Then the beasts bowed down to the Lion as their King, and he promised to come back and rule over them as soon as Dorothy was safely on her way to Kansas.
We have nearly come to the end of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so we are going to summarize and analyze chapter twenty-one and twenty-two. In the following chapters, Dorothy again attempts to find her way out of Oz by adventuring toward the home of the good witch. Will she make it? Let’s find out!
Chapter Twenty-One summary: The Lion Becomes the King of the Beasts
Dorothy and company descend the wall after exiting the tiny city made out of China and find themselves in a forest. After walking for a while, they come upon many different kinds of beasts that address the Cowardly Lion as their king. They tell him that there is a terrible creature that lurks in the woods that has been eating the beasts one-by-one.
“It is a most tremendous monster, like a great spider, with a body as big as an elephant and legs as long as a tree trunk. It has eight of these long legs, and as the monster crawls through the forest he seizes an animal with a leg and drags it to his mouth, where he eats it as a spider does a fly.”
The Cowardly Lion decides to go and deal with the monster, which he does by jumping and landing on its back, and as they are wont to do in Oz, he knocks the creatures’ head off and watches its legs twitch until it is dead. It’s dark. Afterward, he promises to return to rule over them as long as Dorothy is safely back in Kansas.
Chapter Twenty-Two summary: The Country of the Quadlings
In chapter twenty-two, Dorothy and her friends encounter the Hammer-Heads, who are creatures who have necks that extend far out and allow them to strike people with their flat heads. It is actually a little unsettling, because they are also incredibly mean, as they pummel the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion for trying to pass. As such, Dorothy is forced to call upon the Winged Monkeys. They arrive and carry Dorothy and her friends over the hill to the land of the Quadlings.
The country of the Quadlings seemed rich and happy. There was field upon field of ripening grain, with well-paved roads running between, and pretty rippling brooks with strong bridges across them. The fences and houses and bridges were all painted bright red, just as they had been painted yellow in the country of the Winkies and blue in the country of the Munchkins.
While there, they meet some Quadling people and enjoy cake and cookies with them until they are admitted into the castle to see Glinda.
Mostly, we see a rehash of obstacles for Dorothy to face in these two chapters. Additionally, the Cowardly Lion is faced with his own task, which is to defeat an evil monster that lurks in the forest. Of course, he defeats it easily and he and his friends travel safely to the land of the Quadlings (only being stopped by those vicious Hammer-Heads before venturing forth).
Again, we see Dorothy’s dedication to her quest and her ability to problem solve as she works with her companions to reach the land of the Quadlings. In the final two chapters, we will see if Dorothy gets her wish to return to Kansas!
Baum, L. Frank. “The Wizard of Oz the First Five Novels.” Fall River Press, 2014.