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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum

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What is the setting of chapters 1 and 2 of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

There are three settings in chapters 1 and 2 of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: the first is a small farm on a prairie in Kansas, the second is a floating house, and the third is the beautiful land of the Munchkins, which is part of the land of Oz.

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I would argue that there are three settings in chapters 1 and 2 of this wonderful novel.

The first setting is a small farm on the Kansas prairies that is described as being very humble and even more remote. There is nothing but prairie as far as Dorothy’s eye can see, and the landscape is very dusty, extremely boring, and gray enough to turn just about everything and everybody to a uniform gray.

The second location is the house that Dorothy lives in with her aunt and uncle. The strange thing about the house at this stage is that, thanks to the cyclone, it is no longer tethered to the ground, but floating through the air. Dorothy manages to keep Toto safe in this strange environment and remain calm without knowing when, where, or if her setting will return her safely to earth.

Even more interesting than a floating house is the third setting, which Dorothy immediately realizes to be vastly different to the dust bowl of Kansas. When her house suddenly lands, “very gently,” Dorothy finds herself in a place of great beauty, with “lovely patches of green sward,” fruit trees, flowers, birds, and a sparkling brook. She soon learns that she is in the land of the Munchkins, which is also described as the land of the East, within the land of Oz. The land of the Munchkins is the setting of chapter 2, and at the end of this chapter, Dorothy is told that she must head to the City of Emeralds, where Oz, the great ruler of the land of Oz, may be able to help her.

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