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

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Chapter 6
Summary

Dorothy leads her friends through the woods. They are stumbling with great fear as they try to find a way through them. Suddenly, a lion starts charging towards them. It knocks the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow down. The lion tries to bite Toto, but Dorothy slaps him and reprimands him. The Lion, ironically, confesses to the group that he has always been a coward. The actions he has done have been an attempt at being able to move past his cowardice. He believes that to do away with the cowardice; he needs to bear a high level of action and practice. The concept may also enable him to identify how people handle the different frightening situations they normally face. He may, therefore, choose to emulate them to attain the level of growth that they have. Dorothy and his crew agree to include Lion as part of the team in the errand. They pity him for the high level of cowardice that he appears to have and hope that he will manage to move away from it. 

The group manages to go through with the journey without experiencing any major challenges. However, Tim Woodman has an incident where he accidentally kills a beetle. He starts to cry while having great regret in his heart. The Scarecrow applies oil in his joints to enable him to attain the ability to talk about. The incident is also an indication of the kind of feelings that the Woodman has. Although he denies the fact that he has them, he seems to be more caring about those who are around him. He, therefore, does not wish to engage in any practice that may have a negative impact on their own lives. The incident, therefore, makes Tim Woodman oversee his steps to avoid hurting any other insects that he might get into contact with. The case also goes on to show the high level of care that he might be having for the creatures he encounters. It, therefore, begs the question of the kind of intent that the Woodman has in trying to get a heart.

Analysis

Although Woodman has great feelings, as portrayed in the incident where he stepped on a beetle, he still does not agree with the case. He holds to the belief that he does not have the heart to guide him and that is the reason why he happened to step on the insect. As a result, if he had a heart, he believes that it would have had guided him into avoiding stepping on the insect. His view, therefore, shows that his need to have a heart is much more profound than one would expect. It is, therefore, hard for other people to give him ideas that are different from the beliefs he has held in his heart. It also goes on to show that his peers need to guide him and continue to encourage him. Through the process, they may bear the ability to remind him of the great importance that he is to them as well as to other creatures. The concept would, therefore, accord him the great need to continue living and be of value to others.

The heart and its ability to lead others into not stepping on insects create a satirical feeling. In the process, Baum asserts that lacking a heart drives people into not being kind. Once a person gets a heart, he ends up believing that he will be kind without thinking much about it. The assertions are not only misleading but ones that create a chance to think a lot about the belief system that people have regarding hearts and the great importance that they are likely to play upon the lives of others. Essentially, kindness is portrayed in the actions that a person is involved in and not merely out a person having an organ called a heart. A person may, therefore, need to put more focus on conducting activities that would show the great care that he has for others. The person may also attain some level of care that would go beyond some of the expectations that people have regarding him.

Readers are, therefore, able to identify the fact that Woodman is kind to the level that he is willing to go through some form of inconvenience. His major aim is to ensure that he does not engage in an action that bears a chance to bring about harm to others. The concept may also push him to lack the ability to enjoy the journey. He pays a lot of attention to some concepts that may be hard to follow through on the part of his peers. They, however, choose to support him, given the great commitment that he has to ensure that he does not render some form of harm to other creatures.

 In the same measure, Cowardly Lion appears to be braver than he had earlier on through. He has surmounted a high level of courage which enabled him to attack Dorothy’s group. He to the action while being fully aware that it was wrongful and quite contrary to what he would term as desirable behavior.

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