Spiritual Seedlings

Nancy’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


What an artful masterpiece! Gregory Maguire offers an intricate story with well-developed characters and deep layers, including meandering commentary on the problem of evil and suffering, while creating the back story for the beloved tale of the Wizard of Oz.

I must admit, I read slowly and not terribly eagerly at first, my perspective colored by those who told me that the book is very dark, and not as good as the musical. But I quickly became intrigued and engaged as Elphaba’s struggle to do good unfolds.

Discrimination and injustice disturb me. I have joined efforts to work against them for many years. I appreciate that this book puts these deep rooted societal issues at the center of the story. As I have found in my work, there are no simple paths to stop the mistreatment. Those who work for justice are often silenced and marginalized as in Maguire’s novel.

     The book causes me to think more carefully about the problem of evil. In the past, the “witches” were burned at the stake for their perceived evil. In this book, Maguire casts evil in the form of empire to a large extent, and sorcery becomes more of a profession, used from time to time in good and bad ways by individuals.  The “witch” characters seem to fear they are merely pawns in the games of the powerful. And the Wicked Witch spends much of her efforts seeking forgiveness, an unlikely past time for an evil sorcerer. On  the other hand, I found myself noticing that few, if any characters came off as “good,” or free of sin.  And I know we all share both light and the shadow, as we follow the yellow brick road through our lives.  


Molly’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


I love the song in the musical version of “Wicked” – “For Good.” I kept waiting for the redemption of the relationship between Glinda and Elphaba. Although, initially they seemed to connect and influence each other somewhat positively, the relationship soured through the book and neither seemed to be redeemed as time passed. This disappointed me. I wanted to come away with a positive memory of female relationships.  Oh well, I guess I’ll have to continue to look to the MAMs for that experience!


Abigail’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


The “Unnamed God” seems to get a bum rap in this story. Those who purport to follow the spiritual path, such as Nessarose and Frex, are seen as one step removed from reality. Yet, perhaps they are judged for their lack of love and self-centeredness, despite their adherence to their beliefs. Whereas, Elphaba who appears to be the agnostic in the bunch, seeks to liberate the oppressed and be absolved of her own sin. I don’t like this depiction of the spiritual life, but imagine it rings true for many.


Sallie’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


I was concerned for the children in this story. It didn’t seem that many had very good childhoods! Why did Elphaba neglect her own child, Liir, and then try so hard to liberate Nor? Why did Frex choose Nessarose over Ephie? How could Sarmina allow her children to mistreat Liir? I found myself wanting to scold the parents and then invite these children into my classroom!

Priscilla’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


I don’t like this book. And I would say it’s totally unsuitable for young readers. I hope this is banned from the schools.  Where was Jesus? Where was scripture? Witches, spells, brews, sorcery. It’s the realm of Satan and I don’t think we should read this stuff. 

Katharine’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013



I was intrigued  with the ways Maguire creates the back story for the Wizard of Oz. I’ve always thought of the Wizard of Oz to be a fairly benign children’s story brimming with lessons and morals. From Dorothy’s realization “There’s no place like home,” to the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man’s reframing of their perceived shortcomings, all set in a magical land where munchkins sing and the Wizard is disclosed by a dog to be acting out his own fantasy of power. I hadn’t given much thought to the witches in the story! Now I have. I would say Maguire has chosen to focus on the negative in this story!

Jane’s Comments on Wicked

July 26th, 2013


 Speaking of baptism! I found myself wondering what was going on with Elphaba and the water. Was she afraid of baptism? Was she afraid of the transformation that might bring? I found myself wanting to douse her and get it over. Kudos to Dorothy for trying to save her from the fire with water. But you have to  wonder — was she saved at last? Or was she just killed? A good book   because it made me ponder.