Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Language and Communication 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)
"This has political implications," said Elphaba, loudly. "I thought this was life sciences, not current events."
Boq and Avaric shushed her. She was getting a terrible reputation as a loudmouth. (126.96.36.199-54)
Elphaba's "loudmouth" reputation is interesting, since she spends the bulk of her life underground, either under a vow of silence or exiled out in Kiamo Ko. The bulk of the people of Oz have probably never heard Elphaba speak at all.
"I do not listen when anyone uses the word immoral. The thing is, my green girlie, it is not for a girl, or a student, or a citizen to assess what it wrong. This is the job of leaders, and why we exist." (188.8.131.52)
The Wizard's arrogance really comes shining through here. He speaks very emphatically, lumps himself in with super-important and all-powerful "leaders," implies everyone else is "lesser" than he is, and calls Elphaba a "girlie." We wish she would have decked him for that.
"I don't know that I understand [political theory and moral philosophy]. I read them as poetry," she once admitted. "I like the sound of the words, but I don't ever really expect my slow, slanted impression of the world to change by what I read." (3.4.4)
The theme of interpretation is important here. Elphaba interprets politics as poetry and introduces the idea of "reading" things in different ways. We also like the words Elphaba uses to describe herself here: slow, slanted, and impression. There's something sort of imprecise and impermanent about Elphaba, which makes sense given her status as a partial Other-Worlder.