Summary (Masterplots II: American Fiction Series, Revised Edition)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz consists of twenty-four chapters that tell the story of Dorothy’s arrival in Oz and her adventures in that magical country. An omniscient narrator tells the story in simple language. It begins on a Kansas farm where Dorothy, an orphan, lives in a one-room house with her grim, hardworking uncle and aunt. A tornado appears and Dorothy, her uncle, and aunt run for a cellar under the house. When Toto, Dorothy’s dog, jumps out of her arms, Dorothy runs to get the gog, and she and her pet are carried away by the winds. Dorothy falls asleep as the house whirls through the air.
When she awakens and goes outside her house, she finds she is in a strange and beautiful country inhabited by small, strangely dressed people known as the Munchkins. Dorothy’s house has fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East, ruler of the Munchkins. Dorothy is awarded the Witch’s silver shoes, which have some magical power unknown to the Munchkins or to the Good Witch of the North, who has come to meet Dorothy. The Good Witch tells Dorothy to go to the Emerald City, ruled by the Wizard of Oz, in the hope that the Wizard may be able to help the little girl return home.
On her way to the Wizard’s city, Dorothy acquires three unusual companions: a scarecrow who complains of having no brains, a woodman made entirely of tin who complains of having no heart, and a lion who complains of having no courage. Dorothy suggests to each of them that the accompany her to see if the Wizard can help them.
After a number of adventures, Dorothy, Toto, and the three odd friends reach the Emerald City, where all of the houses seem to be made of green marble and studded with emeralds. They make their requests of the...
(The entire section is 711 words.)
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