A Series of Unfortunate Events, the celebrated children’s books written by Lemony Snicket and now adapted into a television series on Netflix, was my childhood introduction to satire. (Likewise, in a popular and insightful essay for The Atlantic, Lenika Cruz wrote that A Series of Unfortunate Events introduced her to postmodernism as a child.) In ASOUE, satire is a powerful political tool. ASOUE is simultaneously theatrically absurd and an accurate reflection of the issues it addresses, forcing the audience to consider the absurdity of a social issue without being too far removed from the phenomenon it addresses.
I began reading ASOUE at the age of eight. While I didn’t yet understand the concept of satire, the series still had an eye-opening effect on me: it forced me to think deeply about social issues. Namely, it made me think about adults.
Children’s books, series, and movies often explore how children are patronized by adults. Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Suzanne Collins, and others have all explored the frustrations of being undermined because of one’s youth. But the highly self-aware ASOUE takes it to the next level. Through his narration, Lemony Snicket doesn’t simply portray what it’s like to be patronized: he portrays adultism itself. …
Sian Ferguson : An intersectional feminist blog tackling issues from a unique South African perspective. The posts attempt to explain and discuss some academic feminist theories in a simple manner, so as to make feminism accessible to more people. Follow me on Twitter @sianfergs