Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Life, Consciousness, Existence 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)
"I thought I knew all the shapes of passion," Elphaba said one bright afternoon. "I mean, growing up with a unionist minister for a father. You come to expect that theology is the fundament on which all other thought and belief is based. But boys! – this week, Doctor Dillamond made some sort of scientific breakthrough.... . He began to dictate, and he was so excited that he sang his findings; he composed arias out of what he was seeing! (126.96.36.199)
We like this connection between religious and intellectual/scientific passion – in terms of emotion, the two aren't very different. This is an interesting detail in a book that spends a lot of time exploring the connections and divisions between the two subjects. It's also interesting that Elphaba says she "knew all the shapes of passion," since she never mentions experiencing those feelings herself.
"She is my world" he answered.
"Your world is too small if she is it."
"You can't criticize the size of a world." (188.8.131.52-19)
Way to go Boq. Elphaba can be really judgmental at times, and he has a great rejoinder here. This exchange also raises the question of how "large" Elphaba's own world is. Does an interest in big political issues automatically make your world a "large" one or not?
"I have no colleagues. I have no self. I never did, in fact, but that's beside the point. I am just a muscular twitch in the larger organism."
"Hah! You the most individual, the most separate, the most real . . ." (3.7.30-1)
These series of debates between Elphaba and Fiyero are really fascinating. Fiyero smartly points out the egotism behind Elphaba's seemingly self-effacing words. Elphaba refers to herself as a "handmaiden" or a "twitch," but Fiyero points out that even these references cast her as somehow unique and "more" than everyone else. It's as if Elphaba spends her life trying to justify her status as an oddity.