A Series of Unfortunate Events Literary Qualities

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On one level, this series is merely a group of crazy, suspenseful adventure stories with young protagonists. On another level, Daniel Handler demonstrates himself to be a twisted, self-aware twenty-first century Dickens, as concerned about the process of storytelling as the story itself. Given that second level, perhaps the most important aspect of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is its literary qualities. The author is clearly playing with language and literary conventions. Irony and satire are typical throughout the narratives, the narrator—Lemony Snicket—is highly unreliable, the reader cannot help but notice all kinds of word play, wildly imaginative descriptions remind the readers that the stories are literature, and the books even bring attention to themselves as books. With this series, perhaps young adult literature goes postmodern.

"A Series of Unfortunate Events" overflows with irony. The first irony is, of course, the narrator's continuing warnings...

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This section contains 1,613 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Series of Unfortunate Events Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
A Series of Unfortunate Events from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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