Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wizard of Oz Argument

My friends had a pointless argument over "The Wizard of Oz" the other day! Normally, the pointless argument I hear about that movie is whether or not it's an extensive metaphor for World War Two or the Great Depression or something. It's not. The book was written in 1900; therefore, the author was not lampooning events which happened decades later.

No, this argument was over Glinda. She asks Dorothy, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?", later adding "only bad witches are ugly".

The first person says this is an insult, suggesting that Dorothy is ugly. Dorothy is clearly pretty, and since bad witches are ugly, Dorothy can't be a bad witch. Why would Glinda ask that question.

The second person says "only bad witches are ugly" does not mean "if you are a bad witch, you are ugly"; it means "if you are an ugly witch, you are bad". It is possible for there to be a bad witch who is incredibly gorgeous. That doesn't contradict the statement "only bad witches are ugly". Glinda's statement is about all ugly witches, not about all bad witches.

Who wins the argument? Should we go back in time and correct the movie script, to make it more clear? Do my friends have too much free time?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wicked would be a better read.

Anonymous said...

what is the context? like what comes between those two statements?

Wicked witches are ugly on the inside :)

Andrea said...

According to the study of logic, the second person is correct. The statement is "Only bad witches are ugly", not "All bad witches are ugly".

Anonymous said...


Glenda makes the comment about bad witches are ugly only after Dorothy says she isnt a witch at all, so it wouldnt be an insult. Glenda also asked if Toto is a witch, so maybe Glenda was confused because the munchkins wanted to know if the new witch was good or bad, maybe because they are different species, they have different standards of beauty. Like it would be hard to call one of the Munchkin women ugly or beautiful because they have different standards. So Glenda and the Munchkins didnt know about Dorothy and Toto, they couldnt tell if they were good or bad, because they didnt know if they were beautiful or not.

Anyways here is the link to the film, the clip in question is around 17 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gphZxJLEKc

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