Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Start Your Free Trial

What is the signifigance of all the different colors in Maguire's alternate view of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West? I have read Wicked...

What is the signifigance of all the different colors in Maguire's alternate view of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West?

I have read Wicked a long time ago and I have seen Broadway's "Wicked" twice and due to see it again later in 2012.  Now my book club is reading it and I am taking a different approach to the novel.  I want to study it as I would have as an English major (again some years ago!).

One of the very first things that popped out at me this time was COLOR. Now being a photographer, I am particularly sensitive to the construct of color.  Less than 30 pages into the novel Frex says "It's the wrong color" and Nanny replies, "What color is the wrong color?"  So now I am honing in on references to color. The Quadling Glassblower is described as having "skin the color of roses and he talks about his country having rubies to mine.  So of course, Nessarose, his daughter is pink and later in the book the prince is somehow associated with blue. Did McGuire mean to infer racial differences and what more as the book progresses?  Everyone should read a good book more than once.

Expert Answers info

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

I think you raise an interesting point about the use of color in Maguire's novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I always am drawn to the use of color in texts and this novel's use of color definitely drew may attention.

While I think that you could be right about the use of color referring to racial identity (and, therefore, racial prejudices), I have also examined the possibility...

(The entire section contains 224 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial


dellen1968 | Student

Thank you for your prompt answer.  Being an English major, I may just have been searching for meaning that wasn't there and your answer confirmed that there may be something to the interpretation.  We meet next Friday and will definitely be bringing this up.  Have a good weekend.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial