Terry Pratchett–Humor with Meaning
Terry Pratchett–Humor with Meaning avatar

Terry Pratchett is one of the best writers of fantasy. Every book is a new adventure and a new metaphor for our own lives. Mr. Pratchett looks at fantasy creatures in an new light and there is always a new twist of language or plot to keep things moving.

One of my favorites (even though the one I am currently reading usually becomes a new favorite) is Wyrd Sisters. Here Pratchett pokes fun at both new-age good Wicca Wyrd Sisters vol. 6 - Pratchet22395_fwitches and at old-age fairy tale wicked witches. His fun is always gentle and often reveals new insights into how and why we have the prejudices and opinions that have been molded by our culture.

His three witches, Magrat Garlick, Nanny Ogg, and Granny Weatherwax, show us what fun witches can be. Magrat, the youngest of the witches wants to do things traditionally. She sets up a coven of three (she can’t find any more witches to join) with the other two much older and wiser ladies to carry on witchdom. Nanny Ogg is a randy old witch, most interested in her large family and the welfare of the country of Lancre. Granny Weatherwax, really the star of the show, says she doesn’t believe in magic, but rather in what she calls “headology.” One revealing scene goes like this:

Granny Weatherwax paused with a second scone halfway to her mouth.
“Something comes,” she said.
“Can you tell by the pricking of your thumbs?” said Magrat earnestly. Magrat had learned a lot about witchcraft from books.
“The pricking of my ears,” said Granny. She raised her eyebrows at Nanny Ogg. Old Goodie Whemper (Magrat’s teacher) had been an excellent witch in her way, but far too fanciful.

Pratchett even pokes gentle fun at Shakespeare (as you can tell from the above quote) and the theater in general through a troupe of traveling players and a dwarf playwright who is always trying to get the words just right. But he also uses his picture of the theater to show us something about ourselves. Death (a recurring semi-comic character) says of the theater:

Inside this little world they had taken pains to put all the things you might think they would want to escape from—hatred, fear, tyranny, and so forth… They thought they wanted to be taken out of themselves, and every art humans dreamt up took them further in.

All in all, Wyrd Sisters, like all of Pratchett’s books, is a parody of life that give its readers greater insight into human nature and into our individual selves.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

This entry was posted in Authors, Book Review, Fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>