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

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz features Dorothy a young orphaned girl who when the story starts, is on the family farm at Kansas. Dorothy lives with her little dog “Toto’’ under the care of her uncle, Henry, and her Aunt Em. Dorothy was so full of life. Her uncle and aunt were hardworking but unsatisfied with life. Toto who was Dorothy’s best friend whom they frequently play together keeps her a happy and cheerful girl.

The story begins when her uncle is looking after the cattle. Toto and Dorothy were present but not playing as usual. The cyclone was approaching, and people were worried about its effect. Dorothy, Toto together with her aunt Em went towards the storm shelter that was to protect them from the violent cyclone. Before reaching the storm shelter, Toto jumps out of Dorothy’s hands and hides. Aunt Em enters the storm shelter while Dorothy tries to catch Toto. The cyclone carried the house away up to the Munchkin territory in the Land of Oz. These happen after it crashes and kills the wicked witch from the east the ruler of Munchkins. The Witch had been a ruler of the Munchkins. She had exposed her subjects to a high level of suffering, a situation that made most of them to pre-empt her death.

 The Munchkins held the belief that great benefit would be borne out of attaining a ruler who will understand their situation and be keen on looking at how he would take care of them. The death of the witch elated the Munchkin immensely. As a result, it provided them an opportunity to find a ruler who would be more concerned about them. The Munchkins were, therefore, quite grateful to Dorothy and Toto for saving them from the evil ruler.  It is then that Dorothy discovered from the wicked of the north that for her to return home, she had to rely on the wizard of Oz who was in Emerald city. Although the journey was dangerous, Dorothy had made up her mind to embark on it. She takes the dead witch of the east silver shoes, made other arrangements and leaves.

After she left the Munchkin territory in the Land of Oz, she makes new friends with Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion. The three friends offered to accompany her as they too had questions to ask the wizard. The Cowardly Lion wanted to get courage from the wizard; the Woodman wished to have a heart and finally, the scarecrow wants the wizard to help him have a brain.  The four together with the pet dog arrive at the ever beautiful city of emerald after a long journey full of challenges. The four friends are taken to meet the wizard differently.  The wizard of Oz who appears to them in different form. The wizard appears to Dorothy as a giant head on a throne, to scarecrow as lovely lady in silk cloth, to the Tin Woodman as a beast and too cowardly lion as a fully energetic man full of enthusiasm. The Wizard of Oz then gives them a similar task. Their wishes will only be granted if they complete the assignment which was to kill the Wickes wizard of the West.

The journey to the witch’s castle is not easy as the four encountered a lot of challenges on their way. The wicked witch of the west sends three animals to kill the four friends. When the animals fail to do so, she uses his powers which disables the Tin Woodman and the scarecrow. She, therefore, led Dorothy, Toto and the Cowardly Lion to her castle where he imprisoned the lion and made Dorothy to work as a slave. After staying there for some days Dorothy hopes of going back, hope began to fade.  Until one day when the witch steals one of Dorothy’s silver shoes and when she’s was about to take the other Dorothy became furious that she throws a bucket of water on her.  Dorothy is surprised as the witch melts to nothing. It turns out that water is lethal to the witch.

 Dorothy and her friends manage to go back to Emerald City with the help of Winkies and Flying Monkeys who are the witch’s servants. They are filled with resentment when they notice the wizard keeps delaying them. Toto knocks a screen, and an ordinary little man is concealed just behind it when they are allowed to enter the throne room to meet the witch. The man tells them he comes from Omaha, Nebraska and has landed there because he blew a drift in a hot air balloon. The man opts to pose as a wizard since the people living in that particular area believes he is.  It is believed that the man got people to build Emerald city plus his palace and decide to shut himself inside as a way of avoiding the two witches who were wicked. A lot of his spell comes from the fact that he’s never been seen by anyone.

Dorothy and her friends have made the wizards terms and are extremely angry that the wizard has not honored his part of the deal. The wizard of Oz thinks and finds a way of meeting the expectations of cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Woodman. The wizard of Oz finds Dorothy’s wish hard to be fulfilled. Oz then finds a way to satisfy Dorothy and Toto. He opts to take Dorothy and her pet home. He makes a hot air balloon for the three to leave the country. Scarecrow is given powers to rule on the witch’s behalf. After they bid farewell to friends and they are ready to take off, Toto escapes from Dorothy’s arm as he chases a kitten. Dorothy tries to chase him, leaving the wizard of Oz alone on board and the balloon starts to drift.

The heartbroken Dorothy takes the advice of the guardian of the gates and sets out to one more trip. The trip is to the castle if Glinda, the good witch of the south who can offer her help. Her friend who has much love for her offers to go with her to meet the witch from the south. This particular journey is short but dangerous. Upon arrival at the castle of Glinda, the witch of the south informs Dorothy that her silver shoes have powers and can help her get to anywhere she wishes to. All she has to do is to knock her heels together three times. Dorothy embraces her friends, takes Toto with her as she tries to find her way back home. She finally gets home and lands on the grass next to the newly built house that was constructed by Uncle Henry.  Aunt Em was so happy that she hugged and kissed her. Dorothy’s absence made her aunt notice how much she loves her little girl.

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