“We came here to see the Great Oz,” said Dorothy.
The man was so surprised at this answer that he sat down to
think it over.
“It has been many years since anyone asked me to see Oz,”
he said, shaking his head in perplexity. “He is powerful and
terrible, and if you come on an idle or foolish errand to bother
the wise reflections of the Great Wizard, he might be angry
and destroy you all in an instant.”
Greetings! Today we are back to looking at L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by summarizing and analyzing chapter nine and ten. In these chapters we learn about hidden skills and realize that we shouldn’t always trust a book by its cover. Onward!
Chapter Nine Summary: The Queen of the Field Mice
The company, now minus the Cowardly Lion due to the poppy fields, encounter a mouse who is trying to escape a terrible beast. After the Tin Woodman decapitates the Wildcat and saves the mouse, they discover that the mouse is in fact the Queen of the Field Mice! So, she decides to help them recover their friend, the Cowardly Lion, from the poppy fields.
After fashioning a truck for the lion to be carried on, the mouse tended to the great beast and they pulled him from the deadly poppy fields.
“At first the little creatures, many though they were, could hardly stir the heavily loaded truck; but the Woodman and the Scarecrow both pushed from behind, and they got along better. Soon they rolled the Lion out of the poppy bed to the green fields, where he could breathe the sweet, fresh air again, instead of the poisonous scent of the flowers.”
The party thanked the Queen of the Field Mice and saw them off before settling down for supper.
Chapter Ten Summary: The Guardian of the Gate
After the Cowardly Lion awoke and was fully alert, the party travel along the yellow brick road until they reached the lands around the Emerald City where everything was far more green and less blue (as the blue was the color of the Munchkin people). Dorothy and her companions knock on the door of a large farmhouse and take shelter for the evening in the house of kindly family who feeds them dinner and questions them about their quest to see the Wizard of Oz.
“”Where are you all going?”
“To the Emerald City,” said Dorothy, “to see the Great Oz.”
“Oh, indeed!” exclaimed the man. “Are you sure that Oz
will see you?”
“Why not?” she replied.
“Why, it is said that he never lets anyone come into his
presence. I have been to the Emerald City many times, and it
is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I have never been perThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz 97
mitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person
who has seen him.”
“Does he never go out?” asked the Scarecrow.
“Never. He sits day after day in the great Throne Room of
his Palace, and even those who wait upon him do not see him
face to face.”
They learn that because he is a powerful wizard, Oz can take any form he likes, from a “bird” to an “elephant” to a “cat” and many more. However, in his “own form,” nobody knows what he looks like.
In the morning, the company heads to the gate of the Emerald City where they are greeted by the Guardian of the Gate (a short man of greenish tint), who informs them that the wizard does not suffer fools, so they must tell the truth and not waste his time lest he destroy them. Moreover, while he tells Dorothy that he must take her to the Wizard of Oz’s palace, she and her companions must wear special glasses, so that they are not blinded by the green radiance of the city.
“Then the Guardian of the Gates put on his own glasses and told them he was ready to show them to the Palace. Taking a big golden key from a peg on the wall, he opened another gate, and they all followed him through the portal into the streets of the Emerald City.”
In the next chapter, we will meet the Wizard of Oz for the first time!
Chapter nine and ten feature a lot of scenarios where something small does something larger than itself. What I mean more specifically: the mice step-up to help Dorothy and her companions to save the Cowardly Lion after another small mouse is found out to be royalty (this is unexpected).
Dorothy herself charges forward and knocks on an Emerald City citizen’s door “boldly,” which is not altogether out-of-character, but it does defy what we know as adults of children—who are typically more shy and timid.
Lastly, the conversation that Dorothy has with the family from Emerald City and the Guardian of the gate shows us that the Wizard of Oz assumes many forms. He is not an old, cowled wizard, but he is a powerful force that does not have time to waste on errant adventurers.
Baum, L. Frank. “The Wizard of Oz the First Five Novels.” Fall River Press, 2014.