“However in the world did her skin come green?” Nanny wondered, stupidly, for Melena blanched and Frex reddened, and the baby held her breath as if trying to turn blue to please them all. Nanny had to slap her to make her breath again.”
And so we meet Elphaba, the baby girl who would grow up to be the Wicked Witch of the West.
Why this quote of all the options I had? It’s simple. It jumped out at me. “-and the baby held her breath as if trying to turn blue to please them all.” To me, it offered a stark contrast to the question “Are people born wicked?” which is a theme throughout the book. From the time she was born, this green skinned girl had to fight for things that were a given for others. I’ve heard the word- misunderstood- used to describe Elphaba and it couldn’t be more accurate. Throughout the book, the reader is shown that she wasn’t truly born wicked. More often than not her actions were misunderstood. But she never gave up- not even when she thought she had given up. This is one of the qualities I like best about Elphaba. Despite her weaknesses, she was stronger than she could ever imagine herself to be. And I believe that her wickedness was born out of necessity to survive in a world that was determined to see her as wicked.
I don’t remember being overly curious about why the Wicked Witch was wicked in the Wizard of Oz. Being one of my favorite movies from childhood, I watched it endless times but accepted that in most stories, there’s a villain and in this one it is the witch.
If you haven’t read the book, have no desire to, and love the musical, it’s all good. If you grew up with the movie and want it to stay sacred, that’s good too. Or if you’re like me and want to turn the movie, book and musical into a joint effort, overview, collection, I’m not sure of a clearer picture of what the whole story could be, that’s an option, too.
I’m terribly behind in the A to Z Challenge- Obviously. When I began this post this morning I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about Elphaba. I had chosen a handful of quotes and my plan was to see if any one quote stood out. I can tell you that it wasn’t until I saw that the SoCS was ‘joint’ that it all seemed to come together….well sort of.