Study Guide

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

By Gregory Maguire

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On the Yellow Brick Road

  • The Wicked Witch of the West is cruising around Oz on her broom, tracking a group of oddballs down the Yellow Brick Road: a "huge Cat," a Scarecrow, a "shiny woodman," and some chick from Kansas who's sporting some snazzy shoes.
  • If this all sounds familiar, don't worry – it won't be for long.
  • The Witch settles down in a tree to eavesdrop on the group and overhears some interesting gossip.
  • Apparently, the Wicked Witch of the West was…"castrated a birth"? She's a drug addict, an abused child, a widow, secretly a man? And, to top it all off, she's green.
  • The Wicked Witch is about as stunned as we are at this point. She wonders what these crazy people are talking about and how these rumors about her started.
  • The Witch is fascinated by Dorothy's shoes and she's about ready to mug her.
  • But then a storm blows in and it starts to rain. As anyone who's seen the movie knows, our Witch hates water.
  • She hides under some branches and plots her next move.
  • The Witch refuses to give up under adversity: "Though Oz had given her a twisted life, hadn't it also made her capable?" (Prologue.31).
  • We're about to find out all about said twisted life. On to Chapter 1.

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