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

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)

Quote #10

You have shown no sign of interest in sorcery and I don't claim you have any natural aptitude. But your splendid lone-wolf spit and spirit can be harnessed, oh yes it can, and you needn't live a life of unfulfilled rage. (

Madame Morrible's assessment here isn't all that accurate; Elphaba really does have a "natural aptitude" for sorcery. It's interesting that, while Elphaba is concerned (even obsessed) with the idea that Morrible is controlling her life, Morrible's actual predictions for her future "adepts" weren't entirely accurate.

Quote #11

"Beware whom you serve," said the Wizard of Oz. (

The Wizard might have a career in writing fortune cookies if the whole crazy dictator thing doesn't work out. Our main question here is whom he was cautioning Glinda and Elphaba against. Himself? Madame Morrible? This idea of "serving" is interesting, too, since Elphaba refers to herself as a "handmaiden" more than once. Elphaba seems to spend her entire life feeling like she's serving something, but what is that something exactly?

Quote #12

"When the times are a crucible, when the air is full of crisis," she said, "those who are the most themselves are the victims." ..."But the choice to save yourself can itself be deadly," said the Princess Nastoya. (

The Wizard might have some competition in the fortune cookie business. Nastoya says a lot of stuff that doesn't fully make sense to us. She's a big fan of paradoxes, or statements that seem contradictory but really have some truth in them.

The first sentence here seems to suggest that people who are firmly rooted in their identities have a bad time in a crisis since they can't adapt to change very well. Elphaba, stubborn as she is, fits the bill there.

The last bit is really confusing, though: how can saving yourself be deadly? Nastoya may be referring to some sort of spiritual death here; if saving yourself involves changing yourself, then you lose yourself and "die," in a sense. There are a lot of no-win situations at work here, and we still aren't entirely clear on what Nastoya means.

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