“Are You a Good Witch, or a Bad Witch?”: What Glinda Teaches Us About Powerful Women

Oz fans can list all sorts of ways that MGM changed Baum’s classic American fairy tale, but not all changes are created equal. When the witches of the North and South are blended into one witch, Glinda’s goodness is called into question; why send Dorothy on a journey to a humbug Wizard while knowing that the shoes can send her home? As Oz is readapted and reimagined for new audiences, Glinda the not-so-good pops up again and again.

Glinda is always beautiful, often wise, sometimes a love interest, and sometimes the manipulating hand behind the scenes, but what does this mean for female power?

This presentation will examine Glinda the “good” in Baum’s Oz, the MGM film and post MGM Oz tales with an eye on what her power and her goodness means in relation to Baum’s utopian feminist vision.

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