Emerald City - Fictional Description

Fictional Description

Located in the center of the Land of Oz, the Emerald City is the end of the famous yellow brick road, which starts in Munchkin Country.

In the first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the walls are green, but the city itself is not. However, when they enter, everyone in the Emerald City is made to wear green-tinted eyeglasses; this is explained as an effort to protect their eyes from the "brightness and glory" of the city, but in effect makes everything appear green when it is, in fact, "no more green than any other city." This is yet another "humbug" created by the Wizard. In this book, the Wizard also describes the city as having been built for him within a few years after he arrived. It was he who decreed that all who are in the Emerald City must wear green eyeglasses, since the first thing he noticed about Oz after he landed in his hot-air balloon was how green and pleasant the country was.

In the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz, however, the characters are required to wear the glasses at first, but half way through the book, no more eyeglasses appear, no more mention is made of the brilliance, but the city is still described as green. This is continued throughout the series. The only allusions to the earlier conception appeared in The Road to Oz, where the Little Guardian of the Gates wears green spectacles, the only character to do so. Furthermore, although at one point, the character Tip describes it as being built by the Wizard, at another, the Scarecrow explains that the Wizard had usurped the crown of Pastoria, the former king of the city, and from the Wizard the crown had passed to him; the book, in fact, quickly concerns itself with finding the rightful heir to the crown of the city. Ozma remained the heir to the king, though both she and the original king were transformed to the ruler of all Oz. The story, however, reverted to the Wizard having built the city in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, with the usurpation of the king's power being done by the four witches before his arrival.

The Oz books describe the Emerald City as being built of green glass, emeralds, and other jewels. In the earlier books, it was described as completely green, but in later ones, green was merely the predominating color; the buildings were decorated with gold as well, and people added other colors to their costumes.

In the first book, one scene of the Emerald City is of particular note in the development of Oz: Dorothy sees rows of shops, selling green articles of every variety, and a vendor of green lemonade, from whom children bought it with green pennies. This contrasts with the later description of Oz, in which money does not feature. Interpreters have argued that money may have been introduced into the city by the Wizard, but this is not in the text itself.

The Emerald City of Oz is the title of the sixth book in the Oz series. In it, the city is described as having exactly 9654 buildings and 57,318 citizens.

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