Blog Post 5: What on Earth is “The Wizard of Oz”?

The communicator of the Wizard of Oz is the author, L. Frank Baum. He focuses heavily on Dorothy and her discoveries in the magical land she finds herself in. The story is narrated from the omnipresent third-person perspective of someone who is sort of learning more about the Emerald City and its inhabitants alongside Dorothy. As mentioned in the introduction of the book, the intended audience is largely younger people or maybe caregiving figures who read to younger children. I see this story as one that appeals to children looking to expand/challenge themselves or that appeals to the metaphorical, imaginative inner children in all of us.

I’d like to focus on a quote from the “Cowardly” Lion towards the end of chapter 18. A significant moment in the Lion’s journey of self-improvement and self-acceptance is when he proudly declares “‘I am really a wild beast… Dorothy will need someone to protect her.’” Throughout the introduction of this character in chapter 6, the Lion is insecure about his power and cowardice which ultimately motivates him to join Dorothy’s journey to Oz in search of courage. One of the first ways Dorothy addresses the Lion is by describing him as a “wild beast” who will protect them from other wild beasts. Self-identifying as “wild” and volunteering for a somewhat dangerous position protecting Dorothy on her journey to Glinda the Good Witch in chapter 18 is a turning point in the Lion’s journey towards gaining courage and self-assuredness. In this context, “wildness” refers to the natural self and the unfiltered identity of the Lion.

– Tsion Teffera


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3 Responses to Blog Post 5: What on Earth is “The Wizard of Oz”?

  1. ts36942

    I like how you described wild as it pertains to the cowardly lion. Its almost like the lion finally knows what its like to be one with nature and accept its bestial side, as you so perfectly put it when saying “natural self and unfiltered identity”. I think Baum didn’t really use really complicated or creative definitions of the word ‘wild’. In most of his work his definition of wild is mostly being untamed or one with nature or being feral.

  2. kia326

    I like the way you juxtaposed the lion’s attitude in the beginning of the novel compared to the end, emphasizing that he finally considers himself the “wild” creature he always wanted to be. I think your rhetorical analysis could be strengthened if you also drew on the ethos, pathos, and logos appeals that the author uses throughout this novel. Overall great work!

  3. lmr3855

    I believe the example you have given above can be applicable when talking about pathos. For the lion, coming from such an insecure and doubtful idea of himself, I imagine it must have felt freeing, brave, and courageous when he finally gains enough courage to identify as a beast himself and volunteer to protect Dorothy from the other beasts. As you mentioned, I agree this is a turning point for the Lion’s journey and this is where he finally realizes the courage and confidence is within himself and he decides to embrace it. I like your description of this moment in chapter 18 but like I mentioned I feel this is a good representation of pathos which could’ve strengthened your rhetorical analysis.

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