Study Guide

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Volume 4, Chapter 3, Part 4

By Gregory Maguire

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Volume 4, Chapter 3, Part 4

  • The journey by broom is pretty long. Elphaba travels by night and sleeps during the day.
  • She's surprised when she arrives at Colwen Grounds, her mother's birthplace and current home to Nessarose. The house is super fancy.
  • Frex is shocked to see her and Elphaba is equally shocked at how happy she is to see him.
  • He gives her a rundown of Nessa's political activities and how she led a rebellion in Munchkinland.
  • But then Frex says he's worried about Nessa and wants Elphaba to stay and help her out. He's worried that Nessa isn't up for the task of running things:

    So I am to be a whipping girl, thought Elphaba, I am to be a first line of defense. Her pleasure evaporated. (

  • Elphaba says she isn't responsible for Nessa, and she and Frex argue a little. Frex admits that Nessa's shoes worry him some, since they've made her so independent.
  • Frex insists that Elphaba never needed the shoes, since she was always strong and cruel:

    "Oh, you were a fiendish little thing," said Frex, "but so what, children grow into and out of themselves." (

  • On that note, Elphaba heads off to greet Nessa.
  • Nessa is upset with her for abandoning her in Shiz, but she is happy to see her now.
  • The two bicker some, then go for a walk.

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