Dorothy Gale is a fictional character, the protagonist of many of the Oz novels by American author L. Frank Baum, and the best friend of Oz's ruler Princess Ozma. Dorothy first appears in Baum's classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and reappears in most of its sequels. She also is the main character in the classic 1939 movie adaptation of the book.
Dorothy's adventures continue. In later books Oz steadily becomes more familiar to her than her homeland of Kansas. Indeed, Dorothy eventually goes to live in an apartment in the Emerald City Palace, but only once Aunt Em and Uncle Henry have settled in a farmhouse on the outskirts of the Emerald City, unable to pay the mortgage on their house in Kansas.
An influence on the creation of Dorothy appears to be the Alice books of Lewis Carroll. Although he found their plots incoherent, Baum identified their source of popularity as Alice herself, a child with whom the child readers could identify; this influenced his choice of a protagonist.
The name of the character comes from Baum's own niece, Dorothy Louise Gage, who died when she was an infant. Baum's wife was deeply attached to the little girl and deeply grieved by her death, so he inserted her into his story as a memoriam. Elements of her character are derived from Matilda Joslyn Gage, Dorothy's grandmother. Dorothy Gage is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois.
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Official Site: Warner Bros.
Links: Wikipedia Entry Wizard of Oz IMDb page Original story excerpt