Just watched the Wizard of Oz and thought that I'd make a post about the ethical significance of the symbolism of the yellow brick road, the ruby slippers, the emerald city, the snow on the poppies, or the idea of good vs. evil.
Big topic, I know. But I think it'll be fun.
I think that there is some truth in the idea that yellow brick road is a symbol for “the code” or “the rulebook.” The movie alludes to this very well.
At the beginning of the film, Dorothy is on a dirt road, and she acts in the manner of a child, roaming and running away from her life to be with Toto.
My impression is that the dirt road and innocence of childhood can go together, because when one is a child, there is nothing etched in stone, causing one to follow different paths, not following a linear progression and not worrying. Besides, a dirt road changes every day; it never could be the same from one day to the next. This seems like the life she leads;
However, it is in a dream that she plays with the idea of the brick road. The yellow brick road consists of a lasting substance, changing little by little every decade or so. She is still in her state of purity, however, during her unconscious state, she tries out the idea of the brick road. The ideas probably came from watching her parents work and follow the same rules and routines.
I think that it takes a special person to follow down the dirt road, since change and disruption is everywhere, but I don’t think it would be good for most people to follow the dirt road.
The reason is that everybody would be trying to accomplish something or trying to make a mark--a shot for eternal life after death. This would probably lead to some sort of chaos, and the special people that travel this road would lose some meaning. Most people want to live comfortably, not straying from what they are used to--materialistic stuff.
The idea that each of us produces the answer to our own problems is interesting, since each of us knows our lives better than anybody. Finding these answers is a problem because each of us doesn’t have red slippers on our feet--a visible physical or material answer to this idea that we know the answer.
This was not mentioned, but I am going to take a shot at it: At the end of the film, Toto is the one that allows the four members to know the wizard is fooling them.
It kind of suggests that the most primitive nature is more effective than the human’s logic. This type of primitive nature doesn’t know boundaries, and while the human is thinking the animal acts.
The four members would, perhaps, still to this day--well, maybe not--be oblivious to what was happening behind that curtain. Nevertheless, I think this goes very well with the question about the dirt road.
It is the childhood innocence--our primitive nature that is still within us since we know no different when we our children--that would change one’s mind from following down the brick road and to opt for the dirt one.