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 September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire

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Octobermomma
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PostSubject: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:01 pm

OK...so, since Lora is already reading it and I wanted to read it again...

Wicked by Gregory Maguire is the book for the month of September.

I will post discussion questions closer to the end of the month...

I say we have discussion the last week of September and then we can move on to a new book for October.

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:30 pm

Sounds great to me!!!

So should we take notes during the book and do we get the questions ahead of time so we can pay more attention or something?? CAn you tell that I will probably have a written analysis of the book Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:59 am

i can post questions later today...i'm gonna cheat on this one and use the discussion questions from maguire's web site

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:14 am

ok...I compiled a couple of different lists of discussion questions...answer what you want to answer...this is supposed to be fun

Spoiler Warning: These book club discussion questions could reveal important details about Wicked by Gregory McGuire. Finish the book before reading on.

Questions for Discussion


1. Gregory Maguire fashioned the name of Elphaba (pronounced EL-fa-ba) from the initials of the author of The Wizard of Oz, Lyman Frank Baum-L-F-B-Elphaba. Wicked derives some of its power from the popularity of its source material. Does meeting up with familiar characters and famous fictional situations require more patience and effort on the part of the reader, or less?

2. Wicked flips the Oz we knew from the classic movie on its head. To what extent does Maguire's vision of Oz contradict the Oz we're familiar with? How have Dorothy and the other characters changed or remained the same? Has Wicked changed your conception of the original? If so, how?

3. The novel opens with a scene in which the Witch overhears Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman gossiping about her. She's "possessed by demons," they say. "She was castrated at birth . . . she was an abused child . . . she's a dangerous tyrant." How does this scene set the stage for the story, and what themes does it introduce?

4. What is the significance of Elphaba's green skin? What are the rewards of being so different, and what are the drawbacks? In Oz -- and in the real world -- what are the meanings associated with the color green, and are any of them pertinent to Elphaba's character?

5. One of Wicked's key themes is the nature and roots of evil. What are the theories that Maguire sets out? Is Elphaba evil? Are her actions evil? Is there such a thing as evil, a free-floating power in the universe like time or gravity? Or is evil an attribute of the actions of human beings? (Hint: Turn to pages 231 and 370 for scenes that will draw you into the conversation.)

6. Discuss the importance of the Clock of the Time Dragon. Does the Clock simply reflect events, or does it shape them? Why is it significant that Elphaba was born inside it? That Turtle Heart was killed by it? What revelations does it offer to Elphaba and the reader when she reencounters it at the end of the book?

7. The first section of the book ends powerfully but enigmatically when the young Elphaba is discovered under the dock, cradled in the paws of a magical beast as if sitting on a throne. How do you interpret this scene, and what do you think it foretells, if anything?

8. The place of Animals in society is an important theme in Wicked. Why does Elphaba make it her mission to fight for Animal rights? How else does social class define Oz, and why?

9. [Galinda] reasoned that because she was beautiful she was significant, though what she signified, and to whom, was not clear to her yet" (page 65). Discuss the transformation of Galinda, shallow Shiz student, to Glinda the Good Witch. How does she change -- and by how much? What is her eventual "significance," both in Oz and in the story?

10. Discuss the ways in which Elphaba's determination and willfulness lend purpose and order to her life, and the cost of being such a strong character. Elphaba isn't the only strong female character in Wicked. How do Nessarose, Glinda, and Sarima deal with the issues of power and control? Where do each of them draw strength from? Is the world of Maguire's Oz more or less patriarchal than millennial America?

11. Wicked is an epic story, built along the lines of a Shakespearean or Greek tragedy, in which the seeds of Elphaba's destiny are all sown early in the novel. How much of Elphaba's career is predestined, and how much choice does she have? Do you think that she was no more than a puppet of the Wizard or Madame Morrible, as she fears?

12. Early in their unlikely friendship, Galinda catches a glimpse of Elphaba and thinks she "looked like something between an animal and an Animal, like something more than life but not quite Life" (pages 78-79). Discuss the dual, and sometimes contradictory, nature of Elphaba's character. Why does Elphaba insist that she doesn't have a soul?

13. Who or what is Yackle? Where does she appear in the story, and what role does she serve in Elphaba's life? Is she good or evil -- both or neither?

14. Was Elphaba's story essentially a tragedy or a triumph? Did she fail at every major endeavor, and thus fail at life; or because she refused to give up or change to suit the opinions of others, was her life a success? Is there a possibility that Dorothy's "baptismal splash" redeemed Elphaba on her deathbed, or was this the final indignity in a life of miserable mistakes?

15. How does social class define Oz? What is the role of animals? Why does Elphaba fight for them?

16. Wicked examines the nature of evil. Is Elphaba evil? Are her actions? Is there such a thing as evil? What is it and how does it manifest itself?

17. Rate Wicked on a scale of 1 to 5.

Just for fun: Which character do you most relate with? Why? Does this surprise you?

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:05 am

I will go this week and pick up the book if I can find it.
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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:13 am

it's pretty popular...they made it into a musical...it was released in 1995 I think...you can get the paperback pretty cheaply...mine was $7.99

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:50 pm

When do we answer the questions??? Do go through them one by one, like a question every few days?? I'm new to this.

BTW I finished the book in case you can't guess Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:47 pm

I went to Half Priced Books today, and walked out with $60.72 worth of books. Rolling Eyes Yes, I do have a problem. And every dag gum one of them were by Nora Roberts! LOL

Can you believe this? No Wicked in stock! Not at all! Ugh! They also can't keep the other series in stock that I'm trying to get.
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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:30 am

Jessica do you want me to send you a copy? I have a extra now. I went to the store and wanted to get the follow up book. They had a leather bonded copy of the two books combined for only a few dollars more than the one book! So I ended up getting it.

Oh and we spent $121 at the store yesterday Embarassed

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:50 am

That would be great!

121 for four people? That ain't bad at all. If we had the money then I would have spent that just for me. hilarious
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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:29 am

I have to stay away from the bookstore...

You can answer the questions whenever you want...and answer whichever questions you want...just be sure that you don't read anyone else's answers if you don't want the book to be spoiled

This is pretty laid back...as long as we move on by October to the next book...

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:59 am

OK cool! Now I will start probably tomorrow answering the questions!

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:05 am

ok..sorry if the questions are too intense or if there are too many of them..I just compiled some lists I found online...I won't always do that...

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PostSubject: Re: September book of the month - Wicked by Gregory Maguire   Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:47 am

Dh gets paid on friday. We just moved in the the house we bought so I was short on cash for 2 weeks. I will check this weekend for the book.
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