Do Henry and the Lion Lack Courage?
In the novels, ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Red Badge of Courage’, courage comes up as the main theme. This is evident in Henry and Lion who appear timid before challenges. To Henry and the Lion, courage is the greatest goal and fear. However, the question is how did they manage to become brave eventually?
Both Henry and the Lion encounter enemies and thereafter exhibit unparalleled courage that makes both of them stand out as heroes. Henry first appears as a coward as he wonders how he will have to react in the event he encounters the combat (Crane). The Cowardly Lion encounters Dorothy and the Scarecrow among other characters and wishes that the Wizard of Oz added him more courage (Baum). Both characters show lack courage when they doubt themselves. Henry takes off when they are attacked (Crane). The Lion hides in the midst of other characters instead of fighting for them in the presence of the wizard from the West. Both characters become bold all through after they manage to overcome their apprehension. Unlike the Lion, Henry is the protagonist in the novel. Contrary to the Lion, Henry is restless despite overcoming his fear and only becomes confident only after sharing out his initial fear (Crane).
The characters show a lack of courage in several instances. Henry initially shares his lack of courage by becoming terrified of meeting the combat and running away when their camp is attacked (Crane). When the Lion encountered the Wizard, the Lion shows his cowardice by visualizing the Wizard as a ball of fire (Baum). However, Henry shows courage later on by coming back to face the combats and bravely fighting to becoming a hero (Crane). The Lion eventually becomes courageous when he prevents the subjects of the Wicked Witch of the West from attacking them (Baum).
In both stories, Henry comes out as the most courageous. He comes back to the battlefield after his initial encounter and conquers the enemy by applying different strategies until he rises to become a hero (Crane). Later on, Henry confides to Wilson over his well-kept secret.
Therefore, in both characters, courage is the greatest goal and fear. Initially, both characters, Henry and the Lion, lacked courage. In the end, however, they become the heroes in the separate novels.
Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. New York: G.M. Hill Co., 1900.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1951.