The very sad ending to The Emerald City of Oz

Emerald City of OzStella and I finally finished reading The Emerald City of Oz–not my favorite book in the series but still worth a read, if only to understand how Dorothy, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry are choosing here to never return home to Kansas (would you make the same choice? Would I? Hmmmm). The ending was a shocker though: Glinda makes the world of Oz invisible to everyone outside of Oz, including to us readers, and Dorothy soon after sends Frank L. Baum a letter written on a stork’s wing explaining we will never hear anything else from her again. There is something unfair about this. Many magical worlds at least leave open the possibility of us stumbling on in (like Narnia, for instance–if only we could find the right closet!).

This was supposed to be the last Oz book, though it’s not: apparently Baum realized he needed the money and wrote several more. Still, even knowing there were more books to come, the ending was a little hard for me to read, in part because everybody in Oz, including Dorothy, is so happy about being cut off from our world. They have no need for our ordinariness. Probably they would find our lives a bore, and part of me thinks, who can blame them? But another part of me wishes they would pretend to need us, at least as their readers.

“Then,” said Ozma, “I suppose you know what is in my mind, and that I am seeking a way to prevent any one in the future from discovering the Land of Oz.”

“Yes; I know that. And while you were on your journey I have thought of a way to accomplish your desire. For it seems to me unwise to allow too many outside people to come here. Dorothy, with her uncle and aunt, has now returned to Oz to live always, and there is no reason why we should leave any way open for others to travel uninvited to our fairyland. Let us make it impossible for any one ever to communicate with us in any way, after this. Then we may live peacefully and contentedly.”

“Your advice is wise,” returned Ozma. “I thank you, Glinda, for your promise to assist me.”

“But how can you do it?” asked Dorothy. “How can you keep every one from ever finding Oz?”

“By making our country invisible to all eyes but our own,” replied the Sorceress, smiling. “I have a magic charm powerful enough to accomplish that wonderful feat, and now that we have been warned of our danger by the Nome King’s invasion, I believe we must not hesitate to separate ourselves forever from all the rest of the world.”

“I agree with you,” said the Ruler of Oz.

“Won’t it make any difference to us?” asked Dorothy, doubtfully.

“No, my dear,” Glinda answered, assuringly. “We shall still be able to see each other and everything in the Land of Oz. It won’t affect us at all; but those who fly through the air over our country will look down and see nothing at all. Those who come to the edge of the desert, or try to cross it, will catch no glimpse of Oz, or know in what direction it lies. No one will try to tunnel to us again because we cannot be seen and therefore cannot be found. In other words, the Land of Oz will entirely disappear from the knowledge of the rest of the world.”

“That’s all right,” said Dorothy, cheerfully. “You may make Oz invis’ble as soon as you please, for all I care.”

“It is already invisible,” Glinda stated. “I knew Ozma’s wishes, and performed the Magic Spell before you arrived.”

Ozma seized the hand of the Sorceress and pressed it gratefully.

“Thank you!” she said.

Chapter 30. How the Story of Oz Came to an End

The writer of these Oz stories has received a little note from Princess Dorothy of Oz which, for a time, has made him feel rather disconcerted. The note was written on a broad, white feather from a stork’s wing, and it said:


This seemed to me too bad, at first, for Oz is a very interesting fairyland. Still, we have no right to feel grieved, for we have had enough of the history of the Land of Oz to fill six story books, and from its quaint people and their strange adventures we have been able to learn many useful and amusing things.

So good luck to little Dorothy and her companions. May they live long in their invisible country and be very happy!

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