Klaus Baudelaire and the Role of a Child

Recently finishing the first season of the Netflix original A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire orphans and the role each of the three play is fresh in my mind. Since Sunny is only an infant and Violet is more of teenager or tween at fourteen, I’ve decided to focus this post on the middle child, Klaus.

Klaus is the reader of the group. He is a researcher, and about halfway through the book series, he begins keeping a commonplace book where he records notes on all of his findings. Of the three children, Klaus could be considered the most “smart mouthed”. He is quick to remind grown ups who attempt to define words for him that yes, he already knew what that word meant. Thank you very much.

It’s interesting to see Klaus’s role in the story and draw parallels to what we talked about in class last week. Last week, we talked about what the role of a child is, and many, myself included, talked about a child’s role as a learner. As the researcher and book worm, Klaus is very much the learner of the group. However, Klaus is often using his knowledge not primarily to help him grow, but to help the Baudelaires survive. His research skills and memory often gets him and his sisters out of desperate situations. Still, despite the absurd situations he faces, Klaus is still believable as a child, albeit a gifted, abnormally intelligent child.

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