stated by the article Redefining the Modern World 2013 ‘We define "not modern” as what existed in Europe before 1800’.

Modern does not entirely correlate with modernist. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary 2013, a variant of the standard dictionary model which focuses on the etymology of words; the first recorded use of the word ‘modern’ appears in the 1500s, initially as ‘now existing’ later being expanded to ‘of or pertaining to present or recent times’. This means that from inception the use of word was an indication of current thought. Conversely, ‘modernism’ is a descriptor for trends that innately buck the preconceived ideals of traditionalism and pre-contemporary attitudes Modern, Modernity, Modernism 2013. Modernists frequently and radically depart from tradition. To modernists, modernism is centralisation, rationalism, reason and truth. Friedman 2001. Although this is clear also relevant to the definition of what makes something modern. Does the mere fact that we live in the present time make our current society modern?

From this we can assume that a modern artefact would contain aspects o...


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... narrative that is more common in modernist cinema. But, in development and production the film was modernist in experimenting with cutting-edge techniques such as technicolor and dazzling visual effects for that time. Contrastingly, the depiction of Oz in the 1939 film is one of a pastoral society, and whilst having the bulk of the technological advancements of the era integral to it’s construction (e.g. colour, practical effects) has little in the way of modern technology shown. Kansas on the other hand is also agrarian, but portrayed in a traditional way; sepia-tone, but contains a monopoly on technological progress such as bicycles and farm machinery. This is possibly a device used to exemplify the dreamlike nature of Oz in the 1939 film, clearly a beautiful and idealistic society cannot exist, it must be a dream. Here the film departs from modernism.








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