The Wizard of Oz myths abound. This article will explore some of them, including the Tin Man’s lungs, the toxic makeup of The Wicked Witch of the West, and the masculine archetype of The Wizard. Then, I’ll explore the gender-based stereotypes in the story, and how they relate to these myths.
The Tin Man’s lungs
There is a lot of speculation about the health of the Tin Man’s lungs, but the truth is a bit different. The actor, Buddy Ebsen, suffered a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum powder used to make him look like the Tin Man. In fact, he spent weeks in the hospital recovering from this condition. In the film, he was replaced by Jack Haley, who also contracted an eye infection from the make-up.
The original Tin Man, played by Buddy Ebsen, was very difficult to make. The actor had to wear a special costume that was made from aluminium dust. This had a very bright effect, which meant that people on the set were frequently fainting.
Another myth about the Tin Man’s lungs is that Buddy Ebsen was allergic to the silver make-up used on the character. The aluminum powder on his lungs caused a severe reaction, which forced him to undergo surgery to recover. Fortunately, this did not result in permanent damage to Ebsen.
The original film did not fare well in theaters when it was first released. Some executives were shocked by the fantastical elements of the plot. In early drafts of the script, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow were portrayed as normal people with ordinary clothes. However, after the film’s 1949 re-release, the movie became a huge success.
The Wicked Witch of the West’s toxic makeup
The Wicked Witch of the West’ makeup was toxic to the actress who played her, and she took months to recover. When the film was made, the cast and crew lived in the Culver Hotel, which was later owned by John Wayne. It was notorious for its wild nights and sex parties. Some tenants have even reported encounters with the Wicked Witch and her toxic makeup.
Asbestos was used to fill her costume. This substance is highly toxic and can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Asbestos was also used in the film’s production, but its dangers were not known until decades later. The production team at the time blew aluminum dust in the actors’ faces and dumped carcinogenic material on them. One rumor states that the actor who played the Munchkin character in the movie committed suicide on the set, but there is no evidence to support this.
The film’s director, Richard Thorpe, wanted the Wicked Witch to resemble the evil Queen from the classic Disney film Snow White. However, he also wanted Dorothy to be more mature. To do this, he worked with actor Buddy Ebsen, who was rediscovered for his role as the Tin Man. In his film, Thorpe also wanted to make the colors of Oz less garish and more muted.
While the green makeup was a staple of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz myths, many of the scenes were cut because the producers felt the Witch was too frightening for children. In addition to the actress’s injuries, the actress’ stunt double Betty Danko also sustained burns while shooting the scene. Both had to spend more than a week in the hospital and have permanent scars. As a result, the film set was a hotbed of controversy between the Munchkin community.
The Wizard’s masculine archetype
The male archetype in the Wizard of Oz myths, known as the “animus,” is the balancing force in the unconscious mind of the female. The animus embodies male traits like strength, courage, independence, and power. Despite being stereotypically female, the anima and animus in The Wizard of Oz myths are surprisingly powerful.
The Wizard’s masculine archetype represents the wound of Dorothy’s father and embodies the masculine archetype of the Trickster. In his pre-healing life, the Wizard was a traveling magician who used tricks and sleight of hand to impress and deceive people.
The Wizard is a symbol of the masculine archetype, and fits the Lacanian model of “Nom/non du pere”. He is a man of mystery and strength. Although he does not know anything of value, he knows that he is the “one who knows.” In other words, he may not know much of value, but he knows that one essential thing. He may be “one who knows nothing of value, but he knows everything” – or “he gets what he wants, and never wants it again.”
Dorothy’s adventures in Oz begin with ordinary life in Kansas. Her involuntary call to adventure culminates in a tornado-driven threshold passage into the magical land of Oz, where a supernatural mentor guides and protects Dorothy. The path of her adventure is reminiscent of the path taken by many archetypal heroes throughout history.