History Literature / TheMysteriousBenedictSociety

31st Jan '16 11:06:24 PM JMQwilleran
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* AsleepInClass: The plot of the first book of the series revolves around the members of the titular society acting as spies for Mr. Benedict at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. The pressures of this take their toll until one day Sticky, who has been doing very well otherwise, ends up falling asleep in class. For this, he gets teased by the Messenger student Martina Crowe, causing the entire class to laugh at him. In retaliation, Kate uses her feet to tie Martina's shoelaces to her desk, causing her to fall when she tries to get up. Constance also regularly falls asleep in class, though nobody teases her about it because she's not a good student. Also, though nobody knows it at the time, the only reason she does it is because she's [[spoiler:only [[ImprobableAge two years old]] and therefore of course takes regular naps.]]
31st Jan '16 10:50:46 PM JMQwilleran
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* TheInsomniac: When the children first meet Number Two, it's quipped that she "never sleeps." In actuality,, she does sleep, but only a very small amount, like maybe two-three hours a night. She has to compensate for this by eating a lot of snacks, which sometimes leaves her irritable if her blood sugar gets low. In the second book in the series, ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey'', it becomes a key plot point. When she and Mr. Benedict are captured and handcuffed in place in a cave on an island, her near-constant wakefulness allows her to work away at the fastening pin on her handcuffs and free herself. Unfortunately, in order to do this, she has to keep hidden the fact that she requires extra food in order to properly maintain her mental state. By the time she actually escapes, she is a state of delirium and no use to anyone.
3rd Jan '16 12:00:30 AM JMQwilleran
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* ObfuscatingStupidity: Early on in the first book, Reynie decides when he gets to the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened to give the impression of knowing as little as possible because the less you know, the less people suspect you, and perhaps the more they tell you.
2nd Jan '16 11:34:21 PM JMQwilleran
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It's actually the second, the first is the one that asks about trains and watching television and stuff.
* HiddenPurposeTest: The first exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. ]]
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* HiddenPurposeTest: The first second exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that are absurdly complicated and deal with information no child would usually know. [[spoiler: The purpose of the test is not to see what the children know but how well they follow directions. At the beginning they're told to read every question before answering. Reynie takes the instructions literally and reads the whole test before answering any questions, and discovers that the answer to each question is hidden in another question in the same exam. ]]
2nd Jan '16 11:14:50 PM JMQwilleran
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* AdultFear: The series is full of this, both in-verse and to readers. Mr. Benedict doesn't like risking the lives of a bunch of children but realizes that his tasks can only be done by kids. The main characters are constantly in danger. A day after deciding to join Mr. Benedict and his friends they nearly get violently kidnapped in their own home. Constance, who is an incredibly precocious [[spoiler:''two'']] year old, gets electrocuted and stuffed in a bag. She's fine in the end but still. Oh, and by the way, there's a man out there who is kidnapping children and taking away people's memories, while broadcasting secret messages designed to prevent anyone from searching from them. After all, "the missing aren't missing, they're only departed."
30th Dec '15 8:41:10 PM JMQwilleran
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* CowardlyLion: Sticky ran away from his parents, often grows jittery or tongue-tied under pressure, and is afraid he'll never live up to his real name, George Washington. However, he always comes through for his friends, such that Reynie is proud to call him one of the bravest people he knows.
6th Oct '15 3:20:16 PM JMQwilleran
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* In ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma'', Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are trapped by Mr. Curtain in a prison cell. Kate escapes through a window because she's the only one of them who can, but she gets caught. When she is brought back, Mr. Curtain brings out the shiny silver gloves that he uses to inflict pain by delivering a powerful electric shock and uses them on Reynie. When Kate complains that this isn't fair because Reynie wasn't the one who escaped, Mr. Curtain responds that he decides what is fair and warns that if anyone acts up again, the punishment will be extended to ''all four of them''.
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* IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure: In ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma'', Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are trapped by Mr. Curtain in a prison cell. Kate escapes through a window because she's the only one of them who can, but she gets caught. When she is brought back, Mr. Curtain brings out the shiny silver gloves that he uses to inflict pain by delivering a powerful electric shock and uses them on Reynie. When Kate complains that this isn't fair because Reynie wasn't the one who escaped, Mr. Curtain responds that he decides what is fair and warns that if anyone acts up again, the punishment will be extended to ''all four of them''.
6th Oct '15 3:19:49 PM JMQwilleran
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* In ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma'', Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are trapped by Mr. Curtain in a prison cell. Kate escapes through a window because she's the only one of them who can, but she gets caught. When she is brought back, Mr. Curtain brings out the shiny silver gloves that he uses to inflict pain by delivering a powerful electric shock and uses them on Reynie. When Kate complains that this isn't fair because Reynie wasn't the one who escaped, Mr. Curtain responds that he decides what is fair and warns that if anyone acts up again, the punishment will be extended to ''all four of them''.
11th Aug '15 7:19:05 PM JMQwilleran
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* AnAesop: While there are many morals to be found throughout the series, the overarching lesson seems to be this: while there are many wicked people in the world, there are many good people as well, and people can surprise you, if you are willing to take a chance on trusting someone.
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* AnAesop: While there are many morals to be found throughout the series, the overarching lesson seems to be this: while there are many wicked people in the world, there are many good people as well, and people can surprise you, if you are willing to take a chance on trusting someone. A secondary one seems to be that while one can sometimes take comfort in a lie, one would do better to seek out the truth, as it is better to know it in the long-run, even if it may cause pain in the short-term.
8th Aug '15 6:13:15 PM JMQwilleran
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* AnAesop: While there are many morals to be found throughout the series, the overarching lesson seems to be this: while there are many wicked people in the world, there are many good people as well, and people can surprise you, if you are willing to take a chance on trusting someone.

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* NoAntagonist: While the books of the original series have a very obvious and real antagonist in Mr. Ledroptha Curtain, the prequel book, ''The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict'', has an interesting twist. [[spoiler:Mr. Collum, the orphanage director, ''seems'' like a very powerful antagonist to Nicholas. However, Mr. Collum is really just a troubled and stubborn man who doesn't understand children very well and lacks creativity. In the end, Mr. Collum turns out to be a very powerful ally once Nicholas comes to understand him and once he's able to get him on his side.]]
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