What are some acts of bravery shown by the Cowardly lion?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Like all of the characters in Baum's work, the Cowardly Lion recognizes that his perceived fault is not his character trait, but rather in the way he sees himself.  The Lion believes himself to be a coward because of his fear.  Yet, the Lion demonstrates some fairly brave actions despite having fear.  On the trek, there is a gap on the road and he leaps over it each time with a character on his back in the process of ensuring their journey is a smooth one.  He is the primary food gatherer, being the only one, outside of Dorothy, who requires a food source.  He shows great bravery in being able to hunt for his food and face all threats involved.  When Dorothy leaves, the Lion assumes his rightful place as king of all creatures as he kills a spider that has challenged and killed many of the jungle inhabitants.  The Cowardly Lion's acts of bravery represents how Baum believes that individual identity and perception are strongly linked, one that values the power of the subjective in constructing external reality.   This helps to feed the theme of self- sufficiency that is such a part of Baum's work.


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