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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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 Volume 4, Chapter 2, Part 1 Summary

How It All Goes Down

The Jasper Gates of Kiamo Ko

  • We now join the residents of Kiamo Ko.
  • Sarima is lounging around in bed. Her youngest sister announces that they have visitors.
  • Sarima calls her sister "Six." This either means that Sarima's sisters are so unimportant compared to her, the Dowager Princess, that they don't merit names, or that Sarima and her sisters are Cylons.
  • Sister/Cylon Number Six acts like Sarima's servant and helpfully gossips about their crazy visitors. One of them is green!
  • Sarima thinks that sounds awesome. Things are usually pretty dull at Kiamo Ko.
  • Sarima goes to check on her kids before greeting her guests.
  • She has two sons, Irji and Manek, who are twelve and eleven years old, respectively.
  • She also has a nine-year-old daughter named Nor.
  • Nor demands a story before Sarima leaves, so Sarima tells her the one about the Witch and the fox babies.
  • A Witch kidnaps some fox babies to eat them. The foxes escape and old mother moon comes down and traps the Witch in a cave:

    "Did she ever come out" asked Nor, doing her line from an almost hypnagogic state.

    "Not yet," said Sarima, kissing and biting her daughter on the wrist, which made them both giggle, and then lights out.
    (4.2.1.38-39)

  • Sarima sweeps downstairs to greet her green visitor and tries to hide her sadness and fear behind a façade (front) of regal authority. Wearing a crown probably helps with that.
  • And now for a super-awkward meeting. There really is no good way to introduce yourself to the wife of your dead lover, but Elphaba gives it a go.
  • Elphaba hints around the issue, but Sarima keeps shutting her down.
  • Whatever Sarima suspects about Elphaba's relationship with her husband, she doesn't want to know.
  • Sarima reveals her Scarlet O'Hara streak, opting to think about this whole Elphaba/Fiyero thing tomorrow. Or next year. Or maybe even next decade.
  • Elphaba asks to keep her name a secret, and Sarima agrees. So everyone calls Elphaba Auntie Guest.
  • Elphaba, or Auntie Guest, dines with the Cylon Sisters.
  • We also learn why these numerical sisters lack names and sisterly affection for Sarima:

    "Welcome her as you do me." Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, as the sisters all resented and despised Sarima. Why had she married someone who would die so early and condemn them not just to spinsterhood but to deprivation and denial? (4.2.1.57)

  • It sounds like there's a social convention here where younger sisters can't get married till the older one is married. Kind of like how in Jane Austen novels younger sisters aren't really supposed to be "out" in society till their older ones are at least engaged. Too many girls available at once could clutter up the marriage pool, apparently. This is why the fact that all the Bennett sisters were "out" at the same time in Pride and Prejudice proved so scandalous to the formidable Lady Catherine.

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