Theories And Reflection To Gregory Maguire's Novel, Wicked '

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Introduction There have been many theories discussed about Wicked the musical, and the connections and comparisons to Gregory Maguire’s novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, as well as L. Frank Baum’s children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it was mentioned that the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) only had one eye that was as powerful as a telescope, and to have melted to a “brown, melted, shapeless mess” after Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her. There was no mention of Elphaba having green skin, or having any connection to green. This notion of Elphaba having green skin from birth was introduced in Maguire’s novel, and carried forward to the musical. This paper will be discussing various theories and relations that might explain this introduction of colour to Wicked.

Relation to Empathy Elphaba’s green skin is a catalyst for audience members to empathize more with her. Many audience members are able to feel empathy for Elphaba who is bullied over her skin colour, something she has no control over, a social outcast due to her looks. Many have had similar experiences with bullying and not feeling like they belong. Hence with her appearance, Elphaba relates very well with the audience. Skin colour is a physical attribute to one’s
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Each theory adds another layer of possibilities and reasoning to further understand why Elphaba has green skin, and why Maguire developed this theory and what inspired him, as well as how the musical further developed this theory. At the end of it all, each step taken in the creation of a novel or a musical has a purpose, a message to be sent to the reader and audience, this ‘green’ theory is hopefully a further understanding to why such decisions were made in the making of the novel and
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