We were asked to ponder the question and answer with references to Wicked, the novel we were reading in class at the time.
‘The truth’ is not one concrete thing. Two people could be in the same spot, in the same event, at the same time, yet they will both have different experiences. The truth is about 50% your morals, 20% your physical perspective of the event, 15% your opinion on the people involved in the event, and 15% what actually happens. ‘A truth’, on the other hand, is when you tell exactly what happened, without any bias. ‘A truth’ would be that Johnny fell down the stairs and broke his leg, ‘The truth’ could be that he deserved it, based on how he has treated you or other people you know in the past.
Wicked is full of ‘truths’, little things that tell us what happened. Those truths show us how these characters grew to be who they are in The Wizard of Oz. Everyone but Elphaba. There is no reason as to why she is known as The Wicked Witch of the West, other than the fact that she was mistaken for her sister. Nessarose is known as the Wicked Witch of the East, and a concrete reason is given for this. She is the political leader of Munchkinland, and she is known to use religion (or sorcery depending on your spiritual views) to aid her in her decisions. Many Munchkinlanders believe that is not right and they also disagree with the decisions themselves.
Elphaba is just her sister, and because she dresses like a sorceress, she is mistaken for one. Though others think of her as a Wicked Witch, Elphaba’s point of view is obvious, she never believes that she is wicked, although she does believe she is a witch. This leads her to say, “Well no. I’m [The Witch of the East’s] sister. I suppose
I’m The Witch of the West, if you will,” in response to the Animal addressing her as such.
Elphaba is constantly thinking about why her father likes Nessarose more, why her mother wanted a boy, and why everyone thinks she is evil because she is green. This is ‘the truth’ for Elphaba, it is all she has ever known. In the end, before the scene with Dorothy, Nanny tells Elphaba everything. ‘The truth’ changes for Elphaba because Nanny’s tells Elphaba things she did not know about. Nanny’s ‘(the) truth’ did not change because she already knew all about everything, like Turtle Heart being Nessarose’s father. Each one of the statements, however, were just truths on their own.
After Elphaba’s talk with her father, she realized that she wasn't hated because of her skin color, she wasn’t hated at all. Her father never ‘liked’ her more than the rest of her siblings because he viewed her as his failed attempt to stop the Clock of the Time Dragon. Nessarose was definitely his favorite, and still is, because she is the child of Frex and Turtle Heart, figuratively, It all changed Elphaba’s vision of ‘the truth’, because she learned things she did not know, like the fact that both Frex and Melena were cheating on eachother with the same man.
‘The truth’ changes for everyone in their lives. Sometimes it is because of the validation you receive from someone or from an event. Sometimes it is from a book you read, a movie you watch, or just from something seemingly ordinary. ‘The truth’ always changes, in ways that are both big and small. One thing that will always stay the same is what actually happened, with no emotions or assumptions attached.