illustration of main character Dorothy standing on the yellow brick road

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum

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In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where does Dorothy live, and with whom?

Dorothy lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle.

Expert Answers

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The answer to this question can be found in the first sentence of chapter 1. The author tells readers right away that Dorothy lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. We get an added detail that the family's house is on the prairies rather than in the downtown section of a growing city in Kansas. Dorothy's uncle is named Henry, and he is a farmer. Dorothy's aunt is called "Em."

The family's house is described as small, and we are told that this is likely a result of being so far away from a lumber yard. A large house simply was too costly or logistically difficult to build based on where the farm is located. The second paragraph describes the area surrounding the house. All Dorothy can see is prairie. No other homes or even trees are visible. The author also describes the space that is in the house. The house is an "open concept" floor plan or a "studio" concept. The kitchen, beds, table, and so on are all contained within a single room.

The opening paragraph contains a detail about the house that foreshadows future events. Readers are told that within the floor of that room is a trapdoor that leads to a cyclone cellar. The cellar's purpose is to offer Dorothy and her aunt and uncle a bit of safety from potential tornadoes, which are capable of ripping homes right off of their foundations.

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