So...here are my thoughts on Glinda. As I prepared myself to step into her shoes again, I read all of the "conspiracy theories" suggesting that Glinda was a power-hungry, manipulating bad witch. I love the theory, but I disagree.
Dorothy longs for adventure, to see new places, and to make true friends who understand her. My Glinda knows this, and therefore, sets her on a path to experience all of those things. The Wicked Witch of the West, although frightening, turns out to be an easy-to-defeat foe. (And Glinda is always keeping an eye on things and just a quick bubble trip away should Dorothy and her friends get in over their heads.) Dorothy must learn that she has power of her own and that even the scariest monsters have grave weaknesses. She comes to realize that the truest friends met along life's path may not look the way we expect them to look, but those unlikely companions hold our hands and stick by our sides through the darkest and most uncertain times. Like every child, she must also learn that there really is no all-powerful wizard who can solve our problems for us. "She had to learn it for herself!"
Glinda is a good witch! She watches protectively from the sidelines while Dorothy sets off on the adventures she always dreamed of having. She allows Dorothy to experience beautiful and awful things. If Glinda had immediately sent her home, Dorothy would never have been content in Kansas.
Don't think for a moment that I don't see a bit of myself in this story. What a perfect show for me and my family to revisit during our first year back in North Carolina! As a young adult, I couldn't wait to get away from here and see the world. During my ten years away, I met the most wonderful, unexpected friends. I saw beautiful places, and I experienced different cultural traditions. I also suffered through darkness, depression, anxiety, and homesickness. And I wouldn't trade that journey for anything. I agree with Dorothy, "There really is no place like home." But I didn't truly comprehend the richness and wonderfulness of home until I left it far behind.
So...for me a wicked and conniving Glinda just doesn't jive. Let the haters hate, but I know the truth, and besides, "Only bad witches are ugly!".