The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Lyman Frank Baum
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 16

The Oz states that he is not a wizard, but Dorothy and her friends hold that he must honor what he had pledged. He uses his ingenuity to “satisfy” the wishes of the travelers. First, he fills the head of the Scarecrow with bran that is mixed with pins and needles. He also cuts the chest of the Tin Woodman and places silk heart that is filled with sawdust inside. To give Lion courage, he pours a dish of medicine. He indicates that since courage is found on the inside, the substance inside the dish, “cannot be called courage until you have swallowed it.” Once the Lion has drunk the mixture, he feels that he is “full of courage.” One the inside, Oz feels that it is hard not to be cunning when all people expect one to do things they know cannot be done. He, however, has no clue of how to take Dorothy back to Kansas.


There is some ingenious wordplay that exists in the chapter, One of them is evidenced with the bran that the Wizard packed inside the head of the Scarecrow. The word “bran” almost sounds like “brain.” The Wizard also tells the Scarecrow that he has given him “bran-new brain.” The needles and sharp pins used inside the bran aim to symbolize the element of mental “sharpness.” Since the heart of the Woodman is made of silk, it is, therefore, tender. It, thus, aligns with the knowledge that readers have regarding the heart of the Woodman. They already know that he is tender-hearted.

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