'That Man Behind the Curtain': Atheism and Belief in The Wizard of Oz

Justin Remes


While The Wizard of Oz (1939) constructs an elaborate mythic world filled with witches, wizards, and magic, this essay argues that Victor Fleming's classic film also carries with it a message that is profoundly atheistic. The film persistently deconstructs ostensibly supernatural experiences by revealing their materialist underpinnings. Further, this essay interrogates Oz's epistemology by connecting it with Slavoj Žižek's concept of decaffeinated belief, as well as Daniel Dennett's notion of belief in belief.


The Wizard of Oz; Victor Fleming; atheism; materialism; belief; Daniel Dennett; Slavoj Žižek

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