This article makes a good point... except the movie was released in 1939, so 1950s Kansas wasn't even conceptualized yet. So, it's more like 1930s post-Depression/Dust Bowl Kansas. This isn't even taking into consideration the children's book written by L Frank Baum and published in 1899. As well, Dorothy wasn't sent to kill the witch until AFTER she found out that the humbug Wizard would only help her get back home once she assassinated this major political figure in charge of an entire portion of the country.
I know that this must all appear nitpicky, but this was my favorite book AND movie growing up as a child. As well, I am obsessed with detail work, so do bear with me. All in all, however, this little blurb makes excellent sense in accordance to the film, which did mess up the book on a few moments (Oz only being a dream, my pasty white ass...). In the book, it is explained that the Witch of the West invaded a country, enslaved all of the inhabitants, and then habitually performed evil spells on various people and animals.
Aaaah. The movie didn't explain that she really WAS evil. I hadn't read the book, so from my perspective she hadn't really done anything wrong. I do appreciate having a proper Oz fan inform me of my oversight, though. Learn something knew every day. X3 In fairness, I was going for funny, so accuracy may have been left at the door. X3
It's titled "The life and times of the wicked witch of the west" The book goes into much much more detail about The witches' birth, why she's the only person in Oz to be green etc.
According to that book her main crime was the fact she had become something like a terrorist, that she was frighting for Animal rights (Animal being anthramorpic animals like the Coawrdly Lion and not animals like Toto) who at the time were being rounded up and treated like animals.
she also has a whirlwind affair with hte Prince of the Winkies Fiyero and while in a coma for about 7 years, goes into labour and has a son she doesent know about named Lir.