The classic Wizard Of Oz provides a wonderful character that represents courage, the Cowardly Lion. Lions are known as The King of the Beasts which are fearless creatures and does courageous deeds. But the one in the Wizard of Oz believes that his fear makes him inadequate to be a true Lion. When Dorothy, Tin Man and Scarecrow are walking through the forest they find the Cowardly Lion. The dog Toto finds out that the Lion that they approached was all ‘roar’ and no bite. The Cowardly Lion is embarrassed and wants to seek out to be a true lion, thus he joins Dorothy to talk to the Wizard of Oz for help. Once they reach Emerald City, the Wizard helps Cowardly Lion by giving him a medal. Cowardly Lion is confused because he wanted courage, but the Wizard exclaims, ” That courage means acting in the face of fear.” Which The Cowardly Lion proved because he faced many obstacles to get to Emerald City that needed courage.
I like how L. Frank Baum tied finding courage within the plot. He proved that to be courageous it comes from within a person. You dont need a secret potion, or even a medal, but what you do need is to face fear. It’s a good moral to live by and is a good eye opener for people who are scared like the Cowardly Lion. They can use him as a role model and try to be more like him because of how he faced his fears and turned out to be a hero of his own story. L Frank Baum created a character that started off as weak and scared of the world, but than transitioned into a courageous and bold lion.
A cool fact that not many people know is that the Wizard of Oz is referenced several late 1800 political issues. The symbolism is shockingly accurate. For example, the Yellow Brick Gold is a representation of the gold standard, with the gold road leading to power. The Cowardly Lion symbolizes 1800’s William Jennings Bryan. He was a politician and supported the free silver movement, and is said that he ‘had a loud roar, but no power or bite’. Bryan believed that a switch to silver-backed currency would make money plentiful, but it was never enacted and lost to McKinley twice. This is relatable to the Cowardly Lion because he acted as though he was a tough lion, but really he was scared and just as nervous as Dorothy. He had a loud roar but no bite.