Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series isn’t all despair and misfortune. These 10 Lemony Snicket quotes show that when the world seems bleak, there is still a sliver of hope.
While there is a series of unfortunate events happening around the world right now, I figured it would be the best time to bring up the brilliance that is Lemony Snicket’s usage of dark humor in not only A Series of Unfortunate Events, but in all of their books under the same pen name.
Daniel Handler, otherwise known as Lemony Snicket himself, has perfected morbid, absurdist humor in his Lemony Snicket books in such a way, that somehow, the darkest of quotes can feel comforting.
Most known as the narrator and writer of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket also wrote the All the Wrong Questions series, which took place in the same universe as A Series of Unfortunate Events, but starred the Snicket siblings instead of the Baudelaires, along with The Beatrice Letters.
Horseradish is like Chicken Soup for the Soul, if Chicken Soup for the Soul was full of bitter truths and hard to swallow pills instead of hopeful anecdotes. The Dark is a children’s book about a child overcoming the dark, but in that typical Lemony Snicket way.
I’ve talked about how in times of strife and turmoil we turn towards comfort reads, to heroes overcoming adversity, and mentioned how some people seek solace in reading topical books about the situation at hand. There’s also the saying, “laugh to keep from crying,” which fits Lemony Snicket’s aesthetic perfectly.
There’s something calming about Lemony Snicket telling me that crying is okay, that even though terrible things are happening, there will be an afterwards. I hope these Lemony Snicket quotes help you see the light in the darkness.
10 Lemony Snicket quotes to find light in the darkness
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket, A Very Bad Beginning
These words may seem simple, but the depth in merely stating that good things can come from bad situations, can give us hope when we need it most.
“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No,” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let’s go.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator
Somehow, these three kids taking a step forward into the unknown, helps me gather the courage to keep going. Things won’t change unless we take it upon ourselves to do it.
“Friends can make you feel that the world is smaller and less sneaky than it really is, because you know people who have similar experiences.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy
The world may be crumbling around us, but at least we aren’t alone. The Baudelaires don’t make many friends in A Series of Unfortunate Events, but the ones they do make (the Quagmire triplets, for instance) share similar circumstances with not only the V.F.D., but also the ability to remain caring and open despite everything that happened to them.
“I just don’t understand it,” said Klaus, which was not something he said very often.
Violet nodded in agreement, and then said something she didn’t say very frequently either. “It’s a puzzle I’m not sure we can solve.”
“Pietrisycamollaviadelrechiotemexity,” Sunny said, which was something she had said only once before. It meant something along the lines of “I must admit I don’t have the faintest idea of what is going on,” and the first time the youngest Baudelaire had said it, she had just been brought home from the hospital where she was born, and was looking at her siblings as they leaned over her crib to greet her.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Hostile Hospital
The Baudelaire children are a lot of things, and smart is one of them. Owning up to not knowing something takes a lot of courage, courage that most adults don’t have. If someone who memorizes everything they read, an inventor, and an amazing cook can admit when they don’t know something, then we should be able to as well.
“I hate it too,” Violet said, and Klaus looked at his older sister with relief. Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning
There’s nothing like mutual dislike of something to bring two people closer together, no matter what that something is.
“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters
Any sliver of happiness right now should be cherished. Hold onto it, because finding and keeping hold of hope is important, now more than ever.
“…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning
Growing up, we were told that crying is for babies, but there’s nothing like a good therapeutic cry to help us reset and feel our feelings. Besides, Sunny would resent the sentiment that crying is only for babies.
“Instead of the word ‘love’ there was an enormous heart, a symbol sometimes used by people who have trouble figuring out the difference between words and shapes.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival
Love is love, no matter how you go about portraying it.
“One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril
Finding happiness in the smallest of things will help us keep our eyes on the horizon for better days ahead. Keep reading, keep learning, keep searching.
“It is so rare in this world to meet a trustworthy person who truly wants to help you, and finding such a person can make you feel warm and safe, even if you are in the middle of a windy valley high up in the mountains.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish
It’s important to keep in touch with our friends, who will be there through thick and thin. In order to keep true to ourselves, reaching out to loved ones when we can’t physically be with them is key.