Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Fate and Free Will Quotes in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Paragraph) and (Volume.Chapter.Section.Paragraph)
"You saw fiends with knives behind every chair, you always did" said Nessarose. "I don't think that Madame Morrible had any real power. She was a manipulative woman, but her power was very limited, and in our naiveté we saw her as a villain." (188.8.131.52)
Aside from suggesting that her sister is a paranoid nut who probably lurks on conspiracy theory websites and thinks the moon landing was a hoax, Nessa also introduces a cool idea of "real power." Is there fake power? Well, Nessa means that Morrible didn't have enough power to determine major political events. But the idea is interesting to consider in terms of Elphaba. The Wizard seems very wary of her, but how much power and influence and control does Elphaba have?
I just mean, Glinda, is it possible we could be living our entire adult lives under someone's spell? How could we tell if we were the pawns of someone's darker game? (5.3.75)
Elphaba's big question is kind of scary, too, in a sort of Matrix, Truman Show, 1984 Big Brother kind of way. How can you tell if you're under someone's control? The idea of a "pawn" also acts as a recurring motif in the later chapters of the book. Pawns suggest that a sort of chess game is being played, and chess is all about strategy and choice, which is a cool tie in to the themes of fate and free will.
I am the silent partner. I work through events, I live on the sidelines. I dabble in causes and effects, I watch how the misbegotten creatures of this world live their lives.... To some extent I can see what's coming, and to that extent I meddle in the affairs of men and beasts. (5.8.22)
The dwarf is super melodramatic. He's basically portraying himself as a kind of god here; he "meddles" in people's lives, predicting what's going to happen. The use of the word "partner" is curious, though. The dwarf later denies working directly with Yackle, so who exactly is he a partner to? Is he the partner of fate itself?