In the next section of our readings, our cast of characters travels on to the “Emerald City” to meet Oz. They become anxious and very hesitant about this possible meeting, because they begin to hear that no one ever gets to meet Oz, and that he is a “Terrible Wizard.” However, because Oz is their only hope, they continue.
The Guardian of the Gate
In this chapter, the Lion awakes in the poppy field and the travelers resume their journey down the yellow brick road. The condition of the yellow brick road is very much improved. They are joyful as they are leaving the forest gloom and all its dangers behind.
Once more, they see houses, farmlands, and fences. The people of Oz have painted their homes and fences brilliant emerald green. They see people outside dressed in green, all the way to their little pointed hats that they wear. They realize they have reached the “Land of Oz.”
The group finally reaches the gate for the city of Oz, and rings the bell. The gatekeeper arrives to ask them, why they are there? They explain that they are there to see Oz, and they have come a long way. He tells them that no one gets to see Oz. However, his attitude quickly changes as he notices Dorothy’s silver shoes and the mark from the kiss of the Good Witch on her forehead. He says he has to notify Oz.
First, he states they must all be fitted with special glasses to enter emerald city. This is very curious.
The gatekeeper tells them that Emerald city shines a brilliant green color. He explains that the people are dressed all in green, the buildings and roads are green with emeralds, and even the people’s skin has a green tinge. These glasses are to provide eye protection against the blinding brilliance of the emerald green city of Oz. Therefore, everyone is fitted with these special glasses, even Toto. Finally, they proceed with awe through the doors to the City of Emeralds.
This scene portrayed in the book of the magic glasses should have been in the movie version. Toto with these glasses on would have been funny.
The Wonderful Emerald City of Oz
Oz confirms he will meet with them. However, he decides one at a time, and on subsequent mornings. Therefore, the palace guard assigns each of them rooms to sleep in and to freshen up. He presents to Dorothy a splendid room, in a special part of the palace. There is a tiny fountain in her room and she has a closet full of emerald green dresses to wear. Dorothy rested quite peacefully that night.
Dorothy meets with Oz the next morning after breakfast. Oz appeared as a large head sitting on a throne. Oz is fascinated that she wears the silver slippers, and bears the kiss mark of the good Witch. He tells her that before he is able to assist her with her request to return to Kansas, she must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy leaves this visit very troubled, and passes on his request to her friends.
Secondly, the Scarecrow met with Oz. To the Scarecrow, Oz appeared as a lovely woman. This is unexpected, for the Scarecrow is expecting to see the large head on the throne. Once again, the conditions are that before Oz can give him a brain, he must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The scarecrow reminds him that he requested that of Dorothy. Oz explains he does not really care who kills her. He just wants it done.
Thirdly, the Tin Man met with Oz. He is very fearful for this meeting. He knows he wants a heart, but will he see a large head on a throne, or a lovely woman? The Tin Man is caught unnerved as, Oz appeared to him as a monstrous beast. He had the head of a rhinoceros, five slimy legs, and thick, woolly hair all over its body. It is a very dreadful looking creature. The Tin Man explains that he wishes for a heart. Oz tells him before he can assist him with a heart he must kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
Lastly, the Lion met with Oz. To the Lion, Oz appeared as a large ball of fire that glowed so fiercely he could hardly gaze upon it. The Lion tells Oz that he is the only one who can give him courage. Again, Oz had the same condition. He told him that before he did anything for him he must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The Lion leaves to tell his friends about his terrible interview with Oz.
At the end of the chapter, the group met back up talk about what to do. They all agreed that they had to do something. Therefore, they must go to the land of the Winkies and figure out a way to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
In the movie, I loved the scene where after the Lion talks with Oz, and scared of his experience he runs in fear for his life and smashes through the plate glass window.
The Search for the Wicked Witch
The group sets off the next morning to find the land of the Winkies, where the Wicked Witch of the West lives. There is no road to follow to find the Wicked Witch of the West. Walk west, their told, but it is very dangerous, the Wicked Witch will try to capture them to make them her slaves.
The Wicked Witch of the West has one large eye in the middle of her forehead. She is all seeing, and her vision is very powerful, like a telescope. She is able to detect these trespassers on her land, and wants them dealt with. She would like the Lion captured and put in a large cage, harnessing him to pull a wagon. Just destroy the rest of the group, for she had no use for them. She sets a series of her minions against them to take care of the situation.
First, The Tin Man cuts off the heads of a pack of wolves that are set out to tear them apart. Second, The Scarecrow twists off the head of a flock of crows that were to tear their eyes out. Third, working together, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man thwart an attack by bees that were to sting them death. The Wicked Witch became angrier at each failed attempt.
At this point, she summons the winged monkeys. This is her third, and last, time she is able to summon the monkeys they remind her. They set off flying to reach their prey. The winged monkeys grab and throw aside the Tin Man and Scarecrow. Finally, capturing the Lion, the monkeys take him to the witch, where they harness him, and put him in a large cage to work or starve.
When the lead monkey sees Dorothy with the silver slippers and kiss mark, they carefully transport her to the Wicked Witch. The witch knows that the silver slippers have magical powers, so she will try stealing them off her feet. In the meantime, Dorothy becomes a slave for the witch, working in her kitchens.
The chapter ends with Dorothy throwing a mop bucket of water on the Wicked Witch, melting her into a “brown, melted, shapeless mass.” Dorothy has escaped but our travelers are a long way from being together again.
Up Next- The Rescue, the Winged Monkeys, the Discovery of Oz, the Terrible