Study Guide

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 20

By L. Frank Baum

Chapter 20

The Dainty China Country

  • While the tin man is building the ladder, the Scarecrow wonders what lies beyond the wall. The tin man says there's no sense in worrying about it. Whatever is there is there.
  • The ladder's finished and the Scarecrow is the first to go up. Dorothy's right behind him.
  • Everyone's astonished by what's beyond the wall: a strange country made of china. You know, like the kind that fancy dishes are made of.
  • The houses, the people, the animals—everything is made of china. And it's all in miniature, like figurines.
  • The gang can't quite figure out how to get the ladder over the wall, so the Scarecrow jumps down and everyone jumps on top of him to cushion their landing.
  • As they're walking through the strange country, they startle a cow, who kicks a bucket and breaks her leg.
  • The china lady who was milking the cow is really angry. Now she's going to have to take her cow to the mender's to be fixed. The cow limps off.
  • The Tin Woodman tells everyone they're going to have to be very careful walking through this country. These pretty little people are fragile.
  • Two seconds later, Dorothy chases a china Princess who runs away from the group. The Princess asks her to stop. She's afraid she's going to fall and break. Dorothy gets it and stops chasing her.
  • The Princess introduces them to another china figure, a clown named Mr. Joker. He's clearly been broken and mended lots of times.
  • Dorothy tells the Princess that she wants to take her home and place her on the shelf. The Princess is like, nah. That sounds awful.
  • Dorothy doesn't want to make the Princess unhappy, so she gives up and the gang goes on their way. Eventually they come to another china wall, but it's not as high so they're able to cross it without the ladder.
  • On the way out the Lion accidentally breaks a church with his tail. Dorothy's just grateful that they didn't break more stuff than they did.