Gregory Maguire: Reusing the Past to Express the Present Essay

Gregory Maguire: Reusing the Past to Express the Present Essay

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Classic children’s stories have not always inspired joy and dreams; they were once the fuel for gruesome nightmares. In late 1990 London, several students kidnapped and killed a toddler. This nightmarish occurrence inspired American novelist Gregory Maguire (born June 9, 1954) to become interested in the nature of evil and whether someone can be born evil or if they are taught that way. It also affected his literary career by encouraging him to make some twists of his own on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. These changes sparked Maguire’s famed novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Though many have thought the book to be wildly boring and in need of “a little push” ("Gregory Maguire." Newsmakers.), Wicked has over three million copies in print, proving Maguire has a point that people are responding to (CNN). Maguire’s sociological novel Wicked reveals the ethical, political, and social issues he saw displayed in a time of unrest and war while in London ; and explores the question of whether someone can be born evil or have evil taught to them using the fantasy genre.

While Gregory Maguire grew up under unconventional circumstances, his life led him to many experiences that influence the writing of his greatest work. His mother had died in childbirth and, overcome with grief, his father sent Maguire and his 3 siblings to live with relatives. After only six months, Maguire’s aunt sent him to St. Catherine’s Infant Home, where they named him Gregory. Two years later, Maguire’s father remarried to Maguire’s mother’s best friend. It was just after this that the family reunited and, eventually, grew (Witchel). It is not truly known as to why Maguire chose to write children’s fantas...


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...05 May 2014.

"Gregory Maguire." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .

"Gregory Maguire — Harper Collins Publishers." Gregory Maguire — Harper Collins Publishers. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. .

Maguire, Gregory. Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West : a novel. New York: ReganBooks, 1995. Print.

Macfarquhar, Neil. "Saddam Hussein, Defiant Dictator Who Ruled Iraq With Violence and Fear." The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Dec. 2006. Web. 6 May 2014. .

Witchel, Alex. "Mr. Wicked." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Mar. 2007. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .

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