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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Good vs. Evil

Good vs. evil really is the ultimate (and original) theme of Wicked. But the twist is that the theme doesn't focus on a showdown between a hero and a super-villain. Rather, the focus is on good and...

Fate and Free Will

The idea of "destiny" is tossed around a lot in books and movies, especially in epic, heroic adventures. We have the "destined and doomed" lovers Romeo and Juliet; the "destined hero" Luke Skywalke...

Guilt and Blame

At one point Sarima, who likes to fire off wise, fortune-cookie sayings, tells Elphaba that her guilt is the only thing tethering her to the world. Sarima links together the ideas of guilt, life, a...

Family

Home and family are major themes in The Wizard of Oz, in a rather schmaltzy kind of way. (Hey, we can't be the only ones who wondered why Dorothy wanted so badly to go back to dusty, sepia-toned Ka...

Religion

A Unionist, a Lurlineist, and an Agnostic walk into a bar and...get into a deep philosophical discussion about the meaning of life and evil. OK, religion – a major theme in Wicked – is...

Memory and the Past

In the fine tradition of soap operas and time-traveling sci-fi extravaganzas, Wicked features amnesia, jumps through time, gaps in time, and mysteries that only get cleared up years later. Melena a...

Language and Communication

The story of Oz has been retold countless times, so it's fitting that storytelling itself is a major theme in this book. Wicked is all about re-telling the story of the Wicked Witch of the West. Bu...

Defeat

There's a reason we call Elphaba the John Locke (Lost version) of Oz. Like Locke, her life seems to be one big string of failures and disappointments. This is a fact that Elphaba herself notices wi...

Life, Consciousness, Existence

This is really the theme to end all themes. What's interesting here is that Wicked isn't all that abstract. These often esoteric themes recur in two very concrete thematic questions in Wicked: What...

Versions of Reality

Dorothy actually introduces this theme for us in The Wizard of Oz. There's a strong literary tradition of entering a bizarre new world: Alice going down the rabbit hole and through the looking glas...

Gender

Wicked is all about strong female characters: Elphaba, Glinda, Nessa, Sarima, Melena, Dorothy, Nanny, Nor, Morrible, Princess Nastoya... This legacy actually comes from L. Frank Baum himself, as Ma...
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