The Miserable Mill Essay
"The Miserable Mill" by Lemony Snicket is one of the series of events that happen in the lives of three Baudelaire orphans after the death of their parents during a fire. The lives of Violet, Klaus and baby Sunny converts into a constant fight for living and changing homes. As they possess a fortune they got from their parents they represent an excellent “helpless” target for any person who wants to get rich through the misery of these orphans. They keep changing each home because of the miseries they face and each time end up in the back seat of Mr. Poe’s car. The protagonist of the book is fourteen-year-old Violet, the eldest of the three children. The other children are Klaus, a twelve-year old boy, who has read numerous books and the infant Sunny, who is always looking for something to bite. Violet is a young inventor, always inventing some machines in her head. Her thinking is always very objective. As her life is always very dangerous the girl is rather suspicious.
It is even possible to say that the optimism in her character is completely substituted by realism and rationalism, but she still remains a very lovely girl, able to love and devote herself to the loved ones. From the very beginning the city of Paltryville, situated right beyond the Finite forest seems inhospitable to be their new home. It is especially confirmed when the children have to walk by themselves from the railway station to the home of their new guardian with a weird name.
From the moment they get to the Lucky Smells Lumber Mill with a sign made out of chewed gum they see the first suspicious sign of the presence of Count Olaf- an eyed-shaped building. They strongly believe it is just a coincidence. Count Olaf is the antagonist of the book, a desperate “huntsman” for the orphan’s fortune. He himself does not appear in the book form the very beginning, but his presence is easily observed making him the children’s worst fear. Count Olaf uses various disguises not to reveal himself, but still fails. He shows up as the receptionist Shirley at the eye clinic, situated in the same eye-shaped building that seems so suspicious for the kids.
The children find themselves in terrible living conditions: living and working on a lumber mill in inhuman conditions, sharing one bad, having only one meal a day and chewing gum for lunch, calling their guardian Sir and not even being able to see his face behind the smoke around his head and under the supervision of their guardian’s foreman Flacutono. Later, after breaking his glasses Klaus gets hypnotized by Dr. Orwell, the eye-doctor, in the eye clinic and becomes very strange. Violet remains the only one to save her small family from the mean Count Olaf’s figments.
The conflict of the book lies in Violet’s constant struggle against Count Olaf in numerous unfortunate events that seem to be never-ending. It is a conflict between a harsh exploitation of three kids and their strength to stand up for themselves and not to obey the fate that Count Olaf offers, even when somebody else believes them. Violet takes full responsibility for making decisions and summarizing all the observations and investigating the eye-clinic. She demonstrates a great will to overcome all the obstacles to save the family she has left.
The climax of the book starts when children get tired of everything surroundings them in that terrible place-the city of Paltryville. The whole situation resolves with the death of Dr Orwell in the trap made up by Shirley and Flacutono at the lumber mill, stopping Count Loaf from continuing his pursue of the kids at the moment. And as it is in the beginning Violet, Klaus and the infant baby Sunny have to look for a new home to hide from the hateful Count Olaf. Their “victory” does not even appear to be one, for their wanderings continue. The Baudelaire children trust their own selves and are ready to face difficulties and overcome them through a “pure” heart filled with love and good intentions in mind.
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