The Rory Gilmore Book Club discussion

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Rory Book Discussions > Compare and Contrast - Wicked and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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message 1: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Compare and contrast major themes here.


message 2: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:02PM) (new)

Meghan The comment by whichway on the Jekyll string got me thinking how interesting it is that Jekyll is all about men and Wicked really is about women (Oz really is about women). Sure you have men in the story (the wizard, fiyero, etc.) but it is the women who are the strongest characters (Elphaba, Nessarose, Glinda, etc.).

So my question is: Do you think that Jekyll (a man) is more or less demonized than Elphaba (a woman)? Not trying to spark a feminist movement here, just found the comparison interesting.


message 3: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:07PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
I still haven't finished Wicked (my how life speeds up when you've got something to look forward to!), so I'm possibly overstepping my bounds by posting here... but I REALLY like your thinking and your question, Meghan! (I'm Michele, by the way... if "whichwaydidshego?" is too weird or impersonal.)

I confess I'm more apt to forgive Jekyll for his creating Hyde than for instance Nessarose for her selfishness as well as her abuse and misuse of religion to further her agenda or Glinda for, from what I've seen so far, her self-centered thinking and lack of character. I really can't say about Elphaba as yet because I need to find out what she becomes. That fact (that I would excuse him over the women) really irks me, by the way!

Perhaps, though, that willingness on my part is less because of the character's respective sexes than because Jekyll's motivation was to experience more deeply and purely each emotion. Remember, he wanted to split his character in two... good and bad. Because I am an explorative person who likes to test life's limits and boundaries (in art, in adventure, in sport...) maybe I just appreciate his motivation more, even if I think it a bit simplistic and absurd. But touching on the absurdity delves into the deep issue of if good or evil can actually exist entirely on their own (in short, "the problem of evil"), and that's not what your query was about.

While that isn't precisely your question, my response is hopefully in the vain of it and once I finish Wicked I will definitely answer more specifically to your question. But I really like this question! Cheers.


message 4: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Meghan Well, nice to meet you Michele! hehe

I loved what you wrote about forgiving Hyde over Nessarose and Glinda. Do you think perhaps it's because While Hyde is an incarnation of Jekyll's "darker" side, it's not his whole personality (Hyde is supposedly not as developed and Jekyll is a "good" man overall). Whereas Nessarose and Glinda act like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie...entitled, spoiled, and totally give people the image of a stereotypical "woman"? Do you think that women judge other women harsher because we expect more from us?

I do like how you pointed out that Hyde is the result of an experiment. That Jekyll would not normally act like this. That most humans do not act upon their baser instincts. That's a part of being a part of society.

However, Nessarose and Glinda act the way they act naturally. But then you have to question how much of their less pleasing behavior is under their control. Nessarose was raised to be "special" and therefore is it natural for her to become resentful of that "special" status? Don't "special" people just want to be "normal"? And in her resentment and quest to be normal (i.e., loved) she goes and does exactly what makes her not normal and unloved?

And Glinda acts like the entitled rich. It sort of makes me think she's the Brittany Spears of Oz (maybe there's a better example but that's all I can think of at the moment). She's more flash than substance but because she's beautiful (versus Elphaba's ugliness) she gets the "good" role.

[This is totally getting away from my original question, but go with me people! please? :)]


message 5: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Tiffany I like the mention of “entitlement” issues, Meghan. It’s one of my least favorite traits in people and it’s the one that seems to rear its ugly head the most often. Nessa’s disability along with the fact that she was always doted upon I’m sure didn’t help to set her up for being in the real world. And Glinda, well we see it all the time – she’s beautiful so people don’t really expect much out of her.


message 6: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Oh wow! You hit on a really good point (again) Meghan! Glinda's beautiful, so she gets the "good" role. How sadly true!

Elphaba on the other hand is different, sometimes considered ugly, and so even though she sought to better things for Animals and even people, she was considered "bad." After a while it is exhausting to fight the image others have of you... truly.

How much easier is it for us to believe a beautiful person good and kind than an ugly one? How much does our appearance effect our disposition? On the flip side, as a woman facing a beautiful woman, how much does resentment play a part in whom we would be most trusting of?

The other thing that this book asks you to consider is the whole nature vs. nurture thing. If Elphaba had found unconditional love with her father (or really anyone in her youth) how differently would she have turned out; how would her choices have been different?

I want to get back to the question Meghan posed of: "Do you think that women judge other women harsher because we expect more from us?" I think there is so many levels to the dynamics of why that is, but in short I'd say yes. But isn't it also not so altruistic... in that we judge them more harshly because deep down we are actually more naturally competitive them men, just in much different (nasty?) ways?

As a woman I hate saying that, even in question form, but I so often see the signs of this. I want to empower, encourage, and exhort other women, yet so often I hear women verbally ripping each other limb from limb. It's a tragedy. And likely totally off subject. Sorry.


message 7: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't think it's off subject at all. I think a big part of Wicked is the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda and Elphaba and Nessarose.


message 8: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Yeah, remember when Glinda was always going around in front of the paparazzi wearing no underwear? Wait, I'm getting confused here.

Do you think that women judge other women harsher because we expect more from us?

I think women judge other women more harshly because most women feel that they have to tear another woman down in order to feel better about themselves. Sad, but I see it all the time.


message 9: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Tiffany I vividly remember The Popular Girl in high school ripping another girl to shreds in the middle of English class and I thought, where are these two going to be in ten years? Maybe girls like Glinda know they only have a few good years of natural beauty and youth so they feel they have to be in the spotlight even at other people's expense.


message 10: by Karalina (new)

Karalina Lovkina (twohundredandtwentyonebooks) I find it amazing to compare the Glinda from Wicked and the Glinda from The Wizard Of Oz. Maybe she was still learning and maturing during Wicked or maybe the authors just created two entirely different characters. I also find it kind of funny how at the beginning of Wicked, Elphaba is kind while Glinda is more egotistical but in The Wizard of Oz the role are completely reversed. Elphaba is now "evil" and Glinda is "good".


message 11: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments I'm pretty sure this is what the author (blanking on his name here) intended with Wicked. Have you read any of his other books?


message 12: by Karalina (new)

Karalina Lovkina (twohundredandtwentyonebooks) i've read confessions of an ugly stepsister (cinderella) i actually found it better than wicked. but i was greatly surprised at the ending


message 13: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments I agree, Karolisha, I liked that one better, too. Probably *because* of the ending :D


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