Speaker for the Wicked Witch of the West


If someone got the chance to speak for you after your physical body no longer cares about having a heart, a brain, courage, conviction… what would that person say? Better yet, what would you want them to speak about? The good things you accomplished? The mildly horrible bits you did your best to keep from judging eyes?  The truth: a mixture of good and bad deeds sprinkled with compassion, humanity and understanding?

Note: My dear Luvs, this post might cast minor spoilers over your reading of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, and of Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead.

Today, I celebrate aLtEReD oZ 2013 by letting my muse jump on the back of a flying monkey and traveling to the world of Wicked, in order to speak the death Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Elphie was born with skin as green (and as vulnerable to water) as a meadow of the thinnest of sugar grasses. She came into the world with knowing eyes, with a mouth full of sharp teeth, and with enough will to keep her from whimpering a single cry when a midwife told her “Whine, you fiend… it’s your first job.”

At first glance, Elphie was neither lovable nor loving. Affection was perhaps a hard emotion to conjure while living under the shadow of a mother who wanted to drown her at birth, a father who used her for sacred coercion, and a sister who just used her. But things in life are never clear or simple; Elphie adored her little sister, worshiped the idea of an unprejudiced world, and loved a man who belonged to another.

Her life was volatile with buried love and bubbling rage…

Elphaba’s anger nudged her to bash a few skulls (okay, she bashed only one skull that I know of, and the owner of it was already dead when the bashing took place, but still…), she created life, was killed (maybe) by a friend who wanted to save her, and the memory of her ideas impregnated the minds of many with dreams of equality that rushed into the world in the shape of heart, brains, courage, conviction and magic.

The body of Elphaba Thropp melted under a bucket of watery ignorance wielded by a girl who was too foreign to Oz to know any better, but the spirit and character of the Wicked Witch of the West burn strong and bright in the soul of every living thing that ever imagined a just world. “Elphie lives!”
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I hope you enjoyed my contribution to Oma Linda’s aLtEReD oZ. I adore the original Oz books by L. Frank Baum, but my heart belongs to Wicked, as retold by Gregory Maguire. Elphaba Thropp is one of my favorite characters EVER! So as soon as my beloved Oma Linda proposed the idea of an aLtEReD oZ, I smiled and told myself, “I know the perfect aLtEReD WiTcH.


 Jump on the back of the nearest friendly winged monkey 
and fly over to Olde Baggs ‘n Stuft Shirts to enjoy every wicked loving aLtEReD post.

 Have you read Wicked?


And while you are in a party mood, why not join Witches in Fiction 2013… to the Bone...

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64 comments:

  1. I love Gregory Maguire's Wicked. I listened to the audio version a few years ago. She really does have a sad tragic story. We just watched The Great and Powerful Oz tonight. In that story a witch is turned green by a apple. I don't know if she was suppose to be Elphaba. But I knew Elphaba was born with green skin so I new that was wrong.

    Now I understand why my story with the ruby amulet reminded you of slippers. lol Much love to you darlin.

    Robin

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    1. I first listened to it, too. I liked it. Then I read it. Then I listened a few more times (about once a year since the early 2000s. This time around, I read it and loved it again. I love when an old story is made new (and awesome in its own way.

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  2. Oo as far as what people would say when I die, I haven't the faintest idea. I hope something good. But no I wouldn't want the bad to be hidden either.

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    1. I want them to tell the truth. I want them to be pissed if I was a jerk to them, and to remember the times when I was sweet, too. I would hate for people to say a bunch of things that have nothing to do with me just because I'm dead.

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  3. Poor girl, what a tragic life she has had....yet she is the one, as you say, that lives in our hearts :D XXX

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    1. So very true. Her life sucked dish water most of the time. And sometimes, it didn't. And she grinned ;-)

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  4. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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  5. What a legend!! Your skin may not be green Wicked One but you share so many other qualities with this misjudged awesome woman... love the character, love the tale xoxo

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    1. Now if I could only get the winged monkeys... and the broom...

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    2. Look in the cupboard, I think I spotted a winged monkey (or was it a toad?) just behind the broom ;)

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    3. It was a toad in a monkey suit dancing with a broom ;-)

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  6. Love your explanation of the Wicked Witch of the West.,.,.now I know and I love her! A shame to hear of her demise! But as you say..."she lives on"!!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. I think that the thing that bothered me about her physical death was the fact that it was such a waste. And an accident that could have been avoided if she had been able to be less secretive. Or if others took the time to pay attention. But yes, her lessons live on ;-)

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  7. I absolutely adore Wicked and the other books in the Wicked series I have read all of them and your post is magnificent.

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    1. I, too, read them all and enjoyed the tale as a whole. Wicked and Out of Oz are my favorite. They go so, so, so deep.

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  8. Wonderful post, I love the Wicked series and loved reading your take on it. Happy Altered Oz! xo

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    1. Wicked is one of those books that teases the imagination and allows readers to go so many ways with the tale. I love the eclecticism of its pages ;-)

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  9. Wicked and the books in the series are some of my favorite tales. Great post. Happy Altered Oz.

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  10. I haven't read Wicked or seen the stage production but your post renews my resolve to do so!

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    1. The book is rich, Debra. It has the ability to make the reader cry with suspicious and laugh in despair. Sometimes backwards. The social, political and religious commentary is thick and hot.

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  11. Ha ha! Loved that Magaly. Definitely 'altered'.

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  12. Wicked and Speaker for the Dead... what a combo. That is perhaps my favorite Ender book besides Ender's Shadow. And that's just cause Bean is awesome.

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    1. Bean is awesome indeed. He reminds me of a girl in boot camp, always knowledgeable, always letting everybody do what they needed to, always ready, and willing to carry a squad member on her back as they conquered the world. Hail Bean!

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  13. This was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. Thanks a million.
    Mary

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  14. Lovely! Elphaba really is a witch we can get behind in these modern times!

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    1. She would lead a revolution or three ;-)

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  15. Have never read these books! You have sparked my interest! Great post! Happy Altered Oz ;o)

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    1. It is long and it starts kind of slow, but when it gets going, it goes good ;-)

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  16. A wonderful, wellspoken send-off for the Wild Witch of the West!

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    1. Glad you think so, for she was a great lady.

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  17. Wonderfully written!Happy Celebrate Oz!

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  18. Sad but beautiful ...

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    1. Those are the feelings her story evokes in me, too, "sad but beautiful..." and worth living.

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  19. Oh, I'm so sorry, but I read your warning of a possible spoiler, and I stopped reading!! I have not yet read the book, nor seen the play, so I stopped right there. Happy Celebrate Oz Day though!!! ~tina

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    1. No problem, thanks for visiting ;-)

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  20. I know I've seen the movie when I was younger, I can't remember if I've read the book...that should go on my to-read list. As though it isn't long enough already. lol

    I also haven't read Wicked. I used to own it, it had been a gift from a friend. But then my mom read it and didn't like it, so I decided it must not be worth reading...should have known better, since our tastes don't always line up. I guess that's another one I need to read. :)

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    1. It is a difficult read (emotionally) particularly if the reader keeps the original Oz a "judge." The styles are different, the point of view and tone are totally different, and it's meant for different audience. The Wizard of Oz (at least its surface) is sweet and for children, this is a book for grown ups and as is the case grown up themes tend to be strong. It is dark, painful and a delight to read ;-)

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  21. My wickedy love, I wanted you to know how much I love, love, love this post. You are amazing to have been able to pull this out after what you have just gone through personally. I adore you. I admire you. I love you. This was just right, as always.
    You most certainly did Oz and Elphaba proud this day. Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda, your number one fan.

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    1. I'm able to look at Fate on her (sometimes mean) face because I have you and so many others to stand with me. I think ignorance is a poison, even if what we are doing is just ignoring pain in order to suffer later. Live and digest what life feeds us, right? There is no dish that taste bad when one can wash it down with the wine of friendship my dear, Oma. And you know what else? The universe smiles proud and warm and our friends are also our fans ;-)

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  22. Your compassion jumps off the page. Fabulous prose for the Altered Oz event!

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    1. I'm glad you think so, Gloria. And thanks so much for visiting ;-)

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  23. I so enjoyed and was moved by this this post and now I have a new book to look forward to as well...thank you!

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    1. How exciting that you get to read Wicked for the first time. I've enjoyed every reading, but the first time is always so powerfully vivid ;-)

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  24. OMG you must mixed 2 of my favorite books! This is out of this world wonderful!

    Hugs
    Caroline

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    1. I'm an Eclectic Witch, mixing awesome things to create even more wonderful ones is my magic ;-)

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  25. Okay..you have Convinced me..I have GOT to read "Wicked"!!!! Friends have swooned over the Musical and I need a new good read that is gripping and magical....You sucked me in and now I need to see what Elphaba is like for myself! Thank-you for this Ozzie Gift!

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    1. Elphaba is a gift that keeps on giving. This book is a mine of wonder that keeps on changing its treasure as you read and reread its pages. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It made me sad, it made me happy, it made me nervous, suspicious, hopeful... it made me nod a lot and wonder about the characters way after the story ended. It is a dream read...

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  26. Now I want to go re-read Wicked for the nth time.

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    1. "nth time" rereading are the best. Go and live Wicked ;-)

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    2. I'm torn between Wicked and the Merry Gentry series.

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    3. Touch decision. Or maybe not. If you are in the mood for getting pissed off and feeling revolutionary, go with Wicked. But if you want to travel to another world (full of supernaturally sexy men and women) where anything can happen and probably will, then Merry is your woman ;-)

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  27. Oh I'm so behind on my reading and all things Ozian ~ *sigh* The closest I get these days is listening to the Wicked soundtrack (which is damn good!). Loved the post ~ as always!!
    ♥Sharon

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    1. Wicked soundtrack, huh? You know, I have a lot of cleaning to do, and I love music while I'm getting things cleaned. I think I might have to give myself something wicked ;-)

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  28. What a fun storyline! Great images of the aLtEReD oz!

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    1. And there I was thinking that I was the possessor of the darkest humor ;-)

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  29. My wicked beauty, what a magnificent post. You give such tender realism to one who the world turned on. When I think of heart, brains, courage, conviction and magic, you are first to generally come to mind. Thank you for this view of Elphie, a character I have never met, but now must based on these words. Happy Oz, lovely friend! Mina

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    1. Fate knows how to pair sister souls, but when the same words and emotions come to mind, you are the one who I picture ;-)

      I hope you get to meet Elphie, soon. I have a feeling you'll like her.

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  30. I love Elphaba! She had the courage to stand up for what she believed in and could stand up under it's weight.

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    1. You said it well, Nalaya. Sometimes courage is not enough, it is the willingness and strength to "stand up under [the] weight" of the world that makes a person worth following.

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