Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (novel) 1995


Written by Gregory Maguire this book is an adaption of the 1900 novel “Oz” written by L.Frank Baum. Wicked is based on the years approaching Dorothy’s arrival from the original story of Oz. The story follows Elphaba, The misunderstood green skinned witch that grows up to become the infamous “Wicked Witch of the West”. Elphaba, who in this depiction of a classic story was born a child of rape, after her mother Malena had been fed a green potion. She was born with sharp teeth and always feared water as it hurt her skin.

Elphaba later attends a college named “Shiz University”  a couple years later her sister Nessa joins her there. Nessa was always the favourite child receiving gifts like “Ruby Slippers”. While at Shiz, Elphaba befriends a witch named Glinda, after another friend was murdered, Elphaba and the others are recruited to become the wizard’s spys. The decide to go to the Emerald city and plead with the wizard to stop his crimes against animals, When he refuses to do so, Elphaba stays in the Emerald city and joins the underground rebellion.

Elphaba joins a convent, after she leaves she begins to practice magic. Her sister, Nessa, the ruler of Munchkinland and a witch in her own right gets murdered when Dorothy’s house lands on her. Elphaba bumps into Glinda at the funeral to find she gave Dorothy Nessa’s ruby Slippers.

Elphaba speaks to the wizard and all signs point to him possibly being her biological father. The Wizard sends Dorothy and her friends to kill Elphaba, Dorothy accidentally pours water on her, She dies and is forever known as The Wicked Witch of the West.

I see many strengths, I like how so many classic stories are being reworked or told from somebody else’s perspective. This gives us a chance to see how the villain became the villain. I’m not disregarding their villainous behavior, but it does however allow the audience/ reader etc.. see that some villains are not born villains, it is what happens in their life that sends them down that path.

In regards to weaknesses, I cant pick many in my opinion, It completely alludes what I want to represent in my project. In my work I am not trying to make excuses for Ursula’s behaviour I just want to show my audience a different side of the story and though there may be no need for villainous behaviour, I want them to learn that not everyone is born bad but the course of their life depends on what they went through and in my Depiction of The Little Mermaid, in Ursulas case this is betrayal and heartbreak.


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