After reading and discussing The Wizard of Oz, I definitely formed a different opinion of the book. It actually was my first time reading the book, only having the movie as reference. It was much different than the movie in many ways ranging from the dialogue between the characters, to actual events that happen on the journey through Oz.
In the classic movie, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is played by Judy Garland, who at the time, seemed to be in her late teens to early twenties or so, while in the book, Dorothy was said to be nine years old. This was one of the more pronounced differences between the two. Another difference is how the scarecrow plays a major role in the book much more than he does in the movie. Him and Dorothy go through many small hardships like tripping in pot - holes, and getting swept down a rushing river. The scarecrow also pronounces his need to have a brain much more throughout the novel.
The actual journey through Oz is the biggest difference of all. In the novel, Oz is much more organized with many different civilizations, forests, mountains, creatures and far away lands. There was a whole civilization made only of porcelain, houses and people. Dorothy and friends had an awfully hard time communicating with these people without breaking them into pieces. There also were the Kalidahs. These were beasts consisting of the head of a tiger and the body of a bear. The cowardly lion was especially afraid of these monsters. And of course, the winged monkeys, who were controlled by the Wicked Witch of the West. The Munchkins of course were also the first to greet Dorothy in the Movie and also the book.
The Kansas in the book seemed to be somewhere very undesirable and dismal. The word gray came across many times in the descriptions of how Kansas looked. There were fields of tall gray grass and a gray sky. Its not really a place the average Joe would like to visit. On top of all of that, cyclones are not a rare occurrence.
The thing that ties the book and the movie together is that both genres are examples of heroic journeys through a fantasy land. Dorothy is our obvious hero who overcomes many small tragedies and along the way helps some tagalong friends. All of them overcome their fears, gain knowledge and explore new lands. I enjoyed the book much more than I thought I would. I liked how more detail was emphasized in the book as a whole. Granted the movie was definitely shortened and a lot of detail was missing. It was also good considering the amount of information taken out of it. I personally think that Judy Garland did a very nice job playing the part of Dorothy. Yes, Dorothy was supposedly nine years old but I think if anyone else played the part of Dorothy, it just wouldnt look right. Maybe that is just because I have seen the movie more than ten times. Anyway, I would definitely recommend this fantastic novel to anyone, any age.