Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges Oiling the Tin Man’s Armor and Healing His Heart IV: Finding Support and Guidance

Oiling the Tin Man’s Armor and Healing His Heart IV: Finding Support and Guidance

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[Note: the appendices to this essay are to be found in the downloadable pdf version that can be accessed by clicking the download button located below this document.]

Apparently, it takes a village not only to raise a child but also a village (or at least many caring family members, friends and colleagues) to heal one’s heart. This certainly was the case with Dorothy as she finally arrives at the Emerald City and defeats the Wicked Witch.


Dorothy is assisted not only by her four colleagues (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto) but also by citizens of the Emerald City. Aside from the adornments that were applied to Dorothy (and her travel mates), the Wizard himself assisted in helping Dorothy heal her heart (returning to Kansas). Even the Winged Monkeys were there to celebrate Dorothy’s planned trip by Balloon to Kansas (not needed given the slippers).



Healing the Hearts of Wizard of Oz Characters

In this wonderful tale of a young woman, Dorothy comes to full realization regarding the value of home and the people who populate her daily life. Her heart is filled with unacknowledged and often contradictory teenage longing for both attachment and individuation. She wants to run away but also is still in need of her aunt, uncle and farm hands. After she is swept up in the tornado and lands in Oz, we encounter three characters who join Dorothy in her trip to a destination, Oz. These characters closely resemble the three Kansas farmhands. Toto is the “transitional” object—the one character who is with Dorothy in Kansas and in Oz. The three characters themselves have a good reason to travel with Dorothy and Toto to Oz.  Each of them has something that they deeply desire. This unmet desire is deeply wounding. Hearts are empty and wounded.

Much as the case of Dorothy, our three beloved characters discover that what they seek is already available to them. I wonder if the farmhands back in Kansas also have unmet desires. At times, do they also want to leave the farm and find something new and different. We also encounter the huckster (closely resembling the Wizard) who is peddling falsehoods. Perhaps, he also would like to be doing something else—just as the Wizard wants to get away from Oz and is last seen flying off on the balloon that was supposed to transport Dorothy back to Oz. It was Glenda the Good who was the realist and didn’t seem to desire an escape to somewhere else (though she might have mourned the evil turn and eventually death of her sister – as portrayed in the musical “Wicked”).

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