How does the character of the Scarecrow change throughout "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The biggest change in the character of Scarecrow is the development of confidence.  In the early parts of the story, when he begins his journey with Dorothy, Scarecrow has a very low opinion of himself because, stuffed with straw as he is, he does not have a brain. His actions as the story unfolds, however, show that although he does not have a physical brain, he is really quite intelligent.  It is Scarecrow who saves Dorothy, Tin Man, and Lion on numerous occasions on their quest, and he is quick to come up with solutions to difficult problems that arise.  Scarecrow is constant in his devotion to his friends, and as the story progresses his air of flighty goofiness is tempered by a subtle, quiet nobility born of the realization that he might capable despite his perceived lack.  At the end of their quest, the Wizard, understanding that Scarecrow already possesses the qualities he seeks and only needs to believe in himself, concocts a brain for him out of "bran, pins, and needles" to make him "sharp".  With a physical representation of a "brain" at last, Scarecrow has self-assurance of his own intelligence, and finally feels complete.

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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