What I learned from my blog work

So this is the last task on the blog and also my last blog post. Even though it’s always good to be finished with an assignment, this assignment has been really fun to do, and I’ll probably miss it a little bit. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge both about the book and about writing and analyzing. The absolute last remaining assignment is writing the analyzis.

I am really glad to have done this blog assignment. It has definetaly made me more observant and critical to what I read. Even though I’ve never read a book half-heartedly, knowing that I would have to write an assignment on it afterwards made me pay even more attention to detail. Which I will bring with me in the future when I read other books. The writing we’ve done about points of perspective, themes etc. will be of big help when I’ll be writing the analyzis. Actually writing about the different things that’ll have to be included, is way more constructive than to simply read what somebody else has written.

Summed up; I really liked writing this blog!

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Themes

Wicked has got several different themes. The book is a little complex, and a long one at that, but that gives room for a long story and great themes.

Even though it doesn’t only revolve around one single theme, the main theme is good and bad. Despite being the main theme, it can be hard to fully see it I might have mentioned something about this in an earlier post. Anyways, it’s the typical “good vs bad”. What’s good and what’s bad is quite difuse. There’s no clear villain and no clear hero. It’s simply about wondering what really is good and bad, and that sometimes people can be both good and bad at the same time. Sometimes goodness is nowhere, or evil is being done without you even being aware of it.

Another theme in the book that I noticed almost right away was actually discrimination. Both discrimaination and a kind of rascism. It’s a strange consept, but in the land of oz there are both animals and Animals. The animals are just like the animals we know from our own world, but the Animals are different. They posess the ability to speak and think and behave very much like humans. They usually wear clothes, and they have different jobs. Just like humans. The problem is that most humans refuse to see the Animals as mutuals. Therefore the Animals have several constrictions, and they are piling up.

Like I said there are more themes to the book other than the two I’ve mentioned, but I have yet to complete the book. I’ll probably discover more as I read my way through. I will also write the analyzis, so perhaps I’ll conclude them in it.

Point of view

The point of view in the book is always written from a first-person perspective. However, the first-person changes throughout the book. So I guess it’s actually written in an alternating first-person point of view, which I think makes the story more interesting. It gets richer because you get to see the story from several perspectives. I get to look through different character’s eyes. All with different thoughts and conflictions.

Elphaba and Galinda

An example of this is how the view changes from Melena, Elphabas mother, to Galinda, Elphabas roomate at the time. This happens in the shift between the first part of the book and the second. There are also changes between character in the second part. An example of this is when it changes from Galinda to Boq, a guy from another university.

Book analysis?

At the end of this project we will write either a book report or a book analysis, depending on what we choose. Writing a book report means writing about the surface of the story, I wouldn’t go deeper into the story, and I could manage a good grade. But then I know that I have a chance of getting a higher grade if I write the analysis, because it’s harder and more complex. I’ll have to go deeper into the story and, well, analyze. So that’s what I’m considering. I think the book report would be a little too simple anyways, I’d like more of a challenge.

In the land of Oz

Wicked is set in the (lovely) land of Oz. Which is a fictional land first introduced by the author L. Frank Baum  in his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, and the land is full of magic. It’s difficult to set an exact time period, due to the story being told in a completely different world than ours. But it seems to be a bit more primitive. Technology varies.

It’s also hard to properly explain the social environment in the book, because the land has got a little bit of everything. Some things are modern. (1900′-2000’s) Like the kindergardens, trains, proper universities etc. while other things seem like they come from a time period further back. (1700’s-1800’s) Such as the way of life in Munchkinkand and the farm life. Anyway it is highly interesting, but I’d recommend doing some background reasearch. Since this story is written of of the land of Oz created by Baum, you can find a lot of facts and stories surrounding it.

The land of Oz is divided into four big quadrants. Each has their own typical enviornment and people, and their own ruler. The rulers are often witches or sorceres. But all the quadrants are conjoined by one offical ruler, a monarch. This monarch sits in Emerald City, in the center of Oz.

Our story begins in Munckinland and is set here all through the first part of the book. This is the part with Melena and Frexspar, and their baby Elphaba. Now that I’ve reached the second part of the book (10th chapter), the setting has changed to Gillikin country. It also appears to have jumped forward in time..

The Root of Evil

The first chapter of the book is called The Root of Evil, and it’s a sub-chapter of another chapter called Munchkinlanders. The book is divided into 5 bigger chapters, which again are divided into smaller chapters.

Before the chapter starts there is a prologue. I believe this prologue to be set in present day, while the first chapter is set decades earlier. In this chapter we find our self in the cottage or house out in the fields. The house belongs to the minister, Frexspar, and his wife, Melena. Melena is with child and is soon to give birth, but to quote Frexspar it is “The worst possible moment for my(his) ministry.” After reading further into the chapter I found out that he was to go on a special mission to a town called Rush Margins, where he would hold a speech. The reason for this is a fear growing amongst the ministers because of an entertaining, but devilish show, held in town.

Melena grows more and more furious at Frexspar for leaving her this close to birth, but Frexspars’ mind is completely occupied by the troubles the ministry is facing. They argue throughout the whole chapter about what to do with Melena and the babys’ birth while Frex starts to chant about how the devil is coming. While Frexspar is clearly a religious man, Melena on the other hand responds blasphemously to his religious talk. They are in many ways very different.

Even though the story’s still quite unclear, you are left with a feeling that something is going to happen. It didn’t leave me with one overwhelming feeling, but it appears to be building up to something.

Choosing the Book

My choice of book is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

The reason why I chose this book is because I’ve always found the story interesting. For several years Iv’e both seen and heard a lot about Wicked. But I’ve only heard of the theater productions. The lame thing is that it’s most probably never been performed in Norway, and I never really looked that much into it. So when we were looking for books at the library, and I stumbled upon this one, I knew I had to read it.

You may be wondering (or maybe not) why I find this story so interesting that I chose it for an assignment. First of all I’ve always liked the world of Oz, and this book sort of turns the whole world of Oz quite upside down. From what I know, this novel will make me question the definition of good and bad, which sounds really interesting to me.

Second, I wanted a book that was a little challenging to read, and I think this one lives up to that. I look forward to read it.