The Wonderful Wizard of Oz | Study Guide

L. Frank Baum

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz | Chapter 23 : The Good Witch Grants Dorothy's Wish | Summary



Seated on a ruby throne, the beautiful Glinda welcomes the travelers. Dorothy explains that she must get back to Kansas before Aunt Em decides that her niece has died. Glinda readily agrees to help in exchange for the Golden Cap that summons the Winged Monkeys. Before she deals with Dorothy, however, Glinda makes sure that each of her companions has a place to go, asks the Winged Monkeys to fly them to their appointed locations, and then frees the monkeys forever.

Now it's Dorothy's turn. Glinda explains that Dorothy's silver shoes have always held the power to carry her home if she knocks her heels together three times. Dorothy bids a tearful farewell to her friends, picks up Toto, and clicks her heels together. Then she whirls through the air and lands so suddenly that she rolls over. She's back on the Kansas prairie, at the new home Uncle Henry built after the old house disappeared. The silver shoes have disappeared, "lost forever in the desert."


The Scarecrow wanted a brain, the Woodman wanted a heart, and the Lion wanted courage—and none of them realized that they already carried those qualities inside themselves. Nor does Dorothy realize until now that as soon as she put on the silver shoes she gained the power to get herself home. She could have returned to Aunt Em the minute the silver shoes were on her feet.

But Dorothy knows that while she was in Oz, she was "of use to these good friends." Moreover she has matured considerably during her journey. Like any mythical hero, Dorothy has discovered strengths she never knew she possessed. Although she has accomplished great things, she's never lost the desire to return to her place of origin.

Readers notice that when Dorothy lands back at the farm, Baum never once uses the word gray. For Dorothy home is as beautiful as Oz.

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