“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.