Post by CountRicardo on Nov 18, 2011 16:14:41 GMT -5
*This thread potentially contains spoilers for the rest of the series*
In TBB, Olaf has pictures in the shape of an eye all over his house. For the first part of the series we associate the eye with him but then we find out that the eye has much more significance than just an image that Olaf is fond of.
It just makes me laugh that the members of V.F.D. have undergone a divorce and Olaf has left the organisation whilst saying: "Well I get to keep all of these" as he carries a thousand framed eye pictures under his arm.
Post by Sherry Ann on Nov 18, 2011 18:50:50 GMT -5
(Don't worry about spoiler warnings. The series ended long enough ago.)
The eyes are one of the most intriguing characteristics about Olaf's house. I think the suggestion was made once that some paintings had actually been carved out so that one could look through a slit in the pupil and literally observe what was happening within the home. There's a dualistic principle at work as well, since, while V.F.D. always watching can be a comforting thought, it's also quite disturbing when put into the context of Count Olaf. Is he obsessive? It certainly appears to be so (recall how he signs the note he leaves the orphans each morning). But that has some interesting implications as well (is his obsession carried over from his past, or a result from it?)
TBB Rare Edition does indeed suggest that many of the eye images contained peepholes. Olaf clearly has a personal affinity for the eye even if he hates V.F.D., as shown by his costume in TSS and his decoration of the Carmelita in TGG. Olaf likes to be in control, to be the one making things happen; I think he'd like the idea of having eyes everywhere, and also having such a large collection of eyes would let him feel like he possessed the eye itself, he'd appropriated and controlled the organisation's imagery. One of the books, and I can't remember which, notes that the V.F.D. eye was always, to the Baudelaires, a cruel and uncaring one, a symbol that they were being watched by a figure who felt nothing for them; Olaf's reversed the meaning of the V.F.D. eye, which must originally have been meant to suggest knowledge, observation, reading, and safety. It's going to annoy me now; which book was that from? Somewhere from TVV to TSS, I think.
There are a few lines along those lines in TCC: " ... the Baudelaires knew at once which caravan was Madame Lulu's because it was decorated with an enormous eye. The eye matched the one tattooed on Count Olaf's left ankle, the one the Baudelaires had seen many times in their lives, and it made them shiver to think they could not escape it even in the hinterlands."
" ... And as if all those curious eyes weren't enough, there was one more eye gazing at the Baudelaires—a glass eye, attached to a chain around Madame Lulu's neck. The eye matched the one painted on her caravan, and the one tattooed on Count Olaf's ankle. It was an eye that seemed to follow the Baudelaires wherever they went, drawing them deeper and deeper into the troubling mystery of their lives."
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2011 8:42:54 GMT -5 by Sherry Ann
Post by Hermes (or Herms) on Nov 20, 2011 12:29:54 GMT -5
Dr Orwell also uses the eye, of course. It seems that the villainous side have made more use of it since the schism - though many of the good side still have it as a tattoo - turning it into a sinister symbol.
'The difference between the two sides of the schism is that one side puts out fires, and the other starts them' - Klaus Baudelaire.
Post by Sherry Ann on Nov 20, 2011 15:40:09 GMT -5
It could be that the noble side retired the symbol willingly, deciding it was better to be well-read and develop codes of their own to identify each other, and that not establishing an emblem would reduce the risk of imposters.
Olaf's possessive attitude towards the V.F.D. insignia is never really accounted for - the U.A. seems to suggest that he was responsible for the schism, and while TPP's recital of the organisation's history renders that impossible by pinpointing it as when Kit and Dewey were four and five years old, it would really explain a lot to me. Olaf might have regarded himself as changing the direction of V.F.D. and being the informal head and founder of it in its present state.