Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

In Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the author gets away with addressing dark and morbid themes not normally found in children’s literature. Snicket draws upon many of the Gothic themes of Edgar Allan Poe with references both obvious and obscure. This paper examines how Snicket manages to use similar subject matter and employ it for an entirely different purpose than Poe’s: to entertain and instruct young readers. It identifies many comparable elements between the two authors including the narrative style, certain plot points, characters and names, symbolism, and the fixation on Gothic themes, and how Snicket’s satirical treatment makes his grim stories not only appropriate for children, but highly sought after.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dennis Perry

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Snicket & Poe: A Juvenile Mystery

In Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the author gets away with addressing dark and morbid themes not normally found in children’s literature. Snicket draws upon many of the Gothic themes of Edgar Allan Poe with references both obvious and obscure. This paper examines how Snicket manages to use similar subject matter and employ it for an entirely different purpose than Poe’s: to entertain and instruct young readers. It identifies many comparable elements between the two authors including the narrative style, certain plot points, characters and names, symbolism, and the fixation on Gothic themes, and how Snicket’s satirical treatment makes his grim stories not only appropriate for children, but highly sought after.