Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
How we cite our quotes:
"I've told you before, I don't comprehend religion, although conviction is a concept I'm beginning to get. In any case, someone with a real religious conviction is, I propose, a religious convict, and deserves locking up." (188.8.131.52)
Elphaba may claim not to understand religion, but she certainly seems to have a handle on certain aspects of it: passion, belief, conviction, etc.
"Hence," observed Crope, "your aversion to all water. Without your knowing it, it might be a baptismal splash, and then your liberty as a free-range agnostic would be curtailed." (184.108.40.206)
This is probably the best explanation we've heard for Elphaba's severe water-phobia. And even if it's not true, it's at least more entertaining than something like a weird skin allergy. Crope's description of a "free-range agnostic" also gives us great insight into Elphaba's character. For her, agnosticism is a type of freedom. As an agnostic, she's not bound to any one belief system.
"You have no soul," he teased her.
"You're right," she answered soberly. "I didn't think it showed."
"You're only playing word games now."
"No," she said, "what proof have I of a soul?" (3.9.2-5)
Elphaba definitely does play word games a lot, but she also plays the part of a skeptic. We wonder what Elphaba would consider as "proof" of a soul.