‘The Wizard of Oz’ Is a Story About Grief
We’re told the Wicked Witch wants the ruby slippers because they have magic powers—but so does any material object once possessed and cherished by a deceased loved one.
Lilly Dancyger is a contributing editor at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as one of the winners of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021; and the editor of Burn it Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press. Lilly's writing has been published by Longreads, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. Find her on Twitter here.
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Sure, sometimes she went a little overboard, trying to kill the executives rather than merely destroying their empires . . . but she had the right idea.
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When you attribute someone’s evil actions to their mental health status rather than their actual root cause—like white supremacy—then that evil is no longer presented as a choice.