Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Religion 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)
"Lurline is the Fairy Queen who flew over the sandy wastes, and spotted the green and lovely land of Oz below. She left her daughter Ozma to rule the country in her absence and she promised to return to Oz in its darkest hour."
"Hah!" said Frex.
"No hahs at me." Nanny sniffed. "I'm as entitled to my beliefs as you are, Frexspar the Godly. At least they don't get me into trouble as yours do." (1.5.47-49)
Oh, that Nanny. She's so great. It's interesting that later in the book we get a few references to how the Wizard is suppressing religion, especially Lurlineism and old "pagan" beliefs. The book establishes a link between Nanny and Lurlineism very early on, which helps emphasize how the Wizard isn't just targeting a religious belief, but "old" and un-modern beliefs.
"In a panic they flung themselves into the torrent and attempted to swim through Lurline's urine. Those who became intimidated and turned back remained animals.... Those who swam on and made it to the farther shore were given the gifts of consciousness and language."
"What a gift, to be able to imagine your own death," muttered Crope. (188.8.131.52-14)
Well, this is certainly one of the more imaginative (and gross) creation myths we've heard. It's interesting that Crope defines consciousness as being able to "imagine your own death," or as an awareness of your own mortality, kindly granted to you by a higher power. Perhaps even the ability to imagine anything at all is what consciousness is.
"The Unnamed God perceived the sorrow that would overwhelm the land throughout time, and bawled in pain. The whole of Oz was a mile deep in saltwater tides. ...Those [animals] who swallowed enough of the tears of the Unnamed God were imbued with a fulsome sympathy for their kin .... They saved their kind out of mercy, and from their kindness they became a new, sentient lot: the Animals." (184.108.40.206)
Flood myths are prominent throughout various societies. The diction in the Unionist myth above really contrasts to that of the Lurline myth. The Unionist Animal mythology emphasizes sympathy, sorrow, and mercy, while the Lurline myth portrays a dire (and kind of disgusting) situation, oddly reminiscent of that South Park episode where a water park gets flooded with urine. (Just go with it.) The Animals who survived were rewarded with consciousness; sympathy didn't really enter into the picture there.