"I don't mind my legs and arms and body being stuffed, because I cannot get hurt. If anyone treads on my toes or sticks a pin into me, it doesn't matter, for I can't feel it. But I do not want people to call me a fool…." (3.49)
The Scarecrow is really sensitive about how he's perceived, and his self-esteem suffers for it.
"Many crows and other birds flew into the cornfield, but as soon as they saw me they flew away again, thinking I was a Munchkin; and this pleased me and made me feel I was quite an important person." (4.21)
That feeling was fleeting, though. Soon afterward the crows came back and ate the corn, and the Scarecrow felt like a failure.
"Why, it is said that he never lets anyone come into his presence. I have been to the Emerald City many times, and it is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I have never been permitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person who has seen him." (10.22)
No one? Ever? Really? Seems like this statement should have raised some red flags for our intrepid travelers (or for us as readers). And when you go back and reread this part, it does, right? That's foreshadowing. It hints at something to come, but you don't always notice it the first time through. Initially, we think it's just that Oz cultivates a reputation as a man of mystery. Ultimately we find out he limits his exposure to people because he's afraid they'll figure out he's just an ordinary man.
"It has been many years since anyone has asked me to see Oz," he said, shaking his head in perplexity. "He is powerful and terrible, and if you come on an idle or foolish errand to bother the wise reflections of the Great Wizard, he might be angry and destroy you all in an instant." (10.60)
As Dorothy and her friends get closer to the Emerald City, Oz's reputation is still mysterious, but it takes on a more sinister edge. Well played, Oz. Well played.
"I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I come to you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become the King of Beasts, as men call me." (11.95)
For the Lion, nothing seems so important as being able to live up to his reputation. Being scared all the time makes him feel like a fraud.
"Hush, my dear," he said; "don't speak so loud, or you will be overheard—and I should be ruined. I'm supposed to be a Great Wizard."
"And aren't you?" she asked.
"Not a bit of it, my dear; I'm just a common man." (15.45-47)
Turns out the wizard's mysterious and scary reputation is totally unwarranted. He's just a regular guy.
"When I return I shall be as other men are."
"I have always liked you as you were," said Dorothy, simply. …
"But surely you will think more of me when you hear the splendid thoughts my new brain is going to turn out." (16.1-16.3)
The Scarecrow doesn't quite get that his reputation isn't as a fool. In fact, his friends recognize that he often has good ideas.
"It was easy to make the Scarecrow and the Lion and the Woodman happy, because they imagined I could do anything. But it will take more than imagination to carry Dorothy back to Kansas…." (16.49)
Imagination is a powerful thing. Oz capitalized on his reputation as a wizard to trick the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Woodman into thinking he solved their problems—even after they had discovered that he was a fraud! The solution to Dorothy's problem isn't going to be quite so easy to fake, which makes the wizard more than a little nervous. He knows he's going to have to come through for her for real if he wants maintain some level of respectability.
"I am tired of being such a humbug. If I should go out of this Palace my people would soon discover I am not a Wizard, and then they would be vexed with me for having deceived them. So I have to stay shut up in these rooms all day, and it gets tiresome. I'd much rather go back to Kansas…." (17.14)
The wizard has his people fooled, and he definitely benefitted from that deception. But it also seems like it's made him live in constant fear of being found out—and that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Does it?
For many days they grieved over the loss of the Wonderful Wizard, and would not be comforted. (17.33)
The people of Oz were devastated when he left, but then again they didn't know he had been deceiving them. The wizard himself thinks they would have been angry had they known the truth. Do you agree?
"…it is a long way to the Emerald City, and it will take you many days. The country here is rich and pleasant, but you must pass through rough and dangerous places before you reach the end of your journey."
This worried Dorothy a little, but she knew that only the great Oz could help her get to Kansas again, so she bravely resolved not to turn back. (3.27-28)
Who wouldn't worry when told that the road ahead will be rough and dangerous? Um…no one. Still, Dorothy pushes through her fear because she has her eye on the goal of returning home. Have you ever had to overcome your fear in order to achieve something important?
"[…] the walking grew so difficult that the Scarecrow often stumbled over the yellow bricks, which were here very uneven. Sometimes, indeed, they were broken or missing altogether, leaving holes that Toto jumped across and Dorothy walked around. As for the Scarecrow, having no brains, he walked straight ahead, and so stepped into the holes and fell at full length on the hard bricks. It never hurt him, however, and Dorothy would pick him up and set him upon his feet again, while he joined her in laughing merrily at his own mishap. (4.1)
These travelers are not going to let a few bumps in the road get them down. Literally. When the Scarecrow falls down—over and over and over again—Dorothy picks him up and they keep on walking. And they're not whining about their difficulties either. They're laughing! How would this story be different if the characters lamented every little problem they encountered? What effect does it have that they so often just shrug and move on?
"If this road goes in, it must come out," said the Scarecrow, "and as the Emerald City is at the other end of the road, we must go wherever it leads us." (4.29)
Part of what keeps the gang going is faith that they'll find their destination. And, of course, simple logic like this from the Scarecrow and the other characters. It's like one really long Nike ad: if there's a task to be done, it's best to just do it.
"We cannot fly, that is certain; neither can we climb down into this great ditch. Therefore, if we cannot jump over it, we must stop where we are."
"I think I could jump over it," said the Cowardly Lion, after measuring the distance carefully in his mind. (7.9-7.10)
The travelers have many, many opportunities to give up. Instead, when they're presented with an obstacle, they work hard to overcome it.
"We must journey on until we find the road of yellow brick again," said Dorothy, "and then we can keep on to the Emerald City." (10.5)
Dorothy and the Lion almost died in the poppy field, but their first thought upon waking up is that they must carry on until they reach the Emerald City. Did someone say perseverance?
The Wicked Witch was so angry when she saw her black bees in little heaps like fine coal that she stamped her foot and tore her hair and gnashed her teeth. And then she called a dozen of her slaves, who were the Winkies, and gave them sharp spears, telling them to go to the strangers and destroy them. (12.37)
Note that this is the fourth of five attempts that the Wicked Witch makes on Dorothy's life. Did you get that? Five attempts. Of course, this is the only instance in the book when persistence just doesn't pay off.
After he had eaten he would lie down on his bed of straw, and Dorothy would lie beside him and put her head on his soft, shaggy mane, while they talked of their troubles and tried to plan some way to escape. (12.69)
When Dorothy and the Lion are captured by the Wicked Witch of the West, it seems like all is lost. But the Lion refuses to let the Witch put a harness on him, and Dorothy finds a way to sneak him food. And together, every night, they comfort each other and dream of escaping—right up until the day they do.
They thought the Great Wizard would send for them at once, but he did not. … The waiting was tiresome and wearing, and at last they grew vexed that Oz should treat them in so poor a fashion, after sending them to undergo hardships and slavery. So the Scarecrow at last asked the green girl to take another message to Oz, saying if he did not let them in to see him at once they would call the Winged Monkeys to help them…. (15.13)
The Scarecrow and his friends are going to get what they were promised. And if that means a little intimidation, so be it! They're a determined lot, and they won't be put off. Not even by a menacing wizard.
"I have come for my brains," remarked the Scarecrow. (16.6)
Though the wizard has told the Scarecrow that he doesn't need a brain—and that, in any case, he's not a true wizard—it hasn't deterred the Scarecrow from his goal one bit. No sir.
"That will be a hard hill to climb," said the Scarecrow, "but we must get over the hill, nevertheless." (22.2)
In a sense, the gang's entire journey is about climbing a hill (albeit a metaphorical one). Occasionally they have to climb actual hills, too. And they tackle those with just as much gusto.
A strange thing happened then. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon. (1.14)
The book begins with Dorothy being uprooted from her home. Well, technically, her home is uprooted from Kansas. Either way, the place her house lands—isn't home.
"I am anxious to get back to my Aunt and Uncle, for I am sure they will worry about me. Can you help me find my way?" (2.39)
From her first moment in Oz, Dorothy is obsessed with getting back home to Kansas. She remains focused on it until pretty much the last page. Why is it so important for her to get back? Why can't she just make a new home in Oz?
"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there any in any other country, be it every so beautiful. There is no place like home." (4.8)
You could look upon Dorothy's dedication to home as sweet…but it's also limited. After all, aren't there other awesome places in the world? Why is it that some people feel closely tied to one place—like Dorothy to Kansas—while others roam far and wide to find their homes?
"Where is Kansas?" asked the man, in surprise.
"I don't know," replied Dorothy, sorrowfully; "but it is my home, and I'm sure it's somewhere." (10.37-38)
One of the running jokes in the book is that no one in Oz knows where Kansas is. It's pretty funny to see a quintessential American place made unfamiliar in this way. Of course, this also begins to ask the question, "Where is home?" Is home a place that exists exclusively outside of ourselves, or is it something we carry with us?
"But I don't want to live here," said Dorothy. "I want to go to Kansas, and live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry." (18.10)
Do you think Dorothy wants to go home? Maybe just a little? Consider for a moment how the story would be different if Dorothy was an adult. Does she want to go home so much because she's a child, or is this pull toward home just as strong for, say, grandparents? College students? Adults traveling for work or on a vacation?
"My greatest wish now," she added, "is to get back to Kansas, for Aunt Em will surely think that something dreadful has happened to me, and that will make her put on mourning; and unless the crops are better this year than they were last I am sure Uncle Henry cannot afford it." (23.6)
That's Midwestern practicality for you. Dorothy doesn't just think about home sentimentally. She's thinking about business. Or…perhaps she doesn't want to admit just how homesick she is. Kind of like when a kid who's staying overnight at a friend's house says, "I have to go home because my parents miss me." Mm hm. Sure.
"What will you do when Dorothy has left us?"
"I will return to the Emerald City," he replied, "for Oz has made me its ruler and the people like me." (23.14-15)
The Scarecrow started the story alone on a pole in a field. But by the end, he has a place where he is wanted—in other words, a home.
"The Winkies were very kind to me, and wanted me to rule over them after the Wicked Witch died. I am fond of the Winkies, and if I could get back again to the country of the West I should like nothing better than to rule over them forever." (23.21)
Looks like the tin man has given up the dream of finding his fiancée. He has a new home, and it's with the Winkies.
Then the Witch looked at the big, shaggy Lion and asked, "When Dorothy has returned to her own home, what will become of you?"
"Over the hill of the Hammer-Heads," he answered, "lies a grand old forest, and all the beasts that live there have made me their King. If I could only get back to this forest I would pass my life very happily there." (23.25-26)
Even the Lion has found a home! Great job, guys. Now everyone's sorted.
"And oh, Aunt Em! I'm so glad to be at home again!" (24.3)
The eagle has landed. Repeat: the eagle has landed. Dorothy has finally, finally made it back to Kansas.
"Won't you go with me?" pleaded the girl, who had begun to look at the little old woman as her only friend. (2.57)
When Dorothy arrives in Oz, she's pretty much friendless. So much so that she's begging a complete stranger who has identified herself as a witch—albeit a good one—to go on a trip with her. At least she has Toto.
"Come along," said the Scarecrow, heartily; and Dorothy added that she would be pleased to have his company. (5.30)
You know what makes a road trip a lot more fun? Taking a few pals along. Dorothy has begun to assemble her team.
Toto did not approve of this new comrade at first…but after a time, he became more at ease, and presently Toto and the Cowardly Lion had grown to be good friends. (6.43)
You know how animals are sometimes seen as being good judges of character? Like sometimes if a dog likes someone, it makes that person seem more trustworthy? We're wondering if you get that vibe from Toto at all. Is he a good judge of character? And if so, why doesn't he take to the Lion right away?
"Good-bye!" he called after them, and they were very sorry to leave him; indeed, the Tin Woodman began to cry. (8.11)
The Scarecrow stranding himself in the river is the first time someone in the gang gets left behind. (Spoiler alert: It won't be the last.) How does the rest of the gang deal with this separation? Could they have made it to the Emerald City without the Scarecrow?
"I'm sorry," said the Scarecrow; "the Lion was a very good comrade for one so cowardly. But let us go on." (8.57)
When someone in the group gets left behind, it's always a sad moment. Thankfully, it's always temporary. And again, it makes us wonder: what does the Lion bring to the team? How would the adventure be different without him?
"He would never hurt anyone who is our friend. If you will help us to save him I promise that he shall treat you all with kindness." (9.25)
Friends don't let friends hurt new friends, even if those friends happen to be delicious field mice! That may not be a typical friendship code of honor, but most friendships do have a few basic rules.
"I will go with you: but I'm too much of a coward to kill the Witch," said the Lion.
"I will go too," declared the Scarecrow: "but I shall not be much help to you, I am such a fool."
"I haven't the heart to harm even a Witch," remarked the Tin Woodman; "but if you go I certainly shall go with you." (11.111-11.113)
Though pretty much everyone thinks the journey to the Wicked Witch is hopeless, they all agree to go. That's friendship, y'all.
"If our friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, were only with us," said the Lion, "I should be quite happy." (13.3)
What's the point of annihilating an enemy if you can't share it with your friends? Even in a time of great rejoicing—Dorothy has just killed the Wicked Witch—thinking about his fallen comrades has the Lion down. Fortunately, there's a reunion just around the corner!
"Congratulate me. I am going to Oz to get my brains at last. When I return I shall be as other men are."
"I have always liked you as you were," said Dorothy, simply. (16.1-16.2)
The Scarecrow thinks his friends will like him better when he has a brain. But Dorothy points out the obvious: they like him for who he is.
"If it wasn't for Dorothy I should never have had brains. She lifted me from the pole in the cornfield and brought me to the Emerald City. So my good luck is due all to her, and I shall never leave her until she starts back to Kansas for good and all." (18.45)
The Scarecrow has just been offered an entire kingdom, but he's stepping away to help Dorothy get back home. That's dedication!
"Oh, gracious!" cried Dorothy; "are you a real witch?"
"Yes, indeed;" answered the little woman. "But I am a good witch, and the people love me." (2.21-2.22)
In Oz, there are good witches and there are bad witches. Got it? Good.
"I never killed anything, willingly," she sobbed; "and even if I wanted to, how could I kill the Wicked Witch?" (11.60)
Dorothy killed a wicked witch, sure. But she didn't do it on purpose. That distinction is important to her. Does it matter to you?
"We dare not harm this little girl," he said to them, "for she is protected by the Power of Good, and that is greater than the Power of Evil." (12.55)
Were you wondering whether good is better than evil? Well, wonder no longer. This Winged Monkey has it all figured out. But are the Winged Monkeys good? Or are they evil? How do you know?
The Witch did not bleed where she was bitten, for she was so wicked that the blood in her had dried up many years before. (12.70)
The more evil someone in Oz is, the less human they become over time. Recall that the Wicked Witch of the East dried up in the sun mere moments after her death.
"You are a wicked creature!" cried Dorothy. "You have no right to take my shoe from me."
"I shall keep it, just the same," said the Witch, laughing at her. (12.77-12.78)
Soon after this, Dorothy tosses a bucket of water at the witch, who dies. The lesson? You can enslave Dorothy, but you best not touch her shoes. That's taking things one step too far. Oh, and also that good always triumphs over evil.
"Didn't you know this would be the end of me?" asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice.
"Of course not," answered Dorothy; "how should I?" (12.83-12.84)
Though Dorothy kills a second wicked witch, her innocence remains intact. After all, it's not like she meant to. She was just upset the witch had stolen one of her shoes. Sheesh.
"There lived here then, away at the North, a beautiful princess, who was also a powerful sorceress. All her magic was used to help the people, and she was never known to hurt anyone who was good." (14.24)
What's interesting about this story is that the good sorceress is about to enslave an entire race of Winged Monkeys because of a prank. Maybe good isn't such a stable concept after all.
"Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man; but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit." (15.76)
Do you agree with the wizard's assessment of himself? How can he be a good man and a bad wizard at the same time?
"She is kind to everyone. I have heard that Glinda is a beautiful woman, who knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived." (18.34)
It's perhaps worth noting that the Good Witch of the South is young and beautiful. The Wicked Witch of the West, on the other hand, was bloodless and shriveled. How about the other two witches? Do you remember how they were described?
"Then, having used up the powers of the Golden Cap, I shall give it to the King of the Monkeys, that he and his band may therefore be free for evermore." (23.25)
Part of being good in Oz is setting people free, as Dorothy did with the Winkies and as the Glinda plans to do with the monkeys. The Wicked Witches of the West and East, on the other hand, enslaved people.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. …She was thin and gaunt, and she never smiled, now. (1.3)
Gosh. What do you supposed happened to Aunt Em to cause such a drastic change? Do we get a glimpse into Aunt Em's dreams, hopes, or plans? What do you think they might be (or might have been)?
Dorothy would lie beside him and put her head on his soft, shaggy mane, while they talked of their troubles and tried to plan some way of escape. (12.69)
You're being held captive by a witch who plans to keep you as a slave. Forever. Or, in the Lion's case, starve you into submission. So what do you do? Dream about the future, of course. In their darkest moments, plans, hopes, and dreams are what keep Dorothy and the Lion going.
Toto did not really care whether he was in Kansas or in the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him; but he knew the little girl was unhappy, and that made him unhappy too. (12.71)
Dorothy's dream of going home is also Toto's—not because he cares where he is, but because he cares about her. Awwww. It's nice when pets share their owners' dreams, but would we feel the same way about this quote if Toto were, say, Dorothy's human friend? Is it okay for humans to have that sort of "I don't care about myself—if you're happy I'm happy" attitude?
"We have come to claim our promise, O Oz."
"What promise?" asked Oz.
"You promised to send me back to Kansas when the Wicked Witch was destroyed," said the girl. (15.21-15.23)
Promise? What promise? Oh…that promise, the one where you were pinning all your hopes on dreams on me. Right. Got it. What do you do when Plan A turns out to be a dud?
Oz was holding out his hands to help her into the basket, when, crack! went the ropes, and the balloon rose into the air without her.
"Come back!" she screamed. "I want to go, too!" (17.27-17.28)
Oh man. Dorothy has to watch her dream of getting home to Kansas go up in the air…literally. Sorry, girl. Hm. That was Plan B, since the Wizard couldn't just magic her back to Kansas. Now what?
"If Dorothy would only be contented to live in the Emerald City," continued the Scarecrow, "we might all be happy together."
"But I don't want to live in here," cried Dorothy. "I want to go to Kansas…." (18.9-18.10)
Sometimes your dream for someone doesn't match up with the dream they have for themselves. That's life.
Dorothy was once more filled with the hope of getting home, and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were glad to be of use to her. (19.7)
There are a few times when Dorothy lets difficult circumstances get her down. It never lasts long, though. Hope keeps her going. This trip to the South is Plan C to get her home after the Wizard's magic and his hot-air balloon both failed to do the job. Good thing Dorothy doesn't give up easily.
"It seems gloomy," said the Scarecrow.
"Not a bit of it," answered the Lion; "I should like to live here all my life." (21.3-21.4)
One man's dream is another man's nightmare. Or, more specifically, one lion's dream is one scarecrow's nightmare. It takes all sorts of people with all sorts of perspectives to make the world go round.
"I am glad I was of use to these good friends. But now that each of them has what he most desired, and each is happy in having a kingdom to rule besides, I think I should like to get back to Kansas." (23.33)
Now that everyone else's dreams have been fulfilled, it's Dorothy's turn, dang it! Could this book have ended any differently? What if just one character hadn't gotten what he or she wanted?
She was sitting on the broad Kansas prairie, and just before her was the new farm house Uncle Henry built after the cyclone and carried away the old one. (23.44)
Dorothy's home at last! What do you think? Will she be satisfied in Kansas, or will she long for a new adventure after a few weeks of quiet? Is there any evidence in the story to suggest an answer to this question?
"Won't you go with me?" pleaded the girl, who had begun to look at the little old woman as her only friend.
"No, I cannot do that," she replied; "but I will give you my kiss, and no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of the North." (2.58-59)
What's the old saying? When the Good Witch closes a door, she opens a window. Okay, that's not it, but still—it's a good thing Dorothy doesn't let her disappointment at having to start off alone stop her from making her journey.
It was fortunate the Tin Woodman had no heart at that moment, for it would have beat loud and fast from terror. Being only tin, the Woodman was not at all afraid, but he was much disappointed. (11.82)
The Tin Woodman was expecting to see a lovely lady, like the Scarecrow did when he visited the Wizard, but instead he gets a beast. He's disappointed because he thinks the lovely lady would have been more likely to grant him a heart, but what we find interesting is his complete lack of fear. Which emotion do you associate more closely with the heart: fear or disappointment? Why do you think the Tin Woodman feels one quite profoundly but not the other?
"We must go back to Oz, and claim his promise."
"Yes," said the Woodman, "at last I shall get my heart."
"And I shall get my brains," added the Scarecrow, joyfully.
"And I shall get my courage," said the Lion, thoughtfully.
"And I shall get back to Kansas," cried Dorothy, clapping her hands. (13.23-13.27)
Or…maybe not. Spoiler alert: a major disappointment is on the horizon.
Then Dorothy lost heart. She sat down on the grass and looked at her companions, and they sat down and looked at her, and Toto found that for the first time in his life he was too tired to chase a butterfly that flew past his head…. (14.8)
Oh, man. You know that when Toto's not chasing butterflies, things are baaaaaad. The gang is completely lost, somewhere between the Wicked Witch's castle and the Emerald City, and they're all losing hope. Disappointment is real, folks. So, how does Dorothy find the gumption to move forward at this point?
They thought the Great Wizard would send for them at once, but he did not. They had no word from him the next day, nor the next, nor the next. The waiting was tiresome and wearing…. (15.12)
Oh dear. If they think that's disappointing, they're not going to like what happens next! This is the first in a long line of letdowns, courtesy of the wizard.
"Who are you?"
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," said the little man, in a trembling voice, "but don't strike me—please don't!—and I'll do anything you want me to." (15.34-15.35)
Turns out the Great and Powerful Oz is just a frightened little old man. Dorothy and her friends are pretty bummed, to say the least. Have you ever discovered something that you thought was pretty spectacular was actually, well…not?
"But this is terrible," said the Tin Woodman; "how shall I ever get my heart?" (15.48)
Slowly, it dawns on the gang that this sad old man isn't going to be able to keep his promises. One by one, they despair. How would you respond to this sort of news?
Oz was holding out his hands to help her, when, crack! went the ropes, and the balloon rose up into the air without her. "Come back!" she screamed. "I want to go, too!" (17.27)
This one stings: Dorothy missed her ride home to Kansas. Along with disappointment, what other emotions do you think she was feeling? Are there other emotions that often seem to go along with disappointment?
Dorothy wept bitterly at the passing of her hope to get home to Kansas again; but when she thought it all over she was glad she had not gone up in a balloon. (18.1)
This is just one example of how quickly Dorothy is able to take a disappointing situation and re-assess it. What does this say about her?
Dorothy was almost ready to cry with disappointment. "I have wasted the charm of the Golden Cap to no purpose," she said, "for the Winged Monkeys cannot help me." (18.22)
Dorothy's mad at herself for having wasted her second wish. What's more difficult: to be disappointed in another person, or to be disappointed in yourself? Why?
"I am a good witch, and the people love me. I am not as powerful as the wicked Witch who ruled here, or I should have set the people free myself." (2.22)
Interesting. The Good Witch of the North was somewhat powerless against the Wicked Witch of the East—the witch that Dorothy vanquished (albeit accidentally). Where does that place Dorothy in the power hierarchy? Does she deserve this position?
"Oz himself is the Great Wizard," answered the Witch, sinking her voice to a whisper. "He is more powerful than all the rest of us together. He lives in the City of Emeralds." (2.33)
Spoiler alert: Oz is actually one of the least powerful people in Oz. He just has people fooled, for now. Then again, the fact that he has a witch fooled, and that she thinks he is more powerful than all the witches together, well—that seems like some pretty serious power. Doesn't it?
"I have always thought myself very big and terrible; yet such small things as flowers came near to killing me, and such small animals as mice have saved my life. How strange it all is!" (10.4)
The Lion has a pretty good perspective here. Sometimes you can find great power in unexpected places. At the same time, the places you expect to find power don't necessarily have it.
"But you were strong enough to kill the wicked Witch of the East," said Oz.
"That just happened," returned Dorothy, simply; "I could not help it." (11.52-11.53)
Just because she doesn't know how to control her power doesn't mean she doesn't have it. Food for thought.
"When she knows you are in the Country of the Winkies she will find you, and make you all her slaves."
"Perhaps not," said the Scarecrow, "for we mean to destroy her." (12.5-12.6)
The power of the Wicked Witch of the West is legendary…and yet, the Scarecrow and the rest of the gang believe they may be able to defeat her. Is this belief in themselves enough? Is it a form of power?
"We dare not harm this little girl," he said to them, "for she is protected by the Power of Good, and this is greater than the Power of Evil." (12.55)
Huh. Good always wins. Good to know. But wait—if this is true, why did the Good Witch of the North say she wasn't as powerful as the Wicked Witch of the East (2.22)? Are there different kinds of power at work here?
She looked down at Dorothy's feet, and seeing the Silver Shoes, began to tremble with fear, for she knew what a powerful charm belonged to them. (12.59)
The Wicked Witch of the West is afraid of Dorothy, but she recognizes that the girl isn't aware of her own power. This allows her to control Dorothy, even though she technically has less power.
Then she noticed Dorothy's Golden Cap, and said, "Why don't you use the charm of the Cap, and call the Winged Monkeys to you? […]
"I didn't know there was a charm," answered Dorothy in surprise. (14.14, 14.15)
We said it before, and now we'll say it again. Just because Dorothy doesn't know how to control her power doesn't mean she doesn't have it.
"One of my greatest fears was the Witches, for while I had no magical powers at all I soon found out that the Witches were really able to do wonderful things." (15.74)
The wizard is supposedly the most powerful man in all of Oz, but he's a pretender. Who holds the real power? Four women. Well, make that two, since the wicked witches are dead. But they think the wizard is the powerful one! Makes you wonder just how powerful your own thoughts may be, huh? If you believe someone else has power over you, turns out they do.
"Your Silver Shoes will carry you over the desert," replied Glinda. "If you had known their power you could have gone back to your Aunt Em the very first day you came to this country." (23.28)
The power to return home isn't something that Dorothy is given. It's something she carried with her all along. But if you don't know you have power, do you really have it? How important is awareness in that equation?