The Wide Window Daniel Handler Analysis

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Often, as children and young adults, the world tries to inflict its own view and instill its own morals, which are often wrong and misleading. This is what Daniel Handler, as an author, has set out to try and fix through his writings. Throughout nearly all of his books, Handler tries to take genres, ideas, and material not normally thought of as being for children and young adults, and writes them for children and young adults. Yet inside of each book, particularly his A Series of Unfortunate Events series, he fills its pages to the brim with ironic quips that jab at the traditional things that children are taught. One of the quotes that best epitomizes his use of dark humor to get across his point is taken from the fourth book in the series,…show more content…
In The Wide Window, for example, he makes fun of the old wives’ tales of things like reading in the dark can ruin eyesight, or waiting to go in the water after eating. The main new character in this book is a widow that fears everything, for example never cooking anything on the stove for fear of it bursting into flames, or that the refrigerator will fall on her. Furthermore, the lake she lives on his inhabited by leeches that will eat humans if they smell food, meaning that if one goes into the water less than an hour after eating, the leeches will eat the person, eventually the ironic demise of the woman. This is a very dark, yet ironic take on old wives’ tales that also shows how willing Handler is to make fun of things that adults say. In fact, Handler himself talks about becoming suspicious of the phrases and proverbs that adults say to children, “and that to me feels like the journey of childhood, that you have many authority figures telling you that the world is one way, and you begin to suspect that the world is another way and your own mind and your own morality are guiding you on this path in a world where everyone else seems lost. That feels like childhood to me.” (LA Review
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