Monday, March 5, 2012

The Austere Academy Essay

The Austere Academy Essay

"The Austere Academy" is the fifth book written by Lemony Snichet in her set of books united under the title “The series of Unfortunate events”.  Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are the main characters of the story, who experience different adventures trying to escape their evil uncle. The main characters are youngsters who are pulled out of their happy and ideal childhood by the early death of their parents and have to meet difficulties and hardships as adults. The book is recommended for children but personally I think that it can be interesting for both – children and adults, who didn’t forget about their childhood and can look at the world with children’s eyes.

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The story is presented in the 3rd style narration where all the events are described by the author with many dialogs which help us to get the insight into the inner world of the characters. The plot is more complex and elaborate than in the most part of the stories written for youngsters. 

The setting of the story describes our modern days, the events take place in the Prufrock Preparatory School that has ridiculous rules and cruel teachers.

 Fourteen-year-old Violent, twelve-year-old Klause, and baby Sunny are the protagonists of the story.  They are orphans who have lost their parents in fire and had to experience a series of misfortunes trying to survive and find a new family. They have to fight with their evil uncle Olaf – main antagonist of the book who is haunting poor orphans to get their fortune. Like in previous books, he disguises himself. This time he becomes a coach Genghis but children uncover his plan quickly and try to persuade others in that. But there is more than one protagonist in the book to my mind. Several teachers who make their best to spoil children’s life also deserve for this title to my mind. Vice principal Nero is definitely one of them. Lemony describes him as a «tone deaf person who is also apparently blind and possesses an I.Q. lower than that of a common forest mammal» and Carmelita Spats, who «deserves a gold medal for being the least delightful person on Earth». They also hate the Bauldelaires and make their best to bring them as much trouble as possible.

The light spot of the story is that orphans who experience only misfortunes and hardships meet new friends finally. These are Quagmire triplets - Duncan and Isidora (the third triplet died in fire) who also have a very different life.

The main conflict of the story is the outer conflict between The Bauldelaires and their evil uncle. The conflict develops through the story and reaches its climax at the end of the book when the uncle tries to capture poor kids. Next comes the resolution when children escape with the help of their new friends - Quagmire triplets who stay captured.

 The theme of the book is resourcefulness, optimism and bravery, which help us to find the way out of the most difficult situation.  Another very important theme of the book is the value of friendship and friends as the dearest people who are ready to help you even running risks.

I like the book. It’s entertaining and useful at the same time. It makes you to feel companionate to the hardships of poor children, plunges you into imaginary world of monsters, crabs cruel adults. The story is spiced with the humorous remarks, which make you smile in the hardest situations and remind you about the importance of good sense of humor and optimism.
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