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How exactly are they "changed for the better"? 
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Tony Winner
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Post How exactly are they "changed for the better"?
This is something that baffled me the first time I saw the show three years ago, and I'm still baffled about now.

I don't understand how these two witches really affected one another. Obviously, Elphaba becomes "The Wicked Witch of the West", but that's because the Wizard and Madame Moribble labeled her as such. It's pretty much the same with "Glinda The Good". How else did they exactly change over the course of the show? I still found Glinda to be kind of shallow, and Elphaba still intelligent and strong. I guess Elphaba stole her boyfriend. Glinda gave her a makeover, but she didn't exactly stick with it. She got her signature hat from Glinda also. That's about all I can think of.

This is one of the biggest problems I have with Wicked; I find their friendship poorly written. They basically bond over a dance, a makeover, and a day trip to The Emerald City. Even the song "For Good" is really vague .....they never explain how they've changed for the better, just that they did!


Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:48 pm
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Post Re: How exactly are they "changed for the better"?
Glinda isn't changed by their friendship before Elphaba becomes the "Wicked Witch." She changes after her failure to stand up for Elphaba, and later her own jealous actions after Elphaba "steals" Fiyero, result in Nessa's death, Fiyero's "death," Elphaba's total ruin, and finally Elphaba's "death." All this motivates her to finally confront the Wizard and Morrible and oust them from power. We're supposed to believe that she loses her shallowness and will finally start living up to her title of "Glinda the Good."

Elphaba, on the other hand... I never got how she's "changed for the better" either. I've heard it said that thanks to her friendship with Glinda she loses her anger issues, but if that's the case, it only happens in their very last scene together, in "For Good" itself.

Maybe I missed some subtleties. Can anyone else please point out exactly how Elphaba changes for the better thanks to Glinda?


Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:18 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: How exactly are they "changed for the better"?
Vanessa20 wrote:
Glinda isn't changed by their friendship before Elphaba becomes the "Wicked Witch." She changes after her failure to stand up for Elphaba, and later her own jealous actions after Elphaba "steals" Fiyero, result in Nessa's death, Fiyero's "death," Elphaba's total ruin, and finally Elphaba's "death." All this motivates her to finally confront the Wizard and Morrible and oust them from power. We're supposed to believe that she loses her shallowness and will finally start living up to her title of "Glinda the Good."


Great response, thank you. Though, again, I feel due to the poor writing, this isn't as obvious as it should be. This should have been explored more in "For Good".


Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:39 pm
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Post Re: How exactly are they "changed for the better"?
Well for starters, both women are given a sense of courage from the other. Elphaba gains the confidence to stand up for the animals and make a stand towards the Wizard, even leaving Glinda and her family to do so. It's through this journey that she also discovers herself, and has the courage to pursue a relationship with Fiyero. Remember, the day that she and Fiyero "hit it off" is also the same day that she comes to school with a makeover from Glinda. It's the whole point. Glinda gives her confidence and a sense of identity/worth that no one else has ever given to her. Glinda says it all in one line: "You're beautiful." With that, she begins to evolve.

Likewise, through the loss of both Elphaba and Fiyero, Glinda gains a complete sense of reality and adulthood in the show. She also learns that vanity, riches and beauty are not trump cards...hence Fiyero choosing Elphaba over her, as well as Elphaba being chosen over her for Morrible's seminar. Furthermore, Elphaba teaches her that doing the right thing IS important, and rewarding, which is why she cans the two villains at the end.

Sorry, this is all typed terribly as I rush out the door. I'm not even a huge fan of the show myself. But the dynamics are definitely built in. Otherwise women wouldn't identify so much with it. By the end, both women are somewhat well rounded individuals, meeting in the middle of where they each started. It's very P.C.

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Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:04 pm
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Post Re: How exactly are they "changed for the better"?
Jman383 wrote:
Well for starters, both women are given a sense of courage from the other. Elphaba gains the confidence to stand up for the animals and make a stand towards the Wizard, even leaving Glinda and her family to do so. It's through this journey that she also discovers herself, and has the courage to pursue a relationship with Fiyero. Remember, the day that she and Fiyero "hit it off" is also the same day that she comes to school with a makeover from Glinda. It's the whole point. Glinda gives her confidence and a sense of identity/worth that no one else has ever given to her. Glinda says it all in one line: "You're beautiful." With that, she begins to evolve.


Wow. I never thought of this before, but it makes perfect sense! Thanks!


Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:48 pm
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