Wednesday, October 11, 2006

24. The Grim Grotto By Lemony Snicket

ISBN 0 06 441014 5 - HarperCollins, 2004
When the schism occurred in the VFD, members alligned themselves on either the side of good (putting out fires) or evil (setting fires). In the Grim Grotto we see that things are not quite that simple.
"People aren't either wicked or noble," the hook-handed man [Fernald] said. "They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict." He turned to the two elder Buadelaires and pointed at them with his hooks. "Look at yourselves, Baudelaires. Do you really think we are so different?...The only difference between us is the portraits on our uniforms". pp 223

On Fernald's uniform is a portait of poet Edward Guest, who's work Snicket calls over sentimental and mundane.
"You ought to be true for the sake of the folks who think you are true.
You never should stoop to a deed that your folks think you would not do.
If you are false to yourself, be the blemish but small,
you have injured your folks; you have been false to them all. "
by Edward Guest

The Baudelaires have a portrait of Moby-Dick author Herman Melville on their uniforms.
Captain Widdershins' submarine takes it's name from a Moby-Dick character. Queequeg, a harpooner who hails from a fictional southsea island, can be alternately savage and civilized.

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