I started rereading A Series of Unfortunate Events to get prepared for the tv show, and while reading The Bad Beginning I came across one particular part that really got to me. Violet was building the grappling hook to try to rescue Sunny from the tower, and her thoughts at that time were heartbreaking.
As she worked, she remembered something her parents had said to her when Klaus was born, and again when they brought Sunny home from the hospital. “You are the eldest Baudelaire child,” they had said, kindly but firmly. “And as the eldest, it will always be your responsibility to look after your younger siblings. Promise us that you will always watch out for them and make sure they don’t get into trouble.” Violet remembered her promise, and thought of Klaus, whose bruised face still looked sore, and Sunny, dangling from the top of the tower like a flag, and began working faster. Even though Count Olaf was of course the cause of all this misery, Violet felt as if she had broken her promise to her parents, and vowed to make it right.
Violet Baudelaire, a 14-year-old child, feels responsible for the well-being of her younger siblings even though everything that has happened to them is completely out of her control. Violet, the oldest sibling in an abusive household, feels so much guilt because she hasn’t been able to keep the promise that she made to her parents. She’s witnessed Count Olaf physically abusing her brother, and now she’s attempting to free her infant sister from an extremely dangerous situation. There’s also the fact that she is the one who’s being forced to marry Count Olaf at this point, and she shudders with fear every time he or one of his henchmen tells her what a pretty girl she is. Violet has faced things that most kids her age wouldn’t be able to face. She’s been absolutely terrified of what may happen to herself and her siblings, but she never gives up. Her mind is always moving and even when their situation seems hopeless, she comforts her siblings and refuses to let Count Olaf win. She doesn’t stop trying until she knows that Klaus and Sunny will be safe. She does all of that, and she’s 14 years old and has just lost both of her parents. Violet Baudelaire is so strong and so important.