Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Questions
- Was Elphaba ultimately a victim or pawn of powerful outside forces that were controlling her life, or was she the author of her own downfall?
- The book doesn't really come right out and say that Elphaba is Liir's mother. Why might the book choose to be vague on this point, and what is the effect?
- The Wizard remains largely a mystery throughout the book. How is this mysteriousness significant to his character and to the narrative as a whole?
- What are the thematic implications of Elphaba being a sort of living hybrid of two separate worlds?
- What exactly is the Grimmerie, and what does it represent in the narrative?
- How does the book define evil? Is Elphaba evil, according to the definitions of evil explored in the novel?
- The book often makes references to the classic 1939 movie in the text. How are these references used, and how are they significant in the narrative?
- The narrative jumps around and zeroes in on certain time periods in Elphaba's life. What might be significant about the periods of her life that we get in detail?
- How does Sarima and Elphaba's relationship develop over time? What themes are explored through their relationship?
- Elphaba spends most of the novel not believing in the existence of a "soul." What does Elphaba mean by "soul," and how is her lack of belief in one important, both in terms of her character and the novel as a whole?
- How does the tone of Volume 5: The Murder and Its Afterlife shift from the rest of the book, and what is the effect of this shift?
- Stylistically, does the novel the novel treat Elphaba and the persona of the Wicked Witch of the West as one person or as two separate entities? Or is it a mixture of both treatments? How are these stylistic choices significant?
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