“I want a little sugar in my bowl”: narrative deconstruction in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Earlier this year (Link), we presented the first half
of our takedown on the sugar bowl mystery. Now that we’ve gotten all the plot
elements out of the way, it’s time to approach the solution in on a literary
level. If there is, indeed, a solution to the sugar bowl mystery, what kind of
solution a writer such as Daniel Handler would choose? Studying the series on a
more thematical level gives very interesting results. If there’s one thing “A
Series Of Unfortunate” does well, it’s making sure that the narrative fits the
narration, that the plot fits the style (and vice-versa). Lemony Snicket uses
absurdist humor, and his characters live in an absurd world.
We can’t prove that the sugar bowl really is
empty, of course. What we can prove, however, is that an empty sugar bowl
wonderfully suits the hallmarks that made “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” such a
Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect
BRONTË: authoress, snob, penniless heiress. likes classical novels, classical music, and aesthetically-pleasing anything. dislikes the poor, ernest hemingway, and gory movies.
ANNE BRONTË:journalist, hothead, photographer. likes family, quiet libraries, and comic books (dc, not marvel, she isn’t an animal). dislikes snitches, being talked down to, and extraordinarily peppy people.