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URA Archive
Scholars 2009 - 2010

Susan Wilmes

Susan Wilmes, English
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events: Holocaust Undercurrents and Implications for Children’s Holocaust Literature”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michele Osherow
Expected Graduation Date: May 2011

Through my research, I aim to establish that Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events deserves legitimate inclusion in the genre of Holocaust literature. The series addresses a need in our culture to provide children with literature that acknowledges the world as an imperfect place, in order to prepare them to comprehend the events of the Holocaust. I intend to investigate how the pervasiveness of the Holocaust in modern culture has influenced Daniel Handler (“Lemony Snicket”), as the son of Holocaust refugees, in the writing of the series. My research will take me to the West Coast Regional Conference on Jewish Literature for Children as well as several Holocaust museums. I will investigate how the thirteen texts in the series address the core characteristics and concerns of both Holocaust and children’s literature. Furthermore, I will investigate the ways in which information about the Holocaust is presented to children and consider how the series functions in this capacity.