The secrets are uncovered and the mysterious and intriguing tale comes to a close as we reach the final book in Lemony Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions; namely, “Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” As I forewarned you multiple times through this journey, Snicket’s tale does not have a truly happy ending. Although it may very well answer most of the primary questions and although it may bring an end to the villain’s villainy, it is not a very satisfactory close. This is the case in most of Lemony Snicket’s novels, and it’s not because of poor writing or anything. I still think that it is an excellent series of books, worth reading, even with the ending. So, with that out of the way, let us begin.
Warning: The Following May Contain Spoilers
Qwerty Dashiell, the librarian of Stain’d by the Sea is about to be shipped off to prison upon the false accusation that he committed arson multiple times. Lemony Snicket intends to save the innocent librarian from his imminent fate, so in the middle of the night he sneaks out, intending to board the train on which the prisoners are to be shipped. Unfortunately, this attempt is thwarted when he can’t get a ticket. The train pulls out, but he doesn’t give up. He hires the only taxi in town, manned by two of his nearest associates, and hitches a ride on the train.
Meanwhile, S. Theodora Markson—Snicket’s mentor—is awaiting a report from a certain VFD agent who had been hiding in the town the whole time, keeping an eye on Snicket and Theodora’s progress. Lemony Snicket had followed her to the train station, and he is quite curious as to what her intentions are, boarding the train.
More peculiarities and odd coincidences present themselves after Lemony has boarded the train. Onboard, he encounters Moxie Mallahan, his bright journalist friend who he encountered on his first day in town. She also followed a separate trail of clues and investigations leading back to the train. Many other friends were found, along the way, as well as old enemies. Good people and bad people alike were taking the same train to the city, which told them something big was about to happen. Everything becomes much clearer when it is discovered that Hangfire was also on the train.
The story continues, and I highly suggest you read it. There are investigations, lies, trickery, murder, and we finally come to understand more about the curious mythical beast of Stain’d by the Sea, the Bombinating Beast, and what it has to do with the Inhumane Society and Hangfire’s sinister plans.
And now, I’d like to discuss a certain theme introduced in this story; one that the author has a strong opinion about. He also presents this in his more well-known series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is his belief that there is no right or wrong. Just human opinion.
This is a belief widely accepted around the world. People think that right and wrong are based on perspective, not solid universal commandments. This makes might make sense from an atheistic stance as right and wrong are defined by laws and guidelines, and laws and guidelines must be set in place by a higher power. However, in the atheist’s mind, there is no higher being than man. Then how is it that man went from murder and thievery and adultery, and greed all the way to order and rules and stability all on its own? Well, mankind wasn’t alone.
Our Creator, the higher Being that atheists lack, laid out rules for us; the moral law implanted in our minds. Everyone born has a basic understanding of right and wrong. If you tell a child not to do something, they know very well that it’s wrong to do that, although they may choose to completely ignore the command. Even in the most isolated, primitive parts of the world, there is some understanding of right and wrong. Murder and stealing are looked down upon no matter where you are in the world.
Even those who believe there is no right and wrong will consider it wrong if you acted in such a way that inconvenienced them. Lemony Snicket makes his claims, but throughout his writing is proof of the line between good and evil. He even works hard to stop bullying. Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong, whether they like to admit it or not. Sin is certainly convenient, and we choose to go toward it. If there’s no definition of wrong, it makes one feel excused and helps them to shut away the guilt.
So there you go. A book review and a theology lesson. I feel like a did very badly at the latter and didn’t prove my point sufficiently, but it’s a start. I’ve never written a theological post before.
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