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Which Wizard of OZ character are you?

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Note: I did not write the following! It is from the website I listed above this! chris

"Dorothy is an exemplar of bravery, persistence, fairness, hope, and especially love. She is courageous in defense of others, defying the lion in defense of Toto, defying the Wizard in defense of Lion, and defying the witch in defense of Scarecrow. She persists in her quest maintaining a high level of hope even after her first disappointment encountering the Wizard. Her sense of fairness shows up when she scolds the Lion, “You ought to be ashamed … when you pick on things smaller and weaker than you,” and when she scolds the Wizard, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, frightening him when he came to you for help.” Dorothy learns that love is central to her life. She chooses the grayness of Kansas over the color of Oz because she learns how much she loves Auntie Em and how much Auntie Em loves her. She both helps her comrades and accepts help from them, practicing the strength of reciprocal love.

Initially, hanging on a pole, Scarecrow is living a life totally unsuited to his strengths — he cannot scare crows away at all. But Dorothy removing him from the pole gives him a chance to discover his strengths: open mindedness, perspective, curiosity, leadership, and kindness. He claims he cannot make up his mind, but he is able to tell Dorothy how to take him off the pole, and he is able to decide which direction to take. His perspective and kindness show up in his frequent encouragement of others and in some of the practical suggestions he makes, such as tricking the apple tree into throwing apples for Dorothy to eat. He does not suffer from hunger, but he understands that Dorothy does. He also knows many words for positive emotions, including “tenderness” and “love,” though it is unlikely that he encountered them often while hanging on a pole. His curiosity shows up frequently, such as when he asks the gateman in Emerald City, “Nobody has seen the great Oz – Then how do you know there is one?” Kindness shows up in his willingness to help Dorothy, “I’ll see you get there whether I get a brain or not.” By exercising his strengths, he demonstrates leadership that causes him to become the ruler of Oz after the Wizard leaves. People look to him for answers.

The strengths of Tinman are not as well presented in the movie, but from the book I remember integrity, kindness, fairness, and citizenship. He thinks he has no heart, but he is actually encumbered with such a soft heart that observing pain in anyone else causes him to weep and then lock up. He is always willing to use his axe in the defense of weaker ones, and he puts the good of the group ahead of his own personal needs. There are times when others must urge him to exercise greater self-regulation so that he can continue functioning without needing constant oiling. In the course of their adventures, he shows love and concern for all the others, and they show love in return. He already had a heart.

Lion is somewhat different, a character whose strengths are working against each other when he is first encountered. His humility and prudence conflict with his personal ideas about valor: as a lion, he believes he should be afraid of nothing, but his good sense makes him recognize danger. Unfortunately for him, this creates a self-defeating vortex. The more he recognizes things to be afraid of, the more cowardly he behaves physically, which makes him under-estimate his own valor a bit more, which lowers the threshold of things that make him afraid. He has a very low threshold indeed when first encountered, “I’m even afraid of myself.” Over the course of the movie, he acts bravely in spite of fear by coming to Dorothy’s aid when she really needs him. These experiences reverse the spiral, allowing him to learn more that he does have the strength of valor and that it is his understanding that is wrong. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to control it. Lion’s gratitude and appreciation for beauty make him appealing. Appreciation of beauty is a characteristic that separates him, a flesh and blood creature, from the Scarecrow and Tinman.

The final character, the Wizard of Oz is an interesting blend of bad and good. Back in Kansas, he is the traveling magician who uses whatever information he can furtively gather to show people he knows unexpected things, often to trick them. In Dorothy’s case, he puts his observations together with his social intelligence and kindness when he tries to make Dorothy understand how Auntie Em will feel if Dorothy runs away. He displays considerable humility when his charlatanry as the Wizard of Oz is detected, and he is very aware of his own limitations. In the scene where he hands out the diploma, heart, and medal, he shows social intelligence and kindness by mirroring back strengths. Valor is not one of his strengths. A brave man would not have sent Dorothy to get the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West. He either hoped never to deal with her again or to have her do dirty work that belonged to him as the ruling Wizard of Oz. All in all, it lends depth to the story to have a character that is such an interesting blend of strength and weakness.

Dorothy learns that she has her heart’s desire right in her backyard. Scarecrow and Tinman change circumstances and become able to exercise their strengths and then learn to recognize them. Lion uses his experiences to reverse a downward spiral and come to a more realistic self-appraisal."

ME? Cowardly Lion

This is the best explanation I have ever read of these characters! I do see dangers and problems first like the lion. But I put my mind to it and overcome great obstacles! Up till now I only saw the cowardly part of myself. The story says in the right circumstances our full set of skills comes into play! Wow! I love this psychologist! chris
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm definitely the scarecrow. I take silly risks, but have no spine and have been stuck on the stick by fear of success. I tend to be a dreamer and terrible with planning and follow through. Still, I persist, even if in spurts.
    Though not very practical, I too know I have a brain... now I need self-esteem.
    Thanks for causing me to think about this.
    1656 days ago
    Loved this, thanks for posting. Never thought of the Wizard of Oz this way.

    I'd like to think I am Dorothy all the way, but I see myself in all the characters.
    1657 days ago
    1658 days ago
    Cowardly Lion all the way! emoticon
    1658 days ago
    Interesting -- did read something similar to this years ago that I've forgotten. You may also like the Wizard of Us by Jean Houston - which covers the ideas of becoming your own Hero on your sacred journey.

    I think I'm a little bit of every character. When I am a coach I can be the Wizard for others. But a lot of my life was not understanding my own strength & skills like the Lion.
    1658 days ago
    maybe Dorothy
    1658 days ago
    Honestly.....I would have to say TOTO.....the instigator who causes Dorothy to end up in her bedroom instead of the storm cellar when the tornado hits. Without Toto, the entire story would never have unfolded.
    Being somewhat of a control freak, I would say I am much like Toto--I like to make things happen and I like to break the rules.
    1659 days ago
    1659 days ago
    I'd say the Tinman myself.
    1659 days ago
    1659 days ago
    I don't know which on I am but I have always wanted ruby slippers. emoticon
    1659 days ago

    I am the straw man !!! emoticon
    1659 days ago
    What psychologist? I thought you were the gifted and insightful author! This is a great blog, BTW. I can't pick just one. I think I'm a little of all of them.
    1659 days ago
    Scarecrow, definitely! I was raised not to take risks -- maybe in reaction to my sister's reckless tendencies. Maybe knowing that there was no allowance for a learning curve. A first attempt that wasn't a rousing success would draw a sarcastic: "You're not very good at this, are you?" and would likely become a family legend: "Remember the time you tried to...?" or "Remember how you thought you could...?" Anything said or done could be held against you years later, even in radically different circumstances.

    I always knew I had a brain; I was told I wasn't very good at practical things, and after awhile I came to believe it. The last few years, my husband has been pushing me out of my comfort zone, which was admittedly very small. I still get a little touch of panic -- shortness of breath, jitters -- when I have to tackle something new, but it is getting better.
    1659 days ago
    The grand and I have watched this movie at least a hundred times! Thanks for the synopsis - very insightful!
    1659 days ago
    emoticon What a Wonderful Synopsis of a Great Movie!!
    emoticon I think we are all a little of each Character at Different times in our Lives.
    1659 days ago
    Interesting question. Personally, I don't have a clue...not sure of how I see myself or which character I am, though probably as SANDRALEET posted that at times we are probably some of each one of them.

    Though I can hear myself going around singing....."If I only had a brain"
    1659 days ago
    I think at one time we were a bit of each That makes one whole person
    1659 days ago
    I'd lean towards being tin man. I take care of my family (mom, dad, niece, both sisters) a LOT! They all have health issues and need it, but I am always there for them.

    Thanks for posting!
    1659 days ago
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