The Wide Window
By: Lemony Snicket
Plot: The Wide Window begins when the Baudelaire’s are leaving their Uncle Monty’s house. They are on their way to their new guardian’s house. Mr. Poe explains to the children that their new guardian’s name is Aunt Josephine and that she lives on Lake Lachrymose. Josephine isn’t a close relative like Uncle Monty, but she wanted to take care of the orphans. Before the children get dripped off, Mr. Poe gives each Baudelaire a bag of peppermints which the children are purposely allergic to.
When the children are dropped off by Mr. Poe, Aunt Josephine leads the children inside of her house. Her small house is located on spidery, metal stilts. The children learn that their Aunt Josephine is a frightened woman ever since her dear husband, Ike, who has died from getting eaten by Lake Lachrymoses leaches. For example, she has many irrational fears. She won’t let the children touch the doorknob because she’s afraid that it will shatter into many pieces and one would get caught in her eye. Josephine keeps her house cold because she’s afraid to turn on the radiator because it might explode. She won’t pick up the phone because she fears that it might shock her. For some odd reason, she’s afraid of realtors. The only joy in her life is grammar. Inside of her house, she has a library in a room containing many books on grammar by a wide window which shows the lakes view.
Eventually, the children tell Aunt Josephine that there is suppose to be a hurricane within the next day. Josephine takes the children to town to buy food and house supplies. As they’re shopping, they run into a man named Captain Sham. The children immediately recognize that Captain Sham is Count Olaf in disguise. He tells them that he owns a boat rental company and he wears a false wooden leg because it got eaten by the Lachrymose Leaches. The orphans try to prove Aunt Josephine that Sham is Count Olaf, but that can’t be.