Study Guide

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

By L. Frank Baum

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

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?