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Summary

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Volume 2, Chapter 3, Part 8 Summary Page 1

How It All Goes Down

  • Glinda and Elphaba take a road trip to the Emerald City.
  • On the way, Glinda sees a lot of poor, desperate-looking people. It's hard times in Oz for most:

    The woman watched the carriage pass, and her face showed a yearning to be on it, to be dead, to be anywhere else other than on this carcass of a property. (2.3.8.3)

  • This scene reminds us of a famous photograph that Dorothea Lange took of a mother during the Great Depression. You can see that picture, as well as other Depression-era photography by Lange, here
  • When they finally reach the Emerald City, Glinda is not impressed. She finds it all very phony and brash.
  • Elphaba is horrified as well. She notes that there are no Animals anywhere and that most of the people in the city look like they are sleepwalking.
  • The girls make their way to the Palace and request an audience with the Wizard.
  • They wait all day and finally get let in for four minutes.
  • Elphaba is too scared to speak when the Wizard first reveals himself as a skeleton dancing in the rain. (We think the giant green head and flames are scarier, but Elphaba would probably disagree.)
  • Glinda pipes up and explains who they are.
  • The Wizard perks up at the mention of Madame Morrible.
  • Elphaba then butts in with her Animal rights spiel and begs the Wizard to reconsider his harmful social policies.
  • The Wizard is a big jerk about the whole thing:

    "I shall take you to be right-thinking, for did I not, I should be obliged to join an army against you."

    "Oh hell, Elphie," said Glinda, then more loudly, "she doesn't speak for the both of us, Your Highness. I'm an independent person here."
    (2.3.8.30-31)

  • The Wizard refuses to listen to Elphaba anymore and tells her to wake up to the real world and stop being sentimental.
  • Elphaba basically declares war against the Wizard
  • The Wizard quotes a bit from the Oziad about how things look like something but are really something else.
  • He then delivers this parting shot and throws them out: "Beware whom you serve" (2.3.8.76).
  • The girls head back to a carriage and prepare to return to Shiz.
  • But Elphaba says she's staying in the Emerald City and plans to join an underground resistance movement.
  • She bids a tearful Glinda goodbye and disappears into the crowd.

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