In taking a closer look at The End, after catching up on the entire Series of Unfortunate Events books, it has become clear to me exactly why The End ended as it did. Lemony Snicket had been foreshadowing this, and yet both adults and children have been (in their opinion) let down. The rather disappointing thing is that none of these critics has learned one thing from Lemony. For the answers to The End were always there, from The Bad Beginning to The End.
We have taught our children for years that happy endings can happen. It is expected in a book series that is geared towards children that all their questions will be answered and all their dreams (lived out through the characters) will become reality. However, this is not life. This is not truth. If any lesson can be taught by reading The End, and the entire series, this is it. Life truly is a series of unfortunate or fortunate events, depending on what you make of them. Once you realize that, you can move on and actually experience life.
The End is not truly the end, and yet it is The End. That may seem confusing, but if you read the book, and take the lessons Lemony and the Baudelaires have taught you throughout the series, you should understand exactly what is meant. There are many questions which go unanswered. How many of life’s questions go unanswered?
I will not go into the details of what we learn and what we do not learn, because I do not wish to spoil the book. However, as cryptic as I may be in my review, you will find this novel equally cryptic and you may not be able to absorb or understand what I am saying. You may not be able to absorb what Lemony Snicket is saying, or how the book truly ends right away.
The End requires some deep conversation between parents and children. Children who have trouble thinking figuratively may not get it, even if their parent explains it to them. However, as long as they understand the initial message they will begin to understand their own life as much as they understand the life of the Baudelaires.
Plotting The End
In the beginning of The End, we meet the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, in a boat with Count Olaf. The four have escaped from a fire at the Hotel Denouement. There, it is believed the Baudelaire children deliberately set fire to the hotel, killing members of the secret group, VFD.