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Thinking Beyond Being Told Essay

1455 words - 6 pages

Every parent wants their children surrounded with the best of everything this world can offer and grow up to be well educated and instinctively knowing the basic moral rights and wrongs. But sometimes sheltering them with the goodness of this world can do them more harm than good. Daniel Handler seems to think that children are not terribly fragile and they can handle an unhappy ending. He did just that in his novel, The Bad Beginning, the first novel in The Series of Unfortunate Events. The writing style unmistakably sets a gloomy and dire world for his characters. It starts off with the three siblings Violet, Klaus and Sunny experiencing the great grief of their parents’ sudden death. The children, now orphans, have to go live with their distant relative, Count Olaf, who have no intention of treating them well. The readers soon learn that the children will battle more hardships by themselves. Since, Handler makes all the authoritative figures as incompetents and they are often blinded from Count Olaf’s schemes. Despite the uncomfortable stream of traumatic adversities the children faced, Daniel Handler’s The Bad Beginning challenges young readers to think objectively through the combination usage of narration styles and challenging moral messages.
Interestingly, A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning have Lemony Snicket on the cover as the author and when reading the book readers found that he is also the narrator. But the book was actually written by Daniel Handler and Lemony Snicket is more or less a character he invented. Consequentially, turning this novel into a complicated mixture of first person narrative and third person omniscient narrative. Johan Kullenbok wrote “The Shape Shifting Storyteller in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”, an article discussing Daniel Handler’s writing style. According to Kullenbok, the first person narration is when the narrator is a character existing in the story and has the power to hide certain events or obscuring it to his liking. Also the third person omniscient narration is when the character is not only describing the obvious events but have the authority to delve into the thoughts of the characters causing a sympathetic effect to readers. Lemony Snicket is both a first person and third person narration; he is sometime involved in the action and should be considered as a character in the book, who has his own schemes and plans (Kullenbok 4). In the beginning of the novel, Lemony Snicket warns the readers “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things happen in the middle” (Snicket). The candid introduction made him to be a trustworthy storyteller, “While he seems trustworthy at first, his involvement in the story and the blurring of concepts makes him hard to define. The image first presented of an objective narrator...

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