Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Good vs. Evil 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)
"People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us." He sighed. "It's people who claim that they're good, or anything better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of." (5.5.20)
Boq here makes a very astute point about being wary of people who run around saying how good they are. We definitely see this with the Wizard, who runs around saying how great he is and how everything he does is justified. The Wizard actually sounds like a lot of politicians in our world, come to think of it. Yikes.
Madame Morrible, for all her upper-class diction and fabulous wardrobe, seemed just a tad – oh – dangerous..... Galinda always felt as if she couldn't see the whole picture. It was disconcerting, and to her credit at least Galinda felt inside herself the ripping apart of some valuable fabric – was it integrity? – when she sat in Madame Morrible's parlor and drank the perfect tea. (188.8.131.52)
Glinda uses a running fabric motif here in an interesting way. She references Morrible's fabulous wardrobe, then speaks of her own "integrity" ripping like fabric. There's an idea here that sometimes evil and danger comes in a pretty package. There also might be an implication that Glinda herself is rather superficial, since she links herself to the fabric motif. Like Madame Morrible, Glinda can be "dressed up" in various ways and can perhaps appear as something that she's not.
They managed to chase the Quadlings out and kill them, round them up in settlement camps for their own protection and starve them. They despoiled the badlands, raked up the rubies, and left. My father went barmy over it. There never were enough rubies to make it worth the effort . (184.108.40.206)
There's definitely a lot of different kinds of evil explored in Wicked, but one of the most prominent is political oppression and injustice. The term "settlement camp" here probably refers to something like a concentration camp, and it's clear from Elphaba's description that the Wizard committed some sort of genocide against the Quadlings.