A Good Read

January 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment

I just finished reading Wicked with my book club. It was such an excellent book. I am now a fan of Gregory Maguire and I have ordered two more of his books, one being the follow-up to Wicked, which is Son of a Witch, sorry to my fellow book clubers if I let out a spoiler there, hopefully you are past that part.

Wicked is the story of the three witches of Oz and their lives before Dorothy’s arrival. Elphaba is the infamous green Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda is the fairy-like good and beloved Witch of the North, though in the book they do not call her that. And Nessarose is the Wicked Witch of the East, who also happens to be Elphie’s sister (or is she?!- sorry again for the spoiler).

I think the one reason I really liked this book is because it is yet another reminder that things are not always as they seem. Things/people/events that we seem to think we have a very good understanding of may very well be misinterpreted. Actually, most of the time, things are never what they seem. People and their backgrounds may seem very right and wrong to some people, but if you turn the viewfinder a little and examine things from another perspective, sometimes we may not seem so different from the people we choose to stereotype. It reminds me to try to see things from other people’s prespecive, to look at them, to hear their stories, before jumping to conclusions and putting people on one side of a line or in a specific box.

Thorughout the book Elphie is constantly trying to do what is right and what is good. She grows up with a very devout ministerial father and a wild and eccentric mother, both of whom look upon her as evil incarnate and a punishment for thier wrongs. She is intelligent, dedicated, and a free thinker. This is the root of what some would view as her downfall. But now that I know the whole story, she is not the one who suffered a downfall, she stood for what she believed to be right until the end. She did not accept the status quo or the popular – yes, pun inteded- way of thought. Everything she tries to do is some how misread, misinterpreted, and inevitably causes a chain of bad events which she feels responsible for.

Read it, it will change your view of the classic story, but it will also teach you this life lesson. The antagonist is not always the antagonist just because someone told you that you are to fear, hate or rebuke them. Perhaps if we were more willing to get to know people before we judged their exterior or our perception of them we would have a better understanding of others as a whole. Perhaps we should all apply that to our world and those we share it with.

Just for fun, because I do love Idina Menzel. Look for Taye at the end, he is so proud!

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