The Wizard of Oz

All of Dorothy’s companions in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ seek qualities that they already possess. The Scarecrow, feeling stupid, wants to receive a brain from the Wizard. But despite his belief that he lacks one, he succeeds in outsmarting the bees that the Wicked Witch has sent to kill Dorothy and her party. With the straw taken from inside himself, he cleverly provides the others with a layer of protection that cannot be penetrated by the bee’s stingers.

Similarly, even before the Wizard has the Lion drink the concoction that will presumably bestow courage upon him, the beast scares away a dozen of the spear-wielding slaves of the Wicked Witch with a tremendous roar. Baum has the Wizard himself reveal that courage is pre-existent in the Lion when he scripts the old charlatan to say, ‘you know, of course, that courage is always inside one’. But Baum puts these words in a context that intentionally renders them, ironically, ambiguous. And in the same way in which courage as a quality can be present but unacknowledged, so too, the fact of its presence can be clearly announced without, however,”

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