Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wizard of Oz analysis - part 11: Details of Dorothy's (and our) path through Hell


The general idea behind Dorothy's movement deeper into Hell in The Wizard of Oz, is that it predicts our own such movement. The makers of The Wizard of Oz were predicting that there would come a time in America, when a general atmosphere of indifference (the vestibule), greed (circle 4), and violence (circle 7), would eventually lead to our ending up in circle 2 (lust), circle 6 (heresy), and circle 9 (treachery), respectively. Indifference includes indifferent parenting; this no doubt has an effect upon Dorothy, who is meant to represent some subset of the group that could be thought of as 'American young women'. In fact, part of the aforementioned prediction was that Dorothy's 'descendants', i.e., subsequent generations of American women, under the 'guidance' of radical feminists, would lead us deeper into Hell. Since Dorothy herself is being led on by her evil companions (the Scarecrow, who brown noses evil Jews, the Tin Man, a brown nosing Jew, and the Lion, a cowardly Jew), it is ultimately not only radical feminists, but also evil Jews, who are responsible for our current societal situation.

In the below, the circles of Hell are described in detail. Information is taken from Wikipedia.[a]

1) Vestibule (Indifference) to Circle 2 (Lust):
As indicated in part 2 of the analysis, when Dorothy first arrives in Munchkinland (see screencap at left), she is standing in the vestibule (as well as in circles 4 and 7). To review: In terms of Inferno, before entering Hell completely (i.e., while in the vestibule), Dante and his guide see the Uncommitted (i.e., the Indifferent), souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil. These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores of the Acheron, their punishment to eternally pursue a banner (i.e. self interest) while pursued by wasps and hornets that continually sting them as maggots and other such insects drink their blood and tears. This symbolizes the sting of their conscience and the repugnance of sin. This can also be seen as a reflection of the spiritual stagnation they lived in.

The first circle of Hell is called Limbo. In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the Damned.[b]

In the second circle of Hell are those overcome by lust. As mentioned earlier, lust can take any form such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex or the lust for power.

Depiction of Circle 3 (Gluttony): Note that some of the Munchkins are obese (above left screencap). In Inferno, the gluttons are forced to lie in a vile slush produced by ceaseless foul, icy rain. It must be the case that the snow that falls while Dorothy and her friends are in the poppy field (above right screencap), indicates movement through circle 3.

2) Circle 4 (Greed) to Circle 6 (Heresy):
As mentioned earlier in the analysis, those whose attitude toward material goods deviated from the appropriate mean are punished in the fourth circle. They include the avaricious or miserly, who hoarded possessions, and the prodigal, who squandered them. The vast amount of greenery in Munchkinland (see screencap at left) represents the color of American paper currency, indicating that the Munchkins, who represent evil hermaphroditic Jews, are greedy.

To get from the fourth circle to the sixth circle, Dorothy would have to pass through circle 5, where Anger is punished. In Inferno's fifth circle, in the swampy waters of the river Styx, the wrathful fight each other on the surface, and the sullen lie gurgling beneath the water. Anger, and thus circle 5, is being portrayed in The Wizard of Oz in the scene in which several Munchkins insist to their Mayor, that the Wicked Witch of the East be officially declared dead; see the screencap with caption below.

In the scene captured at left, some of the Munchkins are speaking in angry tones of voices, and have angry expressions on their faces. Note that the Munchkin dressed in purple, is facing the Mayor in a threatening manner.

In the sixth circle, Heretics (those who commit heresy) are punished. Heresy is a theological doctrine or system rejected as false by ecclesiastical authority.[c] Recall from earlier in the analysis, that the current Papacy is corrupt. Thus, our current situation is that the Church authority itself consists of heretics.

3) Circle 7 (Violence) to Circle 9 (Treachery): In addition to beginning her journey in the vestibule and circle 4, Dorothy also begins in circle 7, where the violent are punished. We've already discussed the three rings in circle 7: the outer ring houses the violent against people and property, suicides and profligates occupy the middle ring, and the inner ring is inhabited by blasphemers, sodomites, and usurers. As previously indicated, Dorothy and the Lion are blasphemers. Also, as indicated in part 1 of the analysis, the Lion's 'mane' makes him appear like he has girl's hair, and this added to the fact that he has a ribbon in his hair, indicates that he represents a gay person. Therefore, he represents a sodomite.

To travel from circle 7 to circle 9, Dorothy has to go through circle 8, in which the fraudulent – those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil – are punished. This circle, called Malebolge ("Evil Pockets"), is divided into ten Bolgie, or ditches of stone, with bridges spanning the ditches. In Inferno, in the first Bolgia, panderers and seducers (pimps and prostitutes, respectively) march in separate lines in opposite directions, whipped by demons (here Dante makes reference to a recent traffic rule developed for the Jubilee year of 1300 in Rome: keep to the right). The below screencap with caption explains how this is depicted in The Wizard of Oz.

In the part of the action in Munchkinland shown at left, the men in yellow are marching to the left, and just below the rightward pointing white arrow are a group of people, many of whom are women, skipping and prancing to the right (click image to enlarge). The men in yellow represent pimps, and the women moving in the other direction, prostitutes.

In the ninth circle, treachery is punished. The traitors are distinguished from the "merely" fraudulent (circle 8) in that their acts involve betraying a special relationship of some kind. There are four concentric zones (or "rounds") of traitors. These rounds correspond, in order of seriousness, to betrayal of family ties, betrayal of community ties, betrayal of guests, and betrayal of liege lords. In contrast to the popular image of Hell as fiery, the traitors are frozen in a lake of ice known as Cocytus (meaning "the river of wailing"), with each group encased in ice to progressively greater depths. Recall that when Dorothy and the Scarecrow first encounter the Tin Man, he's 'frozen' into position (see screencap at left).

In Inferno, in the very center of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin (personal treachery against God), is Satan. As observed in part 2 of the analysis, the Emerald Palace itself represents Dante's Hell, and the floor level there lies in circle 9. This is the circle of Hell that Dorothy and her companions are standing in when they see the evil face, flames, and smoke inside the palace (above left screencap), during their second visit to it near the end of the movie. Note the shiny black platform structure under the face and flames, extending above floor level. It consists of five platforms, so we can take the top level as representing circle 6 of Dante's Paradise, which, as discussed earlier in the analysis with regard to the 'Good' Witch, indicates rulership over an evil kingdom. Here, however, it is not the witch, but instead, the entity represented by the face, who is to rule over this kingdom. (If we take the face as representing that of Satan, we see that in this scenario, he is no longer encased in ice in circle 9 of Hell.) The face, fire, and smoke are all generated using machines by a normal-looking middle-aged man (above right screencap) who resembles Professor Marvel, the fortune teller from earlier in the movie. Once the Wizard has been exposed, he admits to being a humbug.

a. Wikipedia, 'Inferno (Dante)'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Limbo'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. 'heresy'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 3 Oct. 2015. URL =


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