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"If I only had a Brain! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"Hurray! We're off to see the Wizard! "
―Scarecrow (1939)
"I think II'll miss you most of all..."
Dorothy Gale to the Scarecrow (1939)
"I think I'm gonna make it this time"
― Scarecrow. (1978)
OzIcon
Scarecrow
180px-Johnny automatic dramatic scarecrow
The Scarecrow as depicted by John R. Neil
Profile
Title King of Oz (formerly)
Gender Male
Species Scarecrow
Origin Munchkin Country
Residence Corn Mansion (Winkie Country)
Occupation Ruler of Oz (formerly); Tin Woodman's Treasurer; Corn Farmer
Affiliation L. Frank Baum, Land of Oz, Munchkins, Dorothy Gale, Toto, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Glinda, Wizard, Emerald City, Wicked Witch of the West, Princess Ozma, Tip, Mombi, Jellia Jamb, Guardian of the Gates, Soldier with the Green Whiskers, Fighting Trees, China Country, Hammer-Heads, Gump, Jinjur, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, Tik-Tok, Billina Patchwork Girl, Hungry Tiger, Shaggy Man, Braided Man, Polychrome, Wogglebug, Royal Palace of Oz, Powder of Life, Nome King
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


"...green, green, green, green? Look Dorothy, it's green..."
―Scarecrow in Return to Oz (1985)
"There was a great cornfield beyond the fence, and not far away Dorothy saw a Scarecrow, placed high on a pole to keep the birds away from the ripe corn."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
"Witch..I'm not afraid of a witch. I'm not afraid of anything..except a lighted match. But I'd face a whole box full of them for the chance of getting some brains! Look, I won't be any trouble, because I don't eat anything. And I won't try to manage things, because I can't think. Won't you please take me with you?"
―Scarecrow (1939)

Scarecrow of Oz

The Scarecrow is a fictional character, invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. He is first introduced in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. He is introduced in the third chapter of the book titled How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow. The character of the Scarecrow doesn't have a name and is simply known by what he is-a scarecrow. And since the magical Land of Oz is an enchanted fantasy land, he is one of which that can magically talk, walk and dance. He was the first traveling companion and loyal comrade that Dorothy Gale and Toto discovered along the epic journey down the Yellow Brick Road while venturing to the Emerald City, to see the great and Powerful Wizard of Oz in hopes of findng a way back home to Kansas again after being brought to Land of Oz via cyclone. The Scarecrow decided to journey with Dorothy and Toto to ask the Wizard for a set of Brains which he lacked. In the end of the story and after he did receive his reward by the Humbug Wizard, he later became known as one of the cleverest figures in all of Oz.

  • It is unknown how the Scarecrow was given life. Unlike the Tin Woodman who is made of all tin the Scarecrow was never a real man with a soul being made of flesh and blood, then having his body parts replaced. It is highly possible Scarecrow was touched by the magic of Fairy Queen Lurline, who is responsible for making all of Oz the enchanted realm that it is, or someone such as the Munchkin farmers who made him possibly used the magic substance called Powder of Life on him to scare the crows away. The Powder of Life is something that Baum introduces in his second Oz book which serves as a sequel to the first story titled The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. In Baum's seventh Oz book titled the The Patchwork Girl of Oz, published in 1913, the Patchwork girl named Scraps, who serves as the Scarecrow's love interest is brought to life with this magic powder.

Later on in the Oz series which serve as 14 offical sequel books to Baum's original story, written by Baum himself, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman would become best of friends. Having many adventures together after Dorothy was sent back home and even when she returned, the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow remained very close comrades. Just as Dorothy would be wth Princess Ozma and the Cowardly Lion would be with the Hungry Tiger of Oz.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

IMG 20140517 204453

The Scarecrow 1900.

"While looking earnestly into the queer, painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her. She thought she must have been mistaken at first, for none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink; but presently the figure nodded its head to her in a friendly way. Then she climbed down from the fence and walked up to it, while Toto ran around the pole and barked. "Good day," said the Scarecrow, in a rather husky voice. "Did you speak?" asked the girl, in wonder."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baum's Description

"Dorothy leaned her chin upon her hand and gazed thoughtfully at the Scarecrow. Its head was a small sack stuffed with straw, with eyes, nose, and mouth painted on it to represent a face. An old, pointed blue hat, that had belonged to some Munchkin, was perched on his head, and the rest of the figure was a blue suit of clothes, worn and faded, which had also been stuffed with straw. On the feet were some old boots with blue tops, such as every man wore in this country, and the figure was raised above the stalks of corn by means of the pole stuck up its back. "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Somewhere in the middle of the Munchkin Country of Oz. He was introduced as being placed high up on a wooden pole in the cornfields of the Munchkin farmers. He is described as wearing all blue of worn-out and faded hand me down Munchkin clothing, with an old wrinkled pointed hat and old scuffed up farm-boots. Because he is wearing Munchkin clothing the original Scarecrow is actually quite short in height like the majority of the Munchkin race in Oz. In the very first Oz illustrations by W. W. Denslow, he is only as tall as Dorothy who is a mere child.

When he befriended Dorothy, at first he did not understand why the girl wanted to leave the magical Land of Oz and go back to Kansas when the majority of Oz is such a beautiful place and Kansas is so gray, colorless and dull. It is then when Dorothy tried to explain to her new friend that he can't understand because he has no Brains. Therefore, he simply cannot grasp the concept of the way people who are made of flesh and blood think, and the desire of returning to where one belongs no matter how beautiful or appealing any other place may be, for home is where the heart is. Thus, concluding that there is No Place Like Home.

Personality

The Scarecrow is a extremely gentle character, his disposition is so kind and considerate, obliging and honest that all who know him love him.

Because he is stuffed with straw, the Scarecrow can never get hurt, though he is awkward in his movements. He never tires, and never needs to sleep or eat. He also sees very well in the dark. The only thing he fears is the burning flame of hot fire!

History of the Scarecrow of Oz

The Scarecrow doesn't really have any history, he was barley two days old when he met Dorothy after being stuffed, sewn together and placed high up in the Munchkin farmer's ripe cornfield.

{In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1900}

One day, like any other in the magical land of Oz, the Scarecrow watched over the Munchkin cornfields. When suddenly a little girl who was wearing magic Silver Shoes named Dorothy Gale and her pet dog Toto came strolling by and the Scarecrow winked at Dorothy which surprised the girl. After properly introducing themselves Dorothy helped him get down from the uncomfortable pole he'd been placed on. Afterwards, he set out along the Yellow Brick Road with the girl and her dog to see the Wizard to ask for Brains, as Dorothy was going to ask to be sent home again. After being swept away to Oz in a Kansas cyclone.

IMG 20140905 045253

The Scarecrow sits With Dorothy and Toto by the river bank. (1900)

Along the way they met a rusted Tin Woodman in the woods who desired a heart. And a Cowardly Lion in the dark forest who longed for courage. Dorothy and Scarecrow invited the two of them to come along to see the Wizard, and they all quickly became good friends. After several days of having many amazing adventures throughout Oz, such as facing the fierce, flesh-eating beasts called Kalidahs, and crossing through the deadly field of Poppies before being rescused by the Queen of the Field Mice and her loyal band of mouse subjects. At last, the traveling companions made it to the glorious gates of the Emerald City of Oz.

However, before they were all allowed to enter the city, the Guardian of the Gates had them wear green spectacles by the Wizard's policy, to protect they're eyes from the glory and shine of the splendid city inside. Then the Soldier with the Green Whiskers escorted Dorothy and her friends to the Royal Palace of Oz where the Wizard lived.

The Wizard didn't allow anyone an audience, but thanks to Dorothy's charmed Silver Shoes, the Wizard became interested and agreed to see the guests and made an exception for the party of Dorothy. Oz was also a great shapeshifter, who would only see them one at a time. First he spoke to Dorothy and he appeared as a giant head levitating on a magnificent jeweled throne. But when Scarecrows turn came, Oz appeared to him as a beautiful fairy enchantress dressed in fine robes. And commanded him, like the others to help Dorothy kill the Wicked Witch of the West if he wanted Brains.

The next day the four friends set out in search of the Wicked Witch, but the Witch saw the group coming. The Witch sent out her pack of Killer Wolves, Killer Bee's and her Killer crows to stop and kill the travelers. But Dorothy and her friends defeated her attempts each time. So finally the Wicked Witch had Dorothy, Toto and the Lion captured by her band of Winged Monkeys who were slaves of the Golden Cap that the Witch owned. The Winged Monkeys bashed the Tin Woodman against jagged rocks, denting him terribly all over. And then the Winged Monkeys, ripped all the straw out of poor Scarecrow and tossed his clothes high up in tree branches. There the two remained, destroyed and left behind utterly helpless.

Back at the Witches home, the Lion was kept harnessed in the castle courtyard and Dorothy was imprisoned in the Witch's yellow castle as her personal slave. Dorothy worked very hard in her castle and was glad the Wicked Witch had chosen not to kill her or her dog. One day, the Witch tried to steal Dorothy's Silver Shoes but in defense, Dorothy tossed a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch and melted her away like brown sugar. Thus, ridding Oz of it's most dreaded Wicked Witches. Dorothy had the Winkies restore the Scarecrow and Tin woodman until they were good as new.

The four friends anxiously returned to the Emerald City to claim they're rewards and prizes as they were promised.

But there they all discovered the truth, the Wizard wasn't a Wizard at all, but a phony and a humbug. He was a little old man by the name of Oscar Diggs who was a skilled illusionist, ventriloquist and Magician at a traveling carnival before coming to Oz long, long ago. The Wizard apologized for his dishonesty and promised to make it up to Dorothy if they kept the truth of his humbug ways a safe secret. The Wizard tried to take Dorothy home in the same hot air balloon that he arrived to Oz in. But it departed too soon and floated away while Dorothy was looking for Toto, who went chasing after a Kitten.

Thanks to the Scarecrows' new set of brains, he advised Dorothy and the other companions to travel out to the country of the red Quadlings to find the beautiful enchantress Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. And after a set of several more adventures such as encountering Fighting Trees, crossing over the mountain of the Hammer-Heads and traveling through the Dainty China Country, they all arrived at her ruby red palace. There Glinda sat in her chamber upon her ruby throne. Dorothy told Glinda her long story, all about the Kansas cyclone and about the Wicked Witches. Glinda was a wise Witch, and kindly informed Dorothy about the secret charm of the Silver Shoes she had been wearing since her arrival in Oz. The secret was to click the heels of the shoes together three times and command them to take you wherever you wished to go. Dorothy thanked Glinda for her help, and after a tearful goodbye to her three friends, Dorothy did as she was instructed. The shoes allowed her and Toto to return safely home to Kansas. After her departure the Scarecrow became ruler of the Emerald City in Oz.

The King of Straw & Brains

"Now, let's go and see if we can find ourselves some breakfast. Then, we can go to the Emerald City to visit my friend the Scarecrow, he's the king of Oz, Billina. "
Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985)

The Scarecrow ruled very wisely with his new brains, and was loved by all who new him and was respected by all of the Emerald City citizens who were happy to have him as they're King.

A long time later, the Scarecrow was deposed as king when General Jinjur organized an Army of Revolt and took over the Emerald City. He escaped on the Sawhorse, with Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead, to the castle of his good friend the Tin Woodman. On their way back to the Emerald City, they met the Queen of the Field Mice, who allowed a dozen of her subjects to accompany the Scarecrow, nestled inside his straw-filled breast. When they arrived back at the Royal Palace, the Scarecrow released the mice and frightened away his captors.

He and his companions then went to Glinda to ask for her help in conquering Queen Jinjur and her army. Glinda refused in light of the fact that only Princess Ozma was the true ruler. When Ozma was found and established on the throne, the Scarecrow went with his friend the Tin Woodman to live in the Winkie Country. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

When Princess Ozma set out to rescue the Royal Family of Ev from the Nome King, the Scarecrow joined her party. Along the way they found Dorothy and soon arrived in the Nome Kingdom. The Nome King had transformed the Royal Family of Ev into ornaments for his palace, and he tricked the Ozites and began transforming them as well. The Scarecrow was transformed into a golden ornament, but was liberated along with everyone else by Billina the hen. At the conclusion of their successful mission the party returned to the Emerald City. (Ozma of Oz)

After many years of living in the Emerald City, the Scarecrow decided to return to his roots as a farmer. Ozma gave him some land in the Winkie Country and Jack Pumpkinhead designed a mansion for him. (The Emerald City of Oz) He also has a boat made from a hollowed corncob, decorated with brilliant jewels and with a purple silk sail. ("The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman")

Glinda sent the Scarecrow to Jinxland in the Quadling country to rescue some visitors of Oz: Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright. (The Scarecrow of Oz)

Book Appearances

Trivia

- His original paint was made out of oil.

- His left eye is smaller than the right one.

- He's made out ot munchkin clothes.

- As the Tin Man needs to be oiled, he needs to have his face repainted every once in a while.

- His Kansas counterpart in the 1939 film is Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's farm worker, Hunk. He helps Zeke (Cowardly Lion's alter ego) and Hickory (Tin Man's alter ego) repair a wagon. Unlike Zeke, Hickory and Hunk lose their hats with Uncle Henry as they struggle to pry open the cellar when the tornado approaches their farm. Hunk closes and locks the cellar with Zeke when Dorothy arrives at the farmhouse. Hunk reunites with Dorothy when she awakens from being unconscious. He is seen with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, Hickory, and Professor Marvel (The Wizard's alter ego). 

Background

In Magic Land the Scarecrow is called Strasheela.

In The Great Wishy Woz he is Manny Kin.

Peter Schulenburg provides a treatment of the Scarecrow's unique home in The Corn Mansion of Oz.

In the graphic novel adaptation the Scarecrow was a stuffed man as in the original book.

The Scarecrow appears as Fiyero in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch as well as the Broadway musical adaptation, but he does not appear in the third book in the trilogy, A Lion Among Men.

In Treasury of Illustrated Classics The Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow wore the same blue sleeve shirt, sneakers, jeans, and black pointed hat as the Munchkins.

In L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel, the Scarecrow wears an orange jacket, blue jeans and brown hat instead of the usual Munchkin blue outfit.

Gallery

Credits

External Links

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