The adults of Unfortunate Events are NOT stupid.
I’ve seen several people complain that the adults of A Series of Unfortunate Events are “too stupid” and that it damages the story. Please allow me to clarify something:
No adults in ASOUE is stupid. 100% of them are willfully ignorant, and it’s an important distinction.
- Justice Strauss is too timid and needy to critically think about the red flags around her.
- Mr. Poe cares more about his job than the people it affects.
- Uncle Monty is so self-involved that he assumes that Stephano is after him.
- Aunt Josephine is simply too afraid to consider the idea that terrible things may be nearby.
This is not a story of “Adults are dumb”. It is a story about how people can contribute to evil and cruelty simply by being passive or refusing to confront it.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke
That is what the series is about. It’s an important distinction. The Baudelaires do not suffer from random fools that happen to be near them. The Baudelaire Orphans are receiving the sum total of the failings of society crashing upon them.