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For other versions of Dorothy, see Dorothy Gale.

"There's no place like home..."
―Dorothy Gale (1900)

Dorothy Gale is an orphan who made several trips to the Land of Oz with her little black dog, Toto. She eventually moved to Oz permanently and lives in the Emerald City with her best friend, Princess Ozma, who is the ruler of all the land and made Dorothy a princess of Oz.

L. Frank Baum's basis for her character has never been proven exactly but his great-grandson, Robert A. Baum Jr., through the documentary special The Origin of Oz believes that she was either a way to remember the late Dorothy Gage who passed away as an infant or more literally inspired by Dorothy Hall who lived across the street from him in Macatawa Park which is a community in Holland, Michigan during the summer of 1899. The main point that convinces Robert is that besides the Hall family being good friends with Baum, there is a photo of her as a two-year-old child in pigtails looking at monkey wearing a hat when it was brought onto their porch which would mirror one of the illustrations by W. W. Denslow.

One of the relatives also relates the anecdotal claim that Baum himself told the child "If I ever write a story about a girl, I'm going to call her Dorothy", but otherwise Robert jokes "I like to think he never met a Dorothy that he didn't use in the story". Her name also means the goddess of gifts.

Dorothy has no surname in her first appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the 1902 stage adaptation she is called Dorothy Gale, and Baum retained this name in Ozma of Oz.

History[]

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)[]

Dorothy lived with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on a farm in Kansas where her only companion was her little black dog, Toto. One day a powerful cyclone carried her house to the Land of Oz where it landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. She was told by the Good Witch of the North that only the Wizard of Oz could help her return to Kansas. The Good Witch gave her the Silver Shoes with their great mysterious powers and kissed her on the forehead for protection. With that she set out along the Yellow Brick Road for the Emerald City. Along the way she met the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion.

The Wizard, appearing to Dorothy as a giant, floating head, commanded Dorothy to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West. After being captured by the witch, Dorothy finally did destroy her by throwing a bucket of water on her and melting her. Dorothy and her companions returned to the Emerald City, but there discovered that the Wizard was a humbug. The Wizard tried to take Dorothy home in a hot air balloon, but it floated away while Dorothy was looking for Toto.

Dorothy and her companions then traveled south to find Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. After several adventures, they arrived at her ruby red palace and she told Dorothy about the charm of the Silver Shoes she had been wearing since her arrival in the Land of Oz, which allowed her to return home to Kansas. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

Ozma of Oz (1907)[]

After the strain of having to rebuild a new farmhouse to replace the one carried away by the cyclone in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Uncle Henry's doctor orders him to take a break from all the hard work and labor of running a farm. Accompanied by Dorothy, they go on a sea voyage to Australia, leaving Aunt Em and Toto back in Kansas to look after the new farm. A fierce storm arises in the night and the strong winds, rain, and lightning toss the little ship violently over the waves. Dorothy and a yellow farm hen named Billina are accidentally thrown overboard. A wooden chicken coop that floating nearby saves their lives but they drift far off course and wash up upon the shores of Ev, a Nonestican kingdom separated from Oz by the Deadly Desert.

Come the sunrise, Dorothy and Billina crawl out of the coop to find they are on dry land. They find lunch pail trees full of food. They narrowly escape the bad-mannered creatures, the Wheelers. Dorothy finds a little golden key in the sand which unlocks a secret, hidden chamber close by. Inside they discover Tik-Tok, a mechanical man made of copper who runs on clockwork, able to walk, talk and think only when wound up.

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O-Z

The three then visit the palace of the royal family and meet the pampered, vain, and badtempered Princess Langwidere, who, in a tantrum imprisons them in her palace tower. Princess Ozma, the new ruler of Oz, rescues them.  Ozma, who by coincidence just happened to cross over the Deadly Desert from Oz to Ev on a Magic Carpet (thanks to the magical aid of Glinda the Good). Ozma's mission had originally been to rescue the Royal Family of Ev, who recently had been enslaved by the wicked Nome King.

Nor was Ozma traveling alone.  Aiding her were the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion who was accompanied by his new best friend the Hungry Tiger. The three Ozian kings immediately recognized their friend Dorothy and rescued her and her company from Langwidere. After successfully defeating the Nome King and winning his Magic Belt in a rigged guessing game, Ozma and Dorothy free the Royal Family. Everyone escapes the Nome King because Bellina's eggs prove to be as fatal to Nomes as water was to the Wicked Witch of the West.

In the process of bringing Dorothy back to the land of Oz to reunite with all her other Ozian friends, Ozma and Dorothy became best friends, and Ozma invites Dorothy to come live in Oz permanently as an official Princess of Oz.  Missing her family, Dorothy regretfully declines a life of luxury in the Royal Palace of Oz within the Emerald City. but Billina the hen chose to stay and live there.  Dorothy chooses to return to Kansas to be with Toto, Uncle Henry, and Aunt Em, but promises to Oz for visits from time to time. (Ozma of Oz)

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908)[]

This time her return to our world sent Dorothy to Australia to be reunited with Uncle Henry. At the end of their Australian visit they they boarded ship to San Francisco. This time they were accompanied by Eureka, a stray white kitten they found and adopted on the way. In San Francisco, Dorothy met her cousin, Zeb Hugson, and his horse, Jim, who extended an invitation to visit their home. On the way to Hugson's Ranch an earthquake unexpectedly dropped Dorothy, Zeb, Eureka, and Jim deep into the cracks of the earth, eventually leaving them in another realm. Here, in a city made of all glass, was located the Land of the Mangaboos, whose the inhabitants ware not flesh and blood, but vegetables.

To her great surprise, Dorothy was reunited with none other than Oscar Diggs, the Wizard himself, who had fallen through when his balloon crashed and the earthquake hit. It did not take long to learn that the Mangaboo were not nice people at all, driving the uninvited visitors from their country. Thus began a subterranean journey through the Valley of Voe, where the company encountered the Braided Man on Pyramid Mountain; were briefly imprisoned by Gargoyles, and encountered a cavern full of Dragonettes. Eventually, cavern came to an end at which time Dorothy finally remembered that she was able to signal Ozma for help when it was an absolute emergency. Upon receiving the distress call Ozma quickly used the power of the Magic Belt (a tool of the Nome King) to bring them all to Oz. Where they spent a few days visiting and recuperating before deciding to return to San Francisco.

The Road to Oz (1909)[]

Some time later in August, the old and homeless Shaggy Man appeared at the Gale farm in Kansas. He was asking Dorothy for directions to Butterfield, the next closest town on the sun-baked prairie. Dorothy agreed to show him the way, and with Toto accompanying her (for the first time since the first book) the two left the farm with the Shaggy Man and set out to Butterfield. However, after walking for only a short time they somehow unknowingly entered another dimension and found themselves lost in an unknown enchanted land and clearly not in Kansas anymore. During this adventure the three met a cute little boy named Button-Bright who had been digging a little hole in the ground all by himself to pass the time. He told them that he had also accidentally lost his way, so Dorothy and Shaggy man invited Button Bright to come along with them on their trip. Soon, the group met the mystical and beautiful daughter of the Rainbow called Polychrome, who had accidentally fallen off her bow and Dorothy had become so enchanted by her, she asked Polychrome to stay with them. When Dorothy and all her new friends eventually passed through Foxville, where King Dox told them that Ozma's birthday party was in a few days. The travelers then made it their goal to find a way to Oz and passed through Dunkiton, met Allegro da Capo, escaped from the Scoodlers, and successfully crossed the Deadly Desert in a boat built by Johnny Dooit.

Arriving in the Land of Oz just in time, the travelers attended Ozma's birthday party, where a lavish banquet was held with Santa Claus as an honored guest. After the banquet, the Wizard performed many magic tricks for the party, and Santa Claus even took a tour of the Emerald City while riding upon the Sawhorse. After the celebration, Dorothy and Toto were returned safely home. (The Road to Oz)

The Emerald City of Oz (1910)[]

At the beginning of this story, it is made quite clear that Dorothy is in the habit of freely speaking of her adventures to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Neither of them believes a word of her stories, but consider her a dreamer, like her dead mother. Later, it is revealed that the new farmhouse that Uncle Henry had to build after the destruction that the cyclone caused on the farm back in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has left Henry in terrible debt. He has taken out a mortgage and if he cannot repay his creditors, they will seize the farm. He is not afraid for himself, but both he and his wife, Aunt Em, fear very much for their niece's future. Dorothy quickly arranges with Princess Ozma to take them to the land of Oz, where they can all escape their troubles and will be safe. Using the power of the Magic Belt, Ozma transports them to the Royal Palace of Oz. There the Gales were given beautiful apartment suites to live in and were surrounded by many luxuries to enjoy, including a vast and complex wardrobe of fine jewelry and costumes of the most elegant fabrics. However, Uncle Henry and Aunt Em later chose to live a more simple, humble existence (for Oz at least) in a home on the outskirts of the Emerald City, as they were not used to city life and all the extravagance that came with it. Despite leaving the city, Henry and Em now live happy and content lives in Oz, and like their niece have become aristocratic immortals under the Royal Reign of Ozma. (The Emerald City of Oz)

Age of Dorothy Gale[]

"While Dorothy stood looking eagerly at the strange and beautiful sights, she noticed coming toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although they were, so far as looks go, many years older..."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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Fairuza Balk as Dorothy 1985

Dorothy Gale is just like any other little country girl of her time, ordinary, average and a well grown child for her age. She is a full blooded American girl who has been brought up and raised in the heart of America. Her exact age is never given in the original book, and is not given in any of the sequel Oz books by Baum. Despite this mystery, Dorothy's official Birthday is said to be June 10th and it does hint how old Dorothy might be; Baum does clearly state that Dorothy is just a mere child, a "little girl" from Kansas, not a teenager nor young adult. So, her character is no older than twelve being that she obviously has not reached her teen years. In Baum's later Oz novel, The Lost Princess of Oz, published in 1917, it is stated that the character Betsy Bobbin is one year older than Dorothy, and the character Trot is a year younger. Then in the continued series The Giant Horse of Oz, by Oz author Ruth Plumly Thompson, published in 1928, it states that Trot is ten years old. That would make Dorothy Gale 11 years old by the time she goes to permanently live in Oz.

Appearance and Mannerisms[]

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Dorothy Gale as she originally appeared in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrated by W.W. Denslow

"Dorothy had only one other dress, but that happened to be clean and was hanging on a peg beside her bed. It was gingham, with checks of white and blue; and although the blue was somewhat faded with many washings, it was still a pretty frock. The girl washed herself carefully, dressed herself in the clean gingham, and tied her pink sunbonnet on her head. She took a little basket and filled it with bread from the cupboard, laying a white cloth over the top. Then she looked down at her feet and noticed how old and worn her shoes were. “They surely will never do for a long journey, Toto,” she said. And Toto looked up into her face with his little black eyes and wagged his tail to show he knew what she meant."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baum describes Dorothy to have a merry laugh, chubby little hands, big earnest sapphire blue eyes filled with awe and wonders. And a round, rosy, sunburned face from living on the hot prairies of Kansas. Baum doesn't define Dorothy's appearance exactly in his text such as height, hair color and weight, but leaves it mostly open for the reader's imagination and overall interpretation. In Baum's third Oz book Ozma of Oz, the character named Princess Langwidere of Ev calls Dorothy "Not exactly beautiful but still has a very certain and great style of prettiness and loveliness". This is hinted that Dorothy is not the most gorgeous girl. But she is absolutely pretty, lovely, charming, wondrous, better-looking, clever, healthy and fancy and striking and attractive and graceful nonetheless.

Dorothy was first originally illustrated by W. W. Denslow to appear to be a chubby six to twelve-year-old. Her thick, long darkish brown curly hair is styled in her trademark braided pigtails that remain untied, being allowed to naturally fall freely without any bows or ribbons; giving her a "rough around the edges" and realistic farm girl look. Baum stated that Dorothy only had one proper dress, which was gingham pattern of faded blue and white checks. Denslow illustrated this dress to have long sleeves, and a yoke neckline with no waist. She is also illustrated as wearing a large pink bonnet on her head as described in the story to keep the sun out of her face. Later on, when Dorothy is in the Emerald City, she traded in her worn out gingham dress for a pretty silk one with little jingle bells that dangled at the hem. She also started wear more precious dresses, accessories and jewelries while living in Oz. This alone made Dorothy more princess-like and fashionable.

In the rest of the Oz books by Baum, the characters including Dorothy herself, are all drawn by John R. Neill and she is illustrated to be a thin, 10 to 12 year old who has short curly blonde hair styled in a blunt bob. Neill's Dorothy also appeared to be a fashion forward young lady for her time, having good taste in clothing despite being described as a poor country farm girl. In the books, it is suggested that Dorothy matured and developed a good fashion sense since her first trip to Oz. Neill's Dorothy was illustrated wearing very pretty and lovely dresses and fancy hats or oversized bows in her hair. And usually seen in polished dress-shoes, sometimes even carrying a matching fan or parasol to cool off with, or shade herself while in the hot sun. John R. Neill paid homage to W. W. Denslow's illustration of Dorothy Gale and Toto, specifically in Baum's fifth Oz novel The Road to Oz published in 1909. When Dorothy visits the Tin Woodman's castle, Dorothy stops to admire a tin statue made of her and Toto, appearing exactly as they did during the first adventure in Oz. The statue itself resembles Denslow's version of Dorothy.

Oz writer and illustrator Eric Shanower would later go on to base his own version of his Oz books, and comics on Neill's illustrations. His Dorothy also is shown to have short blonde hair, unbraided, in a short bob.

Dorothy Gale's Pets[]

Toto[]

Interestingly, after the Gales leave Kansas to live in Oz permanently, it is revealed in Baum's eighth Oz book titled Tik-Tok of Oz, published in 1914, that Toto could talk. Since Oz is located in an enchanted realm filled with real magic, Toto had the ability to speak the entire time, even in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the first story, he came to Oz while aloft in the Kansas cyclone with his mistress, Dorothy. When the farmhouse they were in landed, he was automatically given the ability to say actual words. But apparently, Toto simply prefers to only bark as he is so used to using barking as his way of communicating instead of speaking human words or sentences like all the other animals in Oz. Toto also chose not to talk so that he didn't lead on. Thus, gaining valuable clues and information in chaotic or stressful situations from those who did not think he could repeat to others what was said.

Billina[]

Billina was introduced in Baum's third Oz book titled Ozma of Oz, published in 1909. She is a yellow hen tossed overboard in a storm when Uncle Henry is traveling overseas on a ship to visit relatives in Australia while accompanied by his niece Dorothy, who was also thrown overboard when the storm hits. Dorothy, along with Billina were castaways, but found refuge in a chicken coop which drifted away to the shores of the enchanted land of Ev, a country that happened to neighbor Oz.

Billina is Dorothy's animal companion for this adventure, she temporarily fills in the role that Toto served in the first Oz book. Billina is portrayed as a very spunky, talkative chicken, with natural sass and attitude. She was originally named Bill because, she tells Dorothy, "no one could tell whether I was going to be a hen or a rooster ". Dorothy insists on changing the hen's name to a feminine form, and adds the "ina" to the end of Bill. Dorothy and Billina have several adventures before she defeats the evil Nome King, as only a hen can as Nomes are poisonous to eggs, as the Wicked Witch of the West was to water. At the end of the novel, Billina chose to stay in Oz permanently and settled in the Royal Palace of Oz within the Emerald City, which is under Princess Ozma's reign. Billina gives births to multiple baby hens whom she names all the boys "Daniel ", and the girls all Dorothy in Dorothy Gale's honor.

Eureka[]

Eureka is a beautiful female kitten who was originally of all pure white. She was an abandoned stray but luckily, she was found by Uncle Henry, who he gave to Dorothy as a traveling gift, telling her that the name means "I have found it! " She is introduced in Baum's fourth Oz novel Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, published in 1910.

Eureka is portrayed to be a mischievous kitten, one who is feisty and catty, yet deep down she has a heart of gold. Dorothy starts out carrying Eureka in a small cage on a train with her to San Francisco to visit her relatives on their farm called Hugson's Ranch. While riding with Bill Hugson's nephew who is also Dorothy's cousin Zeb Hugson, an earthquake hit and opens a large chasm in the ground. Eureka falls down into the earths bowels and enters another dimension with Dorothy, Zeb, and his cab horse, Jim. The group found themselves in the glass city inhabited by the vegetable people called the Mangaboos. The strange lights in the Magaboos' magic carven make Eureka appear to be pinkish-purple. Thus, staining her permanently, and she becomes known as Eureka, the pink (sometimes purple) kitten.

Speckles[]

Speckles is just an ordinary hen on Uncle Henry's Kansas farm that Dorothy took a liking to, yet not much is known about her except that she hatched a new brood of chickens.

Imogene[]

In the 1903 stage version of The Wizard of Oz and in Eric Shanower's The Giant Garden of Oz, Dorothy also owns a cow named Imogene.

Brains, Heart, & Courage: Character Analysis of Dorothy Gale[]

Specifically, before her arrival in Oz, Dorothy Gale leads an isolated life that is focused on her dog Toto and on her hardworking Uncle Henry, a seemingly very poor farmer, and his wife, Aunt Em, a submitting housewife. Dorothy is therefore somewhat of a strict homebody, who never leaves nor has ventured off of the bleak Kansas prairies. Nevertheless, she interacts in a civil manner, knowing how to be polite and behaving generously and honestly with others, despite her isolated lifestyle. Dorothy has a tendency to focus on pressing matters but has the patience to hold onto her dreams and is determined to make them come true. She cares about family and friends and is loyal to both, such as her Oz friends and Toto. Dorothy Gale is the very essence of the young at heart, especially for Americans and represents the childlike quality in us all.

Dorothy also finds the good in everything and continued believing in herself as well as others. Dorothy remains positive, humble, being usually sweet-tempered, compassionate and understanding and incredibly mature beyond her years. She is an optimistic dreamer, like her dead mother, and Aunt Em has suggested that the "Fairies" marked her soul at birth, since she has been protected and unharmed in all of her amazing and dangerous adventures through many strange and bizarre places. Dorothy symbolizes the Spiritual Orphan. She has no memory of her parents and differs from other female protagonists in European culture and other Fairytales because she does not need a prince or a man to rescue her. Many historians have said that Dorothy is the American version of Alice Liddell of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Like Alice, Dorothy was a little girl longing for something other than the boring routine of everyday life. Even after becoming an official Princess of Oz, Dorothy remained unspoiled and non-materialistic by all of the lavish riches and magical items surrounding her in the Royal Palace of Oz.

Dorothy is known to never look anyone or anything over. This is how she became friends with the Scarecrow, seeing him wink at her as she was passing by when on the Yellow Brick Road. She saw him as more than just a sack of straw and saved him from his bleak existence in the Munchkin cornfield. Soon after, Dorothy came across the Tin Woodman, seeing him more than just a rusted piece of tin deep within the Munchkin woods, and she saved him also. And when Dorothy and her newfound friends came across the Cowardly Lion in the dark forest, she saw him being so much more than a mere coward and bully. Dorothy saw the brains, heart, and courage in all three of her Oz friends, even though they could not see it in themselves.

BRAINS...

In the original book of 1900, when Dorothy set out on her journey to see the Wizard, she was smart enough to fill her basket with bread and butter from the cupboard of her farmhouse to keep her and Toto fed on the way to the Emerald City, keeping a white cloth over it to keep the bread from drying out. She even filled a pail of water to keep herself hydrated. Later, when she had defeated the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy took the magic Golden Cap that she had owned as she believed it may have come in handy. The charm compelled the creatures called Winged Monkeys, and the monkey we're all obliged to obey their masters' orders three times and three times only. Dorothy was smart enough to speak the incantation and ask the leader of the Winged Monkey to fly her back home to Kansas. But to her dismay, they were unable to cross over the Deadly Desert that surrounded Oz and could not leave the realm even if they desired to do so. Magical creatures cannot enter in the realms of civilized countries or lands such as America. This resulted in Dorothy having to travel to the south and seek out the help of the beautiful good sorceress named Glinda.

HEART...

When Dorothy first came to the magical Land of Oz, she was eager to find a way back to her home, as she was concerned for her uncle and aunt were okay back in Kansas after the cyclone hit and carried her away. This made Dorothy a thoughtful person, thinking of others safety and well-being other than just her own. And showed her throughout the story as remaining unselfish because she was worried that Aunt Em would go into mourning over Dorothy's long disappearance, and Uncle Henry not being able to afford the damage that the cyclone caused on the farm and the crops. In the iconic 1939 movie, Judy Garland's Dorothy was also ultimately unselfish. Despite running away from her unhappiness and troubles at home; when Dorothy discovered that her Auntie Em had been grief-stricken and dying of a broken heart, Dorothy realized she had made a mistake and spent the entire movie trying to find a way back home to get to her sick Auntie Em, as she was guilt-ridden.

COURAGE...

Despite being only a mere child, Dorothy is very brave and very spunky for a girl who was orphaned at a young age. She has confidence and a sense of self-reliant and will fight for what she believes in. For example: while halfway to the Emerald City, the Cowardly Lion is brought into the story; when he tried to attack Dorothy and her traveling friends in the forest, he also attempted to bite Toto. Dorothy was brave enough to defend her little dog, not fearing the Cowardly Lion, who Baum describes as being nearly as large as a full-grown horse in size. Despite this Dorothy was not too scared to do the right thing and stand up for her helpless dog. In all of Dorothy's adventures in Oz, she seemed to have a maturity beyond her years and managed to take care of herself and Toto the best she possibly could. Dorothy was also portrayed as a natural hero unintentionally. She is seen overcoming being imprisoned for weeks and enslaved by the Wicked Witch of the West.

Dorothy's character and personality traits are also generally of innocence and optimism. For she did not intentionally kill the Wicked Witch of the West on purpose, and when she learned that her farmhouse had accidentally killed the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy asked if there was anything that could be done to assist the crushed woman as she lay under the beam of the fallen house. Another positive and kind trait of Dorothy is that she is always very forgiving, for when she and her friends in Oz discovered that the great Wizard was nothing more than an old Humbug named Oscar Diggs, Dorothy forgave him and felt that he wasn't such a bad man, after all, just a very bad Wizard.

Immortality of Princess Dorothy[]

""But," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "Aunt Em has told me that the witches were all dead--years and years ago." "Who is Aunt Em?" inquired the little old woman. "She is my aunt who lives in Kansas, where I came from..."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Because the universe where the Land of Oz lies is filled with fairy magic, Princess Dorothy is forever immortal like all living things in Oz. Therefore she nor anyone else who reside there have to die. And with the help of Glinda, Princess Ozma, stopped the aging process in Oz forever. No one ever becomes deathly-ill or dies unless they are bad and evil like the Wicked Witches who once dwelled in Oz before Dorothy killed them. In Baum's later Oz books, Dorothy is in her late teens and even early twenties in the dozen sequels. But due to Oz's enchantment, Dorothy doesn't look a day older than she appeared to be when she decided to live in Oz as royalty decades prior, a truly disturbing element.

  • In the Oz book by author Ruth Plumly Thompson titled The Lost King of Oz, published in 1925, Dorothy is accidentally transported to Hollywood. When she arrives she begins to grow rapidly into a middle-aged adult woman in her mid 30's. While in Hollywood, she also meets Humpy, a friendly live stunt dummy, whom she brings back to Oz where she immediately forms back into her normal childlike self. This implies that if she were to return to America in modern times, she might wither away as an old woman, essentially trapping her in Oz.

Family Tree of Dorothy Gale[]

As many Historians believe that Dorothy Gale was inspired by Alice Liddell from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; unlike Alice, Dorothy did not live an upper-class and pampered Victorian lifestyle.

Dorothy has a rather fuzzy history, and while not necessarily dysfunctional, Dorothy does have a broken upbringing but otherwise little to no backstory. All Baum tells us about the history of Dorothy is that she is apparently an only child whose parents have died. We do not even know if Dorothy remembers them. She seemed to be a content if lonely little girl living in Kansas, she seems to have no friends her own age and is most likely home-schooled. Whether or not her Aunt and Uncle are blood-related is also unclear.

Most likely, Dorothy's Uncle Henry is her blood relative. In Baum's third Oz novel, Ozma of Oz, Dorothy and Henry are on a ship to see family in Australia to take a break from farming on doctor's orders due to the stress that the cyclone has brought upon Henry. Aunt Em stays behind in Kansas to look after the farm. In Baum's fourth Oz book, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Dorothy is with Uncle Henry in California at Hugson's Ranch, on their way home from Australia, Dorothy having visited friends in San Francisco. She strikes up an acquaintance with Hugson's nephew and her second cousin, Zeb of Hugson's Ranch. These are probably Uncle Henry's relatives also. In the first chapter, Zeb tells Dorothy that his own uncle, Bill Hugson, married "your Uncle Henry's wife's sister". This seems to cement that Dorothy's blood relative is indeed Uncle Henry, since if she was related to Aunt Em, Zeb would have said "your Aunt Em's sister". Furthermore, in the second chapter of The Emerald City of Oz, Baum writes, "As for Uncle Henry, he thought his little niece merely a dreamer, as her dead mother had been." The wistful tone of this passage might be taken to suggest that Uncle Henry is Dorothy's mother's brother.

Unlike many versions of the story, in the original book Dorothy's Aunt Em does not seem to have a close relationship with her niece. She appears to be unable to find the joy in the small and simple things in life that Dorothy (being a child) still could. However, at the very end of the story, when Dorothy and Toto are sent home, Aunt Em is happy to see Dorothy has come back to her, indicating that she does have love for Dorothy after all.

In the opening chapter of his first Oz book, L. Frank Baum famously informs the reader that Dorothy is an orphan who lives with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry (In the 1902 stage adaptation of the book, she has a still-living father). Her family name, Gale, isn't mentioned in the books until the third one, Ozma of Oz. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are never identified as Gales in any of the Oz books (Henry is called "Henry Gale" in the 1939 movie based loosely on the first book).

In the 1985 Disney film Return to Oz, Henry's last name is "Blue". This result makes Dorothy's family relationship undetermined. However, Aunt Em mentions a sister named Garnet, who wouldn't be related to Dorothy directly.

In Syfy's Tin Man miniseries, it is eventually revealed the character of D.G. is Dorothy Gale's great granddaughter. D.G. is sent to Oz in present day, over one hundred years after the real Dorothy came and made history by being the very first "Slipper" to cross over into the "Outer Zone" aka Oz.

In Disney's 2013 Oz-prequel to the 1939 musical Oz the Great and Powerful, the film is set thirty to forty years prior to when Dorothy's story takes place. A pre-Wizard Oscar Diggs aka "Oscar Oz", has an on again off again lover by the name of "Annie Gale" in Kansas. This hints that it is highly possible Annie is Dorothy's mother. She is also wearing a gingham dress of checks just like her unborn daughter Dorothy one day will.

In March Laumer's book Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Oz, their last name is Gale, but in its companion, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in Oz, their last name is Mankato. Also, differing accounts of Dorothy's parentage are given in both, and in the fourth-wall breaking A Farewell to Oz, Laumer himself asks her which account is true. Her answer is unfortunately not given. Elsewhere in Laumer's sub-series, she marries Zippiochogollak and has a son with him who goes on to teach at the Wogglebug's university.

In Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in Oz, Dorothy's mother, Ida Blake, was Aunt Em's sister. She ended her engagement to a man who worked in the main bank in Topeka after she fell in love with Robert Gale, who was helping to settle a strike at Ida's father's shoe factory. Angered, her ex-fiancé did everything he could to ruin the Blake family financially. Later, Ida's brother Charlie returned from a sea voyage and told Dorothy's parents of finding pearls on a South Seas island, convincing them that they could all get rich. Dorothy was left with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, but after Bobby and Ida sailed away, they were never heard from again.

In Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Oz, Dorothy's father, Lewis, was Uncle Henry's brother, and her mother, Marie, was Aunt Em's sister. Dorothy went to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother died. Soon afterwards, her father married the richest woman in Topeka, who couldn't stand to have Dorothy around, so her aunt and uncle continued to raise her. Mr. Gale's new wife helped him became president of one of the richest and most powerful banks in Topeka, and while under her influence, he foreclosed the mortgage on Uncle Henry's farm.

Baum's Character Inspiration[]

"Dorothy Gale" is a certified household name, it is the name belonging to one of the most beloved and well known characters of all time. But also one of the least discussed names of fiction. This is most likely due to Baum giving Dorothy little to no backstory. However, Oz's Dorothy was not the first Dorothy of L. Frank Baum's work. In Baum's first children's book titled Mother Goose in Prose, published in 1897, there is also another Dorothy who later would be unofficially identified as Dorothy Gale in Baum's Oz book. (See "Little Bun Rabbit".) The name of Dorothy in general was also a very popular name at the time and many fictional characters were being given it. Such as Charles E. Carryl's Fairytale titled The Admiral's Caravan, published in 1891. Despite this fact, Baum later insisted that he did not base the character of Dorothy Gale on anyone in particular.

Many Historians believe that Baum's original influence on the creation of Oz's "Dorothy" appears to be the Alice of English author Lewis Carroll's Wonderland & Looking Glass books. It is highly possible that Baum took some of the personality traits of Alice and morphed them into his own for his character. He ultimately Americanized the character who would become known as Dorothy Gale.

Despite Baum stating Dorothy is not based upon anyone real, the name of Dorothy was most likely chosen in homage to Baum's own real-life niece, Dorothy Louise Gage, who died in infancy. Baum's wife was very attached to her and was deeply grieved by her death, so there is speculation that Baum inserted her name into his stories as a memorial. Elements of Dorothy Gale's character are possibly derived from Matilda Joslyn Gage, Dorothy's grandmother. Dorothy Gage is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois.

Lee Sandlin, writes that L. Frank Baum read a disaster report of a tornado in Irving, Kansas, in May 1879 which included the name of a victim, Dorothy Gale, who was "found buried face down in a mud puddle."

Book Appearances[]

Dorothy does not appear in The Marvelous Land of Oz, Captain Salt in Oz, or The Silver Princess in Oz.

Other Oz-Related Books[]

Magic Land[]

Magic Land is the Russian version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, originally titled: Волшебник Изумрудного Города (The Wizard of the Emerald City).

The book was written by Russian author Alexander Melentyevich Volkov, published in 1939, the same year the MGM film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy was made. The adolescent girl protagonist based and modeled upon Dorothy Gale is named Ellie Smith. (Sometimes spelled Elly Smith in some printing versions) And the dog that serves as Toto is named Totoshka.

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Ellie Smith with her Magic Land Friends.

In this version, much of the story is the same as Baum's original story with only a few changes in the plots and most of the character's names are translated into Russian form.

Magician of Oz and sequels[]

Dorothy meets Jamie Diggs, the great-grandson of the Wizard at Glinda's palace. She receives a special gift of his friendship by Ozma, which represents the central theme of the book. Dorothy, along with Toto, accompanies Jamie who is declared the new Royal Magician of Oz, on his journey to battle the Army of Trees and casts her own Spell of the Stone Morels against the army of Morel Mushrooms who have sided with the Fighting Trees. (Magician of Oz)

Dorothy reunites with Jamie and meets his best friend, Buddy, when they arrive by balloon in the Emerald City. She joins them and even Ozma as they travel by balloon to explore the dark hole beneath the covered bridge in Winkie Country where the Shadow Demon was reborn. Her encounter with him while travelling by boat along the Winkie River provides Jamie a critical clue that sends him and Buddy to Mount Munch in order to save the Hyups from the Shadow Demon. (Shadow Demon of Oz)

Dorothy meets Jamie's mother, Amanda, along with two Hyups, Darlene and Heavenly. They travel to the Emerald City and reunite with the rest of Jamie's family and friends, all of whom have been transported to Oz by means of a magic box. Dorothy joins everyone as they travel south to the banks of the Munchkin River to watch the climatic battle against Cobbler the Dog, the mechanical pet of Tik-Tok, who was possessed by the evil remains of the Wicked Witch of the East. (Family of Oz)

Dorothy of Oz[]

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Dorothy of Oz original book cover 1989

In Kansas, while Toto is barking at the chickens and Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are working on the farm, Dorothy is making her bed in the morning and takes a peek out her bedroom window to see a bright and beautiful rainbow in the distance. With Toto at her side, she rushes outside to try and catch it. When she finally reaches it, she then sees Glinda the Good Witch inside it. She tells Dorothy that she must return to Oz so that she can save her friends from an evil jester. She retrieved the Silver Shoes that Dorothy lost in the Deadly Desert on her flight back home from Oz after the first trip. She tells Dorothy that the desert has weakened the power of the shoes' magic, so they can only work two more times to take her to Oz and then back again before the charm officially dies. Dorothy uses them for her and Toto to go back to Oz and let the adventure begin. ("Dorothy of Oz")

The 2014 CGI children's film Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is loosely based upon this book.

Dorothy - Return to Oz[]

In Thomas L. Tedrow's novel Dorothy - Return to Oz (1993) Dorothy Gale was born in 1921, had her Oz adventure in 1933, and never returned to Oz. She became a wife and mother and grew old in Kansas. In 1993, Dorothy, now known as "Grandma D" was able to mentor her 12-year-old granddaughter Dorothy Gale II, who was summoned to Oz to help overthrow a new evil.

Gregory Maguire's The Wicked Years (1995-2011)[]

See Dorothy Gale (Wicked Years).

Birds of Prey by Bastian Phillips[]

Dorothy is the main antagonist of the Oz novella Birds of Prey. Her appearance is much like that of the Judy Garland in the 1939 film adaptation, except her ruby slippers are replaced with a silver necklace adorned with a ruby. Dorothy is called "Gale" throughout the story, and she is presented as a vampire.

Was (novel)[]

Was is a 1992 adult parallel Oz novel by author Geoff Ryman, in which the magical Land of Oz never existed as a real place. Instead, the novel explores the tragic, but very moving life of "Dorothy Gael" (in this version her last name really is spelled Gael), in 1800's Kansas, whose traumatic experiences with Aunt Emily and Uncle Henry after her mother's death lead her to create an imaginary and idealized world in her mind based on some of her real-life experiences as a way of coping with her harsh reality. ("Was")

Dorothy Must Die![]

Dorothy Must Die is a 2014 young adult book by Danielle Paige and her debut novel. It shows a corrupt Dorothy who has usurped control of Oz and is hoarding all of it's magic for herself with the aid of Glinda and an equally corrupt the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. A prequel, No Place Like Oz, was released as an Ebook and showed the start of her corruption. At sixteen years old, she has grown tired of her Kansas life and is sent back to Oz via a new pair of red magic shoes made for and given to her by Glinda, an obvious homage to the iconic Ruby Slippers. Once there, she becomes addicted to the power of the shoes and overthrows Princess Ozma.

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Book Cover

Dorothy Gale on Broadway[]

The first musical adaptation of Oz was a Avant-Garde version loosely based upon the book and produced by Baum and Denslow (with music by composer Paul Tietjens) in Chicago in 1902 and moved to New York in 1903. Dorothy was portrayed by Theater Actress Anna Laughlin. In this stage version of Oz, many elements were left out due to being impractical for the time. For example: Dorothy does not wear Silver Shoes or any type of magic footwear.

The Wizard of Oz 1902 musical extravaganza Anna Laughlin as Dorothy

Anna Laughlin as Dorothy in the Avant-Garde Stage adaptation of Baum's Oz book of 1900.

It used many of the same characters, and was aimed more at adult audiences. It had a long, successful run on Broadway. Baum added numerous political references to the script, mentioning President Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Mark Hanna, and John D. Rockefeller by name. Many existing songs that had nothing to do with the story were interpolated. Baum followed with two additional Oz musicals, The Woggle-Bug (1905) and The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (1913). Both were panned as rehashes rather than sequels; although Tik-Tok did better than The Wogglebug, neither made it to Broadway.

Film & Television Appearances[]

Journey Back to Oz (1974)[]

In this animated version of the Oz stories, Dorothy is swept back to Oz to find an evil Witch who wants to take over the land and the Emerald City. In this version, she is voiced by none other than Judy Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (anime) (1986)[]

Dorothy-anime

Dorothy, 1986 anime TV series

Dorothy is voiced by Morgan Hallett in the English version and Sumi Shimamoto in the Japanese version. She is inspiration of Alice from Disney's Alice in Wonderland and Mia (pronounced Maya) from Thumbelina: A Magical Story. Dorothy is the main protagonist in all four story arcs of the series, including the second story arc based on Baum's novel The Marvelous Land of Oz, even though she is not in the novel.

Dorothy does not move to Oz or become a princess in the series, although in the fourth story arc, based on Baum's novel The Emerald City of Oz, she is teaching Ozma etiquette to prepare her to become Queen of Oz, and helps with her coronation. She returns to her home in Kansas again with the help of Ozma's magic at the end of the series, but is happy that she can return to Oz any time she wants with Ozma's help.

The Dreamer of Oz (1990)[]

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Courtney Barilla as Dorothy Gale. (circa 1990).

The Dreamer of Oz is the L. Frank Baum biopic from 1990. It is a made for television film that stars John Ritter as Baum, the author who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and 13 sequel Oz books. Annette O'Toole starred as his supportive and beautiful wife, Maud, and Rue McClanahan as his tough and stern mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage. Then child actress Courtney Barilla starred as the real-life Dorothy, who appears to be a fictional conflation of several little girls Baum knew.

The film tells how the book became a success and what gave Baum his inspiration when creating Oz and its characters.

The Wizard of Oz In Concert: Dreams Come True (1995)[]

Jewel

Jewel

Singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher beautifully played the role in a star-studded charity concert performance at Lincoln Center, benefiting the Children's Defense Fund. She's covered "Over the Rainbow" on her Lullabys album.

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)[]

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R&B Singer Ashanti as Dorothy Gale (2005)

In 2005, Disney made for TV Oz special starring the legendary Muppets!

Dorothy is played by pop star and R&B singer Ashanti. In this version, she is a teenage orphan who works at Aunt Em's local diner. But she dreams of a glamorous life of the rich and famous and is eager to leave her small town trailer park existence behind, but only if she can finally get discovered and prove she has true talent.

After a tornado picks up her trailer and takes it to the realm of Oz, she embarks on a quest wearing Manolo Blahnik Silver Shoes in hopes of becoming a superstar and make all her dreams come true.

Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (2011)[]

In this version, Dorothy is a children's author who moves to New York City to become a successful children's writer only to realize that her stories about Oz are more than just a fragment of her imagination. Dorothy is played by actress Paula Ana Redding.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)[]

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Legends of Oz (2014)

In this CGI animated film, Dorothy is given a more modern look as she trades her iconic blue and white look of gingham for denim overalls of blue and cowboy boots. She is Voiced by actress and singer Lea Michele, Dorothy Gale returns to Kansas to find it devastated. Dorothy then finds a new way to get back to the Land of Oz only to discover that her old friends-the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion-and the entire Land of Oz are all in grave danger. On Dorothy's new journey through Oz, she meets new friends like a china doll princess, a marshmallow man named Marshal Mallow, a large owl named Wiser, and an ancient tree-turned-tugboat named Tugg. With the help of her new friends, they band together against a wicked Jester who wants to control Oz by turning important people into marionettes. This movie is loosely based on the book Dorothy of Oz by Roger S. Baum.

Lost In Oz 2015[]

In this modern animated take on L. Frank Baum's story, Dorothy Gale is joined by her best friend Toto as they explore the land of Oz. Dorothy makes new friends and battles enemies, as she tries to find her way home again. Dorothy is voiced by actress Ashley Boettcher.

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz[]

Dorothy Gale (Dorothy & The Wizard of Oz Cartoon)

In this series, Dorothy is voiced by Kari Wahlgren, and made a Princess of Oz. She often uses the Ruby Slippers to transport herself and her friends to any part of the Land of Oz.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Barnyard Studios)[]

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Dorothy and Toto in Barnyard Studio's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

An independent and yet faithful adaptation of Baum's envision of Oz. In this version Dorothy Gale is played by child actress Mariellen Kemp who's appearance as Dorothy stays extremely loyal to Baum's original character as well as all the other characters in this production of the 1900 book.

In Comics[]

Marvel Comics[]

When Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale and her pet dog Toto have swept away to the magical Land of Oz in a cyclone, she fatally flattens a Wicked Witch, liberates a talking Scarecrow, a man made of tin, a scaredy-cat Lion and is hailed by the Ozians as a great sorceress! But all Dorothy really wants to know is: how does she get home again?

Lost Girls[]

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Lost Girls

In writer Alan Moore's book titled Lost Girls, while trapped in her house during a cyclone, Dorothy Gale begins masturbating and experiences her first orgasm at the age of sixteen.

Dorothy survives the cyclone and later she has sexual encounters with three Kansas farm hands. Throughout most of the story, she refers to her "aunt" and "uncle", whom she later admits were her step-mother and step-father, who discover her affairs with the farmhands. Her step-father takes her to New York City, (a metaphor of Emerald City) under the pretense of seeking psychological help from a therapist. (Who is a metaphor for the Wizard), But on their way he has sex with Dorothy repeatedly. Dorothy feels guilty of destroying her father's marriage, (a metaphor for destroying the Wicked Witch) and runs away forever to travel the world and find a home. (A metaphor for "There's No Place Like Home").

Oz-Squad[]

Oz Squad

Dorothy with the rest of the Oz Squad

Dorothy, now an adult years after her childhood adventures, has returned to the United States with her friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion. Unfortunately, some of their old enemies have returned as well, including the Wicked Witch of the East, now known as Rebecca Eastwich. (Oz Squad)

During this era, Dorothy has a son with Ozma, who they name Ozzy. (Oz Squad: March of the Tin Soldiers)

A Gothic Dorothy[]

Dorothy comic

Dorothy is a jaded teenager who gets swept with her car to the Land of Oz. There, she meets a robotic dog named Toto, as well as her other companions. (Dorothy)

The Twisted Land of Oz (Spawn-Toys)[]

The Land of Oz gets pretty Twisted... In a very dark and grim story, this adult and gothic version of The Wizard of Oz is indeed a twisted one. Dorothy is portrayed as a very innocent orphan who is also a fully developed yet sexually frustrated young girl in her late teens who has swept away to the land of Oz, a mysterious and psychotic realm of dark entities, sexual slavery, rape, mutant creatures and tortured souls.


Gallery[]

W. W. Denslow[]

John R. Neill[]

Charles Santore[]

Tin Man (2007)[]

Dorothy & The Wizard of Oz (2017-2020)[]

Other Dorothys[]

Footnotes[]


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