Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Language and Communication Quotes Page 4
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The Witch was so stunned that she nearly lost her grip on the branch. The last thing she ever cared for was gossip. Yet she had been out of touch for so long that she was astonished at the vigorous opinions of these random nobodies. (Prologue.13)
Gossip plays a huge role in defining the Wicked Witch of the West. This scene really shows how Elphaba had little to do with the creation of her own alter ego.
Afterward, there was a lot of discussion about what people had thought it was. The noise had seemed to come from all corners of the sky at once.
Journalists, armed with the thesaurus and apocalyptic scriptures, fumbled and were defeated by it. "A gulfy deliquescence of deranged and harnessed air" ..."A volcano of the invisible, darkly constructed." (5.1.1-2)
Those journalists clearly love their thesauruses. Their failure to describe the tornado emphasizes how unusual and traumatic an event it was.
There were a great many jokes about the disaster, naturally. "You can't hide from destiny," some said, "that house really had her name on it." "That Nessarose, she was giving such a good speech about religious lessons, she really brought down the house!" (5.1.12)
Both Nessa and Elphaba have really unfortunate legacies: Nessa became a punch line and Elphaba became Evil with a capital "E."