I’d Rather be Dorothy of The Wizard of OZ than Andy of The Devil Wears Prada
In considering the lives of the two main characters (Dorothy and Andy) in the movies The Wizard of OZ and The Devil Wears Prada, it seems as if Dorothy is in a better position for living a beautiful life.
Dorothy lands in OZ and Andy lands in the fashion world of Miranda Priestly, knocking them off-balance. Each is clever, and yet Dorothy may have an advantage over Andy. Their stories show us two ways to move through the world.
Maybe because Dorothy was a child, she takes the advice she’s given at face value and does what she’s told in order to get home. The directions of how to move forward were clearer for Dorothy: Follow the yellow brick road. Andy, on the other hand, had no road; in fact, people gave her a sliver of the information she needed to do her job—and the tasks were all over the map, from getting skirts and coffee to getting the unpublished manuscript of a Harry Potter book.
Dorothy picks up friends along the way who have needs of their own. They join her on the road to get what they want, while helping Dorothy get home. Instead of acting like a helpless child, Dorothy becomes the advocate who slaps and scolds in an attempt to defend her friends. It’s a circle of striving for mutual goals: a win/win situation.
Andy, on the other hand, does not have any friends at work, and if you look at Miranda and Nigel’s lives, they don’t either. Once Andy changes her image to fit into this new world of fashion (including losing ten pounds so she can wear the coveted size 4), she also becomes estranged from her boyfriend and long time friends. Nigel remains her only true mentor/connection at work, while Miranda begins to welcome her into her power circle as a protégé. While in Paris, Andy realizes that she does “have a choice,” yet her blind ambition for personal success is taking her over the edge. When she realizes who she’s becoming, she wakes up, and does an about-face by immediately throwing her phone in the fountain.
Maybe a subtle, yet beautiful aspect of Dorothy’s journey is HOW she and her friends follow the yellow brick road. They lock arms, then skip and sing their way to the Emerald City as a unified team. It’s interesting to note that the color emerald is symbolic of new beginnings, growth and health—a goal we’d all like to achieve.
If the purpose of life is to enjoy the journey rather than the destination, then success lies in the joyful steps we take in our ruby red shoes, with arms locked around friends who see us through every evil we face. They protect us by using their brains, hearts and courage. What brings us HOME to ourselves begins when we appreciate ourselves AND our companions; we click our heels together three times with mutual enthusiasm and respect.
This circle of friendship might explain why a book written 123 years ago, and a movie that is 84 years old continue to be one of the most cherished stories of all time.