Chapter I: The Cyclone
The story begins by introducing Dorothy, an orphan who lives with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in the middle of the Kansas prairie. Their simple house, in the middle of nowhere, is surrounded by treeless land and open sky. The house has a small cyclone cellar for protection since cyclones commonly occur in Kansas. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em are drab, hardworking farmers who do not smile or laugh. Dorothy’s only playmate is her little black dog, Toto, who makes her laugh.
When a cyclone hits, Uncle Henry rushes to secure the livestock. Aunt Em urges Dorothy to get to the cellar and hurries there herself. But Dorothy instead searches for Toto, who has disappeared under the bed. Suddenly, a strong wind lifts the house along with Dorothy and Toto high into the sky. Toto falls through the house’s open trap door that normally leads to the cellar but now just leads to the sky. But the strong winds hold Toto up so he doesn’t fall down. Dorothy grabs Toto, and they lie on the bed. Suspended at the center of the cyclone, the swirling house rocks Dorothy to sleep.
Chapter II: The Council with the Munchkins
Dorothy awakes with a jolt to find the house no longer moving and the sun shining. The house landed in the Land of Oz, a beautiful place, brilliant with color and life. A group of strange-looking people, whom Dorothy soon learns are Munchkins, approach her. An old woman refers to Dorothy as a sorceress and tells Dorothy that she killed the Wicked Witch of the East, freeing the Munchkins from years of slavery. Dorothy protests but then sees that the house has indeed landed on the Wicked Witch of the East.
Dorothy learns that the old woman is the good Witch of the North, a friend of the Munchkins. She also learns that the Wicked Witch of the West remains alive somewhere. The good Witch gives Dorothy the Wicked Witch of the East’s charmed silver shoes. Dorothy wants to return to Kansas but learns that this will be difficult since Oz is surrounded by deserts. When Dorothy starts to cry, the Munchkins suggest she go to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard of Oz for help. To get there, Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road, a difficult journey, but a magic kiss from the good Witch should protect her.
Chapter III: How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow
Dorothy prepares for her journey and replaces her worn shoes with the Witch of the East’s silver shoes. At the start of her trip on the yellow brick road, Dorothy walks through beautiful farmland with houses painted blue, the favorite color in the East. The Munchkins along the road greet Dorothy warmly, knowing she has saved them from the Wicked Witch of the East. A wealthy Munchkin named Boq invites Dorothy to stay with him overnight as he believes she’s a sorceress due to her silver shoes and the white in her dress. Even though Boq has never been to the Emerald City, he warns Dorothy that her journey will get dangerous.
The next morning, Dorothy continues her journey and meets a Scarecrow on a pole in a field, a scarecrow who moves and talks. The Scarecrow asks Dorothy to help him down from the pole, where he finds his life dull. Once down, he decides to accompany Dorothy to the Emerald City so he can ask the Great Oz for a brain. While the Scarecrow doesn’t mind being stuffed, he doesn’t want to be considered a fool. When Toto growls at the Scarecrow, the Scarecrow admits that he’s not afraid of Toto, only fire.
Chapter IV: The Road Through the Forest
Dorothy, Toto, and the Scarecrow continue along the yellow brick road, and the Scarecrow frequently falls down but doesn’t hurt himself. The country they walk through becomes increasingly less populated and fertile. Dorothy tells the Scarecrow about her life in Kansas. When he admits he doesn’t understand why she would want to go back there, Dorothy explains that nothing can replace home. The Scarecrow tells Dorothy that he was recently made and not very good at his job since he didn’t scare away the birds. He also admitted that he often felt lonely and bored. The Scarecrow believes that if he had a brain, he would have as much value as a man. Later, Dorothy, Toto, and the Scarecrow travel through a forest to an empty cottage, where they spend the night. Dorothy sleeps while the Scarecrow, who doesn’t get tired, stays awake.
Chapter V: The Rescue of the Tin Woodman
In the morning, Dorothy and the Scarecrow notice a man made of tin who has been rusted in place for a year. After Dorothy rescues him by oiling his joints, the Tin Woodman asks to join the trip to the Emerald City, hoping the Great Oz will give him a heart. As they continue walking, the Tin Woodman clears trees and branches that block their path, and he and the Scarecrow discuss whether it’s better to have a brain or a heart. Having had both, the Tin Woodman believes a heart is more important. He then tells the story of how he transformed from a real man into a tin man.
The Tin Woodman explains that the Wicked Witch of the East bewitched his axe to keep him from marrying the Munchkin girl he loved. The axe cut off parts of his body, which he had replaced with tin. After losing his heart in one of these accidents, the Tin Woodman stopped caring about the girl. He believes the heart, not the brain, makes one happy. However, the Scarecrow insists that one needs a brain to guide one’s heart to not be a fool.
Chapter VI: The Cowardly Lion
Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman continue through the forest. Suddenly, a lion jumps out at them, knocking over the Scarecrow, swiping at the Tin Woodman, and threatening Toto. Upset, Dorothy slaps the Lion’s nose and scolds him for being a coward, to which the Lion admits he is. The Cowardly Lion talks about the difference between the scary way he acts and the scared way he feels. The Scarecrow thinks such reflection demonstrates that the Lion has a heart. However, the Lion believes if he had no heart, he would be braver. Hearing about the trip to the Emerald City, the Cowardly Lion decides to join the others so he can ask the Great Oz for courage and be happier. Along the way, Toto and the Cowardly Lion become friends. Meanwhile, not wanting to hurt any living creature, the Tin Woodman tries to avoid stepping on bugs. The Tin Woodman believes because he doesn’t have a heart to guide him, he needs to be especially careful in his kindness.
Chapter VII: The Journey to the Great Oz
Dorothy and her companions spend the night in the forest. The Scarecrow looks after Dorothy, finding her food and a way to stay warm. The next morning, the group’s progress is blocked by a large ditch they cannot seem to cross. Despite being afraid, the Cowardly Lion volunteers to jump across the ditch, carrying his companions. The Tin Woodsman suggests the Cowardly Lion carry him first since a fall won’t hurt him. The leap is a success, and so the Lion carries the others across. The forest gets darker. When they come to another even wider ditch, the Scarecrow directs the Tin Woodman to create a bridge by chopping down a tree. As they start to cross the bridge, two large Kalidahs, beasts with tiger heads and bear bodies, charge them. The Cowardly Lion roars at them, but the Kalidahs don’t stop, so the Scarecrow urges the Tin Woodman to cut off the end of the tree bridge, and the Kalidahs fall to their deaths. Coming out of the forest, the companions see a river surrounded by beautiful countryside. The Tin Woodman starts to make a raft for them to cross the river.
Chapter VIII: The Deadly Poppy Field
The next day, the group tries to cross the river by raft, but the current carries them downstream. When the Scarecrow tries to guide the raft with a long pole, he and the pole get stuck in the middle of the river, and the raft continues on. The Cowardly Lion suggests that Dorothy and the Tin Woodman hold on to his tail as he swims the raft to safety. Back on the shore, they walk along the river looking for the yellow brick road. When they see the Scarecrow again, still in the river, they feel unhappy that they can’t help him. Suddenly, a Stork offers to rescue the Scarecrow.
Happy to be together again, the friends resume their journey among a carpet of flowers that turns into a poppy field. The poppies, however, cause Dorothy and Toto to fall asleep. The Tin Woodman tells the Cowardly Lion to run out of the poppy field quickly before he too falls asleep. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman carry Dorothy and Toto out of the poppies. As they make their way through the field, however, they discover the Cowardly Lion, asleep, and as he is heavy, they can’t carry him too.
Chapter IX: The Queen of the Field Mice
The Tin Woodman, believing in being a friend to those in need, saves a field mouse from a wild cat. The mouse turns out to be the Queen of the Field Mice. She tells her field mice that they must now fulfill the wishes of the Tin Woodman. The Scarecrow suggests the mice help save the Cowardly Lion. He assures them the lion won’t hurt them because he is cowardly. The Scarecrow then devises a plan. First, he asks the Tin Woodman to create a wooden truck. Then he asks thousands of mice to gather, each bringing a long piece of string that he and the Tin Woodman use to harness the mice to the truck. Finally, the mice, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman push the Cowardly Lion onto the truck and pull him out of the poppy field, which delights Dorothy. The Queen of the Field Mice promises future assistance if they need it.
Chapter X: The Guardian of the Gate
The Cowardly Lion feels amazed to learn that small flowers almost killed him and small mice saved him. Back on the yellow brick road again, the friends get closer to the Emerald City. On this beautiful part of their walk, they notice that everything in the area is green. When they stop at a house for food and lodging, Dorothy assures the woman there that the Cowardly Lion won’t hurt her. A man in the house warns the travelers that the Great Oz might not see them and that no one sees him in person since he appears in changing forms. However, the man does believe that the Great Oz can help them.
After a good meal and a night’s sleep, the friends continue their journey. A bright green glow tells them they are close to the Emerald City. At the city’s gate, they ring a bell, and the Guardian of the Gates questions them about their business. Before he admits the travelers inside the city, the Guardian of the Gates warns the travelers about the dangers of wasting the Great Oz’s time, and then he locks a pair of glasses on each of their faces to protect their vision from the city’s brilliance.
Chapter XI: The Wonderful City of Oz
Happy, prosperous people fill the Emerald City. The Guardian of the Gates makes the travelers wait in a waiting room while he goes to ask whether the Great Oz will grant them an audience. The Great Oz agrees to see them individually, one per day. The travelers are then taken to their rooms. The next day, wearing a green dress she finds in her room, Dorothy visits the Great Oz. She learns he is willing to see her because of her silver shoes and the good Witch’s kiss. Appearing as a big head, the Great Oz tells Dorothy she must kill the Wicked Witch of the West in order for him to help her.
When the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion each visit him, the Great Oz appears in different guises—as a ball of fire, a beautiful woman, and a terrible beast. The Great Oz tells them the same thing he told Dorothy: He will only grant their requests for a brain, a heart, and courage once they have helped kill the Wicked Witch of the West. And so, the next day, the travelers set off for the land of the Winkies to try to find the Wicked Witch of the West.
Chapter XII: The Search for the Wicked Witch
When the one-eyed Wicked Witch of the West spies the travelers through her telescope, she makes several attempts to stop their progress with a series of attacks: a pack of wolves, which the Tin Woodman kills with his axe; a flock of crows, which the Scarecrow kills by breaking their necks; a swarm of bees, who die stinging the Tin Woodman; and Winkies, whom the Cowardly Lion frightens away.
Finally, using her magic Golden Cap, the Wicked Witch of the West calls out the Winged Monkeys and orders them to destroy all except the Lion, whom she wants to put to work. The Winged Monkeys tear apart the Scarecrow, drop the Tin Woodman on rocks, capture the Cowardly Lion, and transport Dorothy, who is still protected by the Good Witch’s kiss, to the Wicked Witch of the West, who wants the powerful silver shoes. The Witch puts Dorothy to work in the kitchen and unsuccessfully tries to starve the Lion into submission. At one point, the Wicked Witch of the West tricks Dorothy and snatches one of Dorothy’s silver shoes. Angry, Dorothy throws water on her, which causes the Witch to melt.
Chapter XIII: The Rescue
After Dorothy frees the Lion from captivity, she tells the Winkies they are no longer enslaved. Dorothy then asks the Winkies for their help finding and rescuing the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow. First, the Winkies locate the Tin Woodman and repair his dented body and broken axe. Then the Tin Woodman helps them rescue the Scarecrow by chopping down the tree on which the Scarecrow’s clothes are scattered, and the Winkies restuff him. Dorothy and her companions stay to enjoy life with the Winkies for a few days but still feel eager to get back to the Emerald City so the Great Oz can fulfill his promises to them. Before the travelers set off for the Emerald City, the Winkies reveal that they wish the Tin Woodman would stay as their ruler, and they give each of the travelers departing gifts made of gold and jewels. Dorothy also takes the Wicked Witch of the West’s Golden Cap, which fits her perfectly.
Chapter XIV: The Winged Monkeys
Dorothy and her companions don’t know the way back to the Emerald City. They walk without direction and start to lose hope. Dorothy realizes the field mice can help, and she calls them with the whistle their Queen gave her. The Queen of the Field Mice tells Dorothy the Emerald City is far off, and she recommends using the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys to carry them the rest of the way.
The Monkeys obey Dorothy’s request as she now owns the Cap. The King of the Monkeys transports Dorothy and tells her how the Monkeys became captives. He explains that, as a joke, the rascally Monkeys once dropped Quelala, the fiancé of the princess and good sorceress Gayelette, in a river, dressed in all his finery. The prank angered Gayelette, and she punished the Monkeys by requiring them to obey three requests from each owner of the Golden Cap. Quelala, the first owner of the Cap, banished the Monkeys to the forest. Later when the Wicked Witch of the West acquired the Cap, she used the Monkeys to enslave the Winkies and force the Great Oz to leave the West.
Chapter XV: The Discovery of Oz, the Terrible
The Guardian of the Gates seems amazed when the travelers return to the Emerald City, claiming to have killed the Wicked Witch. The Great Oz is told the news but won’t grant them an audience until the Scarecrow threatens him with the Winged Monkeys. As the Great Oz speaks to them with a disembodied voice, the travelers demand he make good on his promises. In anger, the Cowardly Lion roars, frightening Toto, who knocks over a screen, revealing a little old man to be the Great Oz.
Dorothy and the others feel upset to discover that the Great Oz is just a humbug. Caught in the truth, the Great Oz admits to the travelers that he’s a ventriloquist and balloonist who worked for the circus in Nebraska until his balloon accidentally floated too high into the sky, landing him in the land of Oz. The people of Oz thought he was a great Wizard, so he ordered them to build the Emerald City. The Great Oz reveals that he’s a good ruler, but he hides from his people and fears the wicked Witches. He explains that he must think about how to get Dorothy back to Kansas, but he promises to fulfill the others’ requests, even though he thinks they aren’t necessary.
Chapters XVI: The Magic Art of the Great Humbug
The Great Oz stuffs the Scarecrow’s head with “brains” made from pins and needles mixed with bran. He then cuts a hole in the Tin Woodman’s body to insert a silk-and-sawdust heart, and he has the Cowardly Lion drink some green liquid to fill the lion with courage. The Great Oz happily gives them what they think they need even though he knows that what they ask for is not possible. Yet the Great Oz remains unsure how to help Dorothy.
Chapters XVII: How the Balloon Was Launched
The Great Oz finally comes up with a solution for Dorothy. He decides to send her home in a hot air balloon. He tells Dorothy that he plans to travel with her so he can return to the circus. Together they make a green hot air balloon. When the time to launch arrives, the Great Oz asks the Scarecrow to rule over his people. Before getting into the balloon’s basket with the Wizard, however, Dorothy must chase after Toto. In that moment, the ropes holding the balloon accidentally break, and the Great Oz lifts into the air without Dorothy. He’s never seen again.
Chapter XVIII: Away to the South
While glad not to have gone up in the balloon, Dorothy despairs that she will never be able to return to Kansas. The Scarecrow rejoices to have gone from life on a pole to ruler of the Emerald City. The Tin Woodman and the Lion also feel content with their new gifts of a heart and courage. As Dorothy still wants to return to Kansas, the Scarecrow suggests that she call the Winged Monkeys again with her magic Golden Cap so they can carry her there.
When summoned, the Monkey King tells Dorothy that the Monkeys cannot leave the land of Oz nor cross the desert, so Dorothy has wasted one of her Golden Cap requests. The Scarecrow then asks advice from the Emerald City’s soldiers. While they don’t know how to cross the desert, they suggest that Dorothy get the help of Glinda, the beautiful and good Witch of the South, who rules over the Quadlings. Out of devotion to Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Woodman, and the Scarecrow resolve to go with her on the dangerous journey on the straight road that leads south.
Chapter XIX: Attacked by the Fighting Trees
Before departing, the Scarecrow promises to return, if he is able, to rule the people of the Emerald City after he helps Dorothy. The travelers set off filled with hope and good cheer. They journey to a thick wood. When the Scarecrow tries to pass a giant tree at the forest’s entrance, the tree grabs him and throws him back. Unharmed, the Scarecrow tries passing a different tree, but the same thing happens. Next the Tin Woodman approaches a tree. When the tree tries to grab him, he cuts the branch with his axe. The others are then able to pass by the tree without getting harmed. Once beyond these fierce guardian trees, Dorothy and her friends travel through the forest without any problems until they come to a white china wall.
Chapter XX: The Dainty China Country
The Tin Woodman builds a ladder so Dorothy and the others can climb over the smooth, white china wall. When the friends get to the top of the wall, they see before them a small, delicate country with brightly colored houses, animals, and people all made of china. The Scarecrow jumps down from the wall first. Then Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto jump down on top of the Scarecrow to soften their landing.
As Dorothy and her companions walk through the country, they startle a china cow and milkmaid, which causes the cow to break his leg and the milkmaid to get nicked. The cow and milkmaid must then go to a mender’s shop to get repaired. The travelers then meet a princess who worries she will fall, break, and be filled with mended cracks like Mr. Joker, a porcelain clown. Dorothy wants to take the princess back to Kansas, but the princess says life in this china country is happier than standing stiffly on someone’s mantel. As they reach the other side of this delicate country with its brittle people, the travelers reach another, shorter china wall, which they climb over by first standing on the Cowardly Lion’s back.
Chapter XXI: The Lion Becomes the King of Beasts
Once outside of the land of china, the friends travel through wet, muddy land covered with tall grass. Then they enter another forest with even larger, older trees than the last. The Cowardly Lion feels delighted by this forest, while the others find the landscape gloomy. Nevertheless, the travelers spend the night there and wake to the sounds of wild beasts. In a clearing, they find hundreds of animals gathered, arguing. A tiger welcomes the Cowardly Lion, addressing him as the King of the Beasts, and asks for his help saving the animals from a monstrous spider who has killed many animals. The Cowardly Lion goes to find the giant spider and finds it asleep. Using his paw, the Cowardly Lion knocks off the spider’s head and saves the other animals. The Cowardly Lion promises to return to the forest to be King after he has helped Dorothy.
Chapter XXII: The Country of the Quadlings
A steep, rocky hill presents the next trial for the travelers. When they approach the hill, a stout man with no arms and a flat head on top of a wrinkled neck warns the group to stay away. The Scarecrow approaches the hill nonetheless and gets punched back by the strange man’s head, which extends from his wrinkled neck. The travelers discover that, in this land, hundreds of these Hammer-Head men hide under rocks. When the Cowardly Lion runs at the hill, a different Hammer-Head punches him back too. The Tin Woodman then suggests that Dorothy use her last Golden Cap request to call the Winged Monkeys and have them carry the travelers over the Hammer-Heads. The Monkeys carry the travelers safely to the prosperous, beautiful land of the Quadlings, where the people seem friendly and red is the primary color. A farmer’s wife feeds the travelers and directs them to Glinda’s beautiful castle. At the castle’s gates, they ask to see Glinda, who invites them inside.
Chapters XXIII: Glinda the Good Witch Grants Dorothy’s Wish
Dorothy tells Glinda her story and explains her desire to return to Kansas. In exchange for the Golden Cap, Glinda promises to tell Dorothy how she can return home. Glinda then asks the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion what they will do next. The Scarecrow wants to return to rule the Emerald City. The Tin Woodman wants to rule over the Winkies, and the Cowardly Lion wants to be King of the Beasts in the forest. Glinda agrees with these plans and states that she’ll use her three requests of the Winged Monkeys to safely transport Dorothy’s friends to their new homes. She then promises to give the Golden Cap to the King of the Monkeys so the Monkeys can live free.
With this business complete, Glinda tells Dorothy she can click her heels three times and command her silver shoes to take her wherever she wishes. After kissing her friends goodbye, Dorothy holds on to Toto and clicks her shoes while stating that she wants to go home to Aunt Em. Instantly, Dorothy whirls through the air so quickly that all she can see or feel is the wind—and at once, she and Toto are back in Kansas, Dorothy realizes she has lost her sliver shoes and that Uncle Henry has rebuilt the house.
Chapters XXIV: Home Again
An astonished Aunt Em greets Dorothy with warm hugs and kisses and asks her “where in the world” has she come from. “From the Land of Oz,” Dorothy replies, “and here is Toto too. And oh, Aunt Em! I’m so glad to be home again!”