The Wicked Witch Who Wasnt

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I am absolutely mortified that I didn't check it out first.

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I was introduced to the music of the Broadway musical Wicked not that long ago, and was immediately intrigued with the idea of the Wicked Witch of the West not being as evil as she was made out to be in The Wizard of Oz. What if it was the Wizard who was the evil one? The idea of turning such a revered story on its head was too much to resist, and I was pleasantly surprised when my friend starbreiz sent me some items from my Amazon wishlist, including Wicked by Gregory Maguire. The story surrounds the life of Elphaba, the daughter of a minister and a woman who wasn't the most faithful minister's wife ever.

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Her unfortunate tale begins with her birth, when she is born with green skin, teeth so sharp she bites her own skin, and an aversion to water. Her mother turns to herbal drugs, and her missionary father believes that Elphaba's condition is somehow his fault. The only stable figure is really Elphaba's mother's former nanny, who comes to take care of the little green girl. Elphaba's childhood is defined by her father's missionary work in Quadling country, the poorest section of Oz, and a far cry from the upper class of Munchinland to which her mother was born.

Maguire picks up the story when Elphaba is older, and a new student at Shiz, the university of Oz.


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The university is divided into all-male and all-female colleges, and Elphaba ends up rooming with the very snobby Galinda, much to Galinda's dismay. Elphaba quickly becomes suspicious of the headmistress, Madame Morrible, and after an Animal the walking, talking, intelligent versions, much like the Cowardly Lion professor dies under mysterious circumstances, Elphaba finagles an audience with the Wizard for herself and Galinda, where she quickly realizes that the Wizard is not the paternalistic ruler he was believed to be.

Elphaba sends Galinda back to Shiz and begins a life of resistance, first on behalf of the Animals, then with a life in a convent or mauntery, as they call it , and finally ends up in the land of the Vinkus, where she creates her famed winged monkeys, begins to dabble in sorcery, and her story intersects with the story of Dorothy that we all grew up with. Just Like Real Life Trying to sum up the various plots in Wicked is impossible, and I feel impotent even attempting it.

Maguire has created an incredible character and the book will leave you unable to watch the movie the same way again. Not only has he created a rich and sympathetic character in Elphaba, but he has also created a world that seems so real that every time I had to put the book down to do something else I felt as if I was being jolted from one world to another.

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Wicked- Wicked Witch of the East (Message Board)

While at times it might seem as if Maguire is leaving too much out, jumping as he does from one period in Elphaba's life to another, he has chosen the most significant points to focus on; each set of experiences is one that would have shaped the woman who became known as the Wicked Witch of the West. The hardest part of reading Wicked is knowing how it is going to end. From the start, you know that Elphaba is doomed; that she will die at Dorothy's hand, and nothing will change that.

Still, even knowing this, you find yourself hoping against hope that Maguire will change the story and find a loophole for Elphaba, that she won't truly die, but live on, fighting the corrupt Wizard and everything he has created. It would have been impossible to condense all the political intrigue and vast cast of characters in the novel into a musical, and many of the plot devices were oversimplified, including the love affair between Elphaba and Fiyero.

While I love the show, the book has a much greater depth than the musical, and requires more of the reader than the audience member. Wicked is one of the best novels I've read in a long, long time. I find myself reading it over again, still hoping that Elphaba can be saved, and still getting lost in the world of Oz as Maguire sees it. This is a book not to be missed, and I guarantee that you'll never view blue gingham and ruby slippers the same way again. Very interesting perspective. Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, was painfully misunderstood and rejected by the color of her skin, as well as her unconventional manners rather than actually wicked.

In this unique book, she grew to become an Animal rights advocate and more of a guerrilla. What brought on the change? I started looking for role models. Manuela Damant. Recent Posts Want more balance? Reflect on your ego! Practice gratitude in the workplace Leadership growth hacks Stop waiting to be invited Love yourself first to powerfully take care of the world around you. Search for:. Subscribe Subscribe to the Azkua eMagazine Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

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If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Ok No Privacy policy. Revoke cookies. She could not find Kellen anywhere. Had he returned to the farm? He had told her earlier today that it was his day off. But she had no time to dwell on this. She hurried back to the woman to inform her that a doctor would arrive shortly. But as she neared the location, she could not find the woman. At first she thought she was at the wrong spot, but then she noticed the red cloak on the ground. It was no longer covered in blood.

She bent down to sweep it off the floor, glancing around the area. Had the woman stood up and fled? Surely she was in no condition to move.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

It was not long before the doctor arrived. Why had Kellen left?


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