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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Wizard of OZ vs Alice in Wonderland... Which is best for promoting imagination?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30951points) February 12th, 2010

Which story do you think holds the most hidden philosophical insights? Which story promotes us to explore our imaginations the most? Is either one more important to society than the other?

If given the choice between the two, which one would you give to a child? Which one would you keep for yourself?

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31 Answers

rangerr's avatar

I would read Alice In Wonderland to the entire world if I could.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Feel free to begin at any time. It’s a small world after all.

ETpro's avatar

Both are great stories in their own right, but Alice in Wonderland is perhaps the quintessential work of English Literature when it comes to promoting imagination. It should be required reading.

That said, why pick. Both include great philosophical insights. Every child deserves to read both of them.

DrMC's avatar

The front lines in world war one was pretty stimulating. No one slept through that.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I haven’t read The Wizard of Oz for a veeeeery long time, and recently I have been reading Alice In Wonderland more recently, so, my answer would be Alice In Wonderland but that may be biased. There’s just something about it that sets it apart.

El_Cadejo's avatar

There is no way to possibly compare these two stories in my mind. Alice is leaps and bonds beyond The Wizard of Oz when it comes to imagination.

bean's avatar

I’m more familiar with Alice in Wonderland… I like the idea better than Wizard of Oz but I use to watch that a lot while i was little, I grew out of it but I still like Alice in Wonderland

Berserker's avatar

I’d say Alice since it’s so messed up haha.
Wizard of Oz, at least for me, had a very disappointing and innocence destroying ending. my imagination was never the same again.
Damn life lessons…XD

Bugabear's avatar

Hands down Alice in wonderland. The wizard of Oz was more of a musical/fairytale then an imaginative experience.

Dog's avatar

Actually I am going to disagree- because the Wizard of Oz is actually just one (and the most boring one) of a great series of books.

Here is a listing of the originals

Haleth's avatar

The Wizard of Oz is supposed to be an allegory for the politics of America during the Industrial Revolution. Dorothy is the Everyman or the American people, the Tin Man is the industrial workers, the Scarecrow is the farmers, and the tornado is a political upheaval. Lewis Carrol probably got the plot for Alice in Wonderland because he was tripping on acid and perving on underage girls. I think Alice is a little more imaginative.

Has anyone ever read the Chronicles of Amber? There’s a really cool passage based on Alice and Jabberwocky where the character Merlin beats the Jabberwock with the Vorpal Sword then gets drunk with the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. It’s pretty sweet. And then he finds out that this whole episode happened because someone slipped him acid.

El_Cadejo's avatar

welllll considering LSD was synthesized in 1938….

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Let’s not forget the spin-offs either.

Tin Man

Dark Oz


Dark Side of the Rainbow

The story line has definitely launched a plethora of imagination beyond the original tale. I’m not convinced that Alice compares.

Dog's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Awesome links- I was not aware of some and will check themn out. I have yet to see or read Wicked.

desiree333's avatar


PandoraBoxx's avatar

Both of the annotated versions of Alice In Wonderland and Wizard of Oz would be treasures to own. Martin Gardner edited the Alice annotation.

davidbetterman's avatar

It’s a toss-up. they are both equals in the realm of imagination. Lewis Carroll was high on mushrooms most of the time he spent writing Alice…and Frank Baum was ingesting some sort of button from a certain cactus found in the South West and Mehico.
Now Dr. Seuss…He fits right in with our other two illustrious authors.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

As an avid Information Theory enthusiast, I’m pleased to see Hubert Yockey quote so much from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in his book Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origins of Life

Page 7 quotes a conversation between Alice and Humpty Dumpty that Yockey uses to compare Humpty’s linguistic gymnastics to DNA/RNA transcription. It’s fascinating.

tamkli3's avatar

alice and wonderland for everyone! :)

Seek's avatar

Why choose? Read both, and throw in “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” for good measure.

suncatnin's avatar

The Oz series. The stories are meaningful on multiple levels while still being written at a level that is accessible to younger readers. The original illustrations are also fantastic without taking away from the imagination too much.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’d go with “Alice” for literary value.

@Haleth The Wizard was supposed to be William Jennings Bryan

katwalk65's avatar

That’s a tough question, I find them both creatively inspiring, although in different ways. They both show children you will be exposed to people who wish you harm as well as good, who to trust (or not) and the valuable lessons of ‘no place like home’ and how to keep your equilibrium when you go down a rabbit hole. Hard to pick one, depends on what the child is seeking at the time, I find Alice better when you’re a bit older.

Strauss's avatar

When I was a child I used to read “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” very often. I have never actually read any of L Frank Baum’s works (The Wizard of Oz, or any of his other works about Oz, so I really can’t copare. I liked Carroll’s books though.

ChaosCross's avatar

Alice in wonderland would be my suggestion, simply more random.

Shuttle128's avatar

Having read both Alice books and several of the Oz books when I was a child, I’d have to say that the Oz series seemed more imaginative to me as a child. If I went back and read the Alice books again I’d probably find it more imaginative now due to my better understanding. I think they are both highly imaginative but in very different ways.

katwalk65's avatar

I love how you qualified ‘seemed more imaginative…as a child’—it’s so interesting how what we perceive as imaginative changes over time…Just wanted to thank you for that, made me think about how much wonder there was as a child, and how that ‘sticks’ with you for your life!

candide's avatar

why choose one to the exclusion the other?

lazydaisy's avatar

depends. book or movie? The Wizard of Oz book was pretty cool. I think either can have as much value as you place in them.

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