“Violet, Klaus and Sunny were intelligent children. Charming and resourceful, they had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky. Almost everything that happened to them was writhed with misfortune, misery, and despair.”
For all its dark humor and quirkiness, ASOUE is honestly extremely depressing when you consider that it’s essentially about three children being forced to pay, in some of the worst possible ways, for something awful their parents may or may have not done (assassinating Olaf’s parents) before they were even born. The Baudelaire kids never had a chance, even from the beginning. They were doomed from the start to suffer for something they had no responsibility for and knew nothing about. There was no way that that incident wasn’t going to come back to haunt that family no matter how much Beatrice and Bertrand may have tried to shield their children from it. I’ve read a lot of things in my life, but in my opinion ASOUE is one of the saddest fictional examples of “the sins of the father will visit upon the children” that I’ve ever encountered. If it weren’t for Snicket’s trademark sarcastic wit, the entire series would be incredibly hard to stomach just for adults, let alone children.
also re; Lemony Snicket, The Miserable Mill was a fantastic example of adults who can see exactly what your problem is, care about you intensely, and want to help you with every fiber of their being, but who are too economically disadvantaged or sociologically oppressed to be able to help even if they wanted to.
What an important and nunanced lesson to put in a book series about all the different kinds of adults who can fail you.
That of all the selfish, violent, cowardly, and wicked adults, there can be adults who most know how you feel and most know your suffering but can sometimes be so oppressed themselves that even their largest sacrifice (gum and coupons and a peach) simply isnt enough.
And how the Baudelaire kids felt about those adults, and how intensely they valued their small but ineffective sacrifices, changed me as a person and taught me more about God and tithes than the Bible ever did.
so clearly i’ve had ASOUE on the brain for far too long because this song just kind of happened? over the past two days? it’s a sad little lullaby/sea shanty/love song from Lemony’s perspective, and i had to do like 5000 takes because 1) i am bad at whistling and 2) i kept accidentally singing “briny breach”. enjoy!
Let’s take a walk on Briny Beach I’ll buy us each a rose From the man who sells flowers on Briny Beach Our troubles can’t reach us here
I once knew a girl named Beatrice I wrote her this love song I once thought I’d marry Beatrice But now she is dead and gone
We used to go walking on Briny Beach The sun would shine on her raven hair I told her I loved her on Briny Beach But now those words are fog in the air
Let’s take a walk on Briny Beach But I do beseech you beware For people are watching Briny Beach And they must not see us there
When I was young the world was quiet here But now I fear it’s too late To put out the fires, it’s too quiet here Can’t fix the mistakes we’ve made
We used to be noble, we used to be The last safe place in the storm But now through the smoke we cannot tell Who’s friend and who is foe anymore
These days I go walking on Briny Beach As the waves they breach and flow I’ve such pleasant memories of Briny Beach But now I walk alone
You know what I really like about A Series of Unfortunate Events? Yeah, it’s this grim and morbid story that gives kids a new perspective on the world besides fairy tales and action shows where everybody gets a happy ending. But the Baudelaire kids know they don’t have a good outcome ahead of them. Throughout every book in the entire series we’re reminded of how miserable and disheartening it is, and that it’s perfectly okay to “look away.”
But the kids can’t look away. They’re in the thick of it. And do they let that misery consume them? No. They accept the circumstances and try to make the best of it, even though they won’t be happy. And that’s so important! Realizing that even if you don’t have a reward in sight that you can still find motivation. That even if you can’t be “happy” you can thrive off of moments of happiness. That it’s possible to keep going in a world where there are no happy endings.
It’s one thing to tell kids that the world sucks. It’s another thing to say, yeah it sucks but there is just as much good in the world as there is bad.
the thing about Klaus that people tend to get wrong is that,
while he’s the most bookish member of the family, he is neither quiet nor
shy. He’s confident enough with words that the opposite happens: he has no
problem speaking up. He’s sarcastic, indignant, readily corrects other people
when they’re in error; is quick to interrupt or complain. There’s nothing
especially bad about that, either; he’s also a polite and tactful person – it’s
just that people sometimes mistakenly believe that because he’s always got his nose in a
book, he’ll be reserved and discreet, and he’s not. He’s often
the first to protest a potential injustice, so that even when he should be
keeping his nose clean and his head down, he instead mouths off to people who
are more than willing to hurt him.
that’s something I’ve loved since the books, the way he’s got a Hermione-like insistence to share what he’s aware of and make himself heard. it’s good to see that characterization getting what it deserves
Violet headcanon: I imagine that after the Baudelaires are finally safe and happy, Violet relaxes because she doesn’t have to be constantly planning escapes and looking after her younger siblings. And when she’s not hypervigilant, she’s actually pretty absent minded, bumping into things and occasionally spouting nonsense that no one else can understand. She lets herself daydream again. She has a studio, with a couch that serves as a bed on certain late nights when she can’t stop working.