What Makes Elphaba Wicked?

The final section in which Elphaba travels to self-exile in Kiamo Ko shows how the image of the wicked witch is constructed. Elphaba attempts to learn the secrets of dark magic from the Grimmerie, a book of secrets that is the object of the Wizard’s journey to Oz, and this section provides explanations for much of the iconic images of the Wicked Witch of the West that most readers expect: the pointy hat, the flying monkeys, the broomstick. By this point, Elphaba has lost her lover, her family, and even her passion. She descends into a kind of madness, but never achieves the wickedness associated with her.

Plato’s Republic: Utopia or Kakistocracy?

The initial response to The Republic is the revelation that the reason for its continued influence upon those whom would seek to replicate in practice the ideal state Plato offers in theory is precisely because his republic reflects a patriarchal, misogynistic, militaristic society in which the creative spirit is censored because it is viewed as the most dangerous influence. So far, all attempts to impose Plato’s idea of a “just state” on actual citizenry have failed, though that certainly may have changed by January 19, 2021.

Flannery O’Connor: Everything That Rises Must Subvert

Flannery O’Connor’s fiction is a place where the world is more grotesque and ambiguous than what is expected. Just as James Joyce uses stream of consciousness techniques to present a world that is familiar and strange at the same time, O’Connor engages point of view perspective to provide insight both into her own motivations for writing and the motivations of her characters in ways that are at times perfectly aligned and other times disjointed.

Why the Star Wars Prequels Are Better

The original trilogy holds a special place in the bosom of American moviegoers precisely because we view ourselves comfortably in place of the Rebels. Americans revel in their historical construct as rebellious underdogs constantly at war against an easily identified and unquestionably evil empire. Hence, the reason most Americans love the original trilogy has much to do with placement of ourselves in the role of the inheritors of the mantle of the Jedi.