illustration of main character Dorothy standing on the yellow brick road

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum

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What does Toto's sharp bark and snap at the tin legs suggest about him?

Expert Answers

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Toto's barking and snapping suggests that the presence of the Tin Man makes him feel insecure and anxious. Many dogs of all sizes and breeds respond with aggression when they experience fear; the Tin Man, though kindly in manner, is so strange and unusual in appearance that he might have inspired fear in Toto.

Toto's behavior may have also suggested protectiveness of Dorothy and a connection to her feelings about the Tin Man. As her trusty canine companion, Toto might feel that Dorothy is his charge and that he is responsible for her safety. Toto may have intuited Dorothy's surprise and uncertainty at the appearance of the Tin Man and taken her lead. His barking and snapping might have been a supportive response to Dorothy's attitude towards the Tin Man.

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