It is not difficult to describe Sharon Haines, because we've all seen the likes of her plenty of times. Bad mothers are like old newspapers. No one has need of them, but they're everywhere, blowing around town.
 

Sharon Haines is the mother of Lizzie and Kellar Haines, and an extorted member of the Inhumane Society.

Personality

Sharon is a very edgy and stubborn woman, and yet a very good example of a Chef's Salad Character. She is often very dismissive of children, being repetitive and condescending to Lemony Snicket, Moxie Mallahan and Ellington Feint, for instance. She seems to be charming to other adults, such as S. Theodora Markson, who she feigns a close relationship with in order to get her close to Hangfire; however, it is possible that the relationship was not entirely faux, as she later smuggled Theodora a skeleton key as a favor.

She is not a very subtle liar, as seen when she reiterates, for no reason, the name of the Department of Education, or when she consistently drops obvious hints about Dashiell Qwerty in order to put the idea of his guilt into S. Theodora Markson's mind. She also tends to use passive-aggression about the fact that Snicket does not go to a public school, likely intending for Theodora to agree to send him to Wade Academy.

Sharon's relationship with her children is strained and complex, and Snicket goes so far as to call her a bad mother; she clearly cares a lot of Lizzie and is quite protective of her, willing to do anything and everything when her daughter is threatened. Upon hearing about Lizzie, she is described as "another heartbroken parent." Her obsession with rescuing Lizzie clouds her judgement, causing her to do quite monstrous things, such as kidnapping and drugging the children of Stain'd-by-the-Sea in order to make them compliant prisoners, likely prepared to be fed to Bombinating Beasts.

Her relationship with Kellar is also strained by her new allegiance to Hangfire; the first time they are seen together, she dismissively tells Theodora and Snicket to never mind him. She also seems unrepentant upon kidnapping Kellar along with his associates at the Roe House, forcing him to share a room with her so that he cannot sneak away from her. And following him finally standing up to her, he seems to run away and move in with the Mallahan Family; her reaction to this is never specified.

She seems to reunite with her children following the crash of The Thistle of the Valley, however is noted to seem pretty unsure of herself. Snicket mentions that he hopes her children learn from her mistakes, and when Lizzie and Kellar are talking, she is standing at a distance from them.

It is likely that her special interest is the Italian language, as she consistently mentions the language, as well as using an Italian word in order to make the name of her imaginary witness.

Biography

Early Life

There is a villain who is putting every schoolchild in town in terrible danger.
 
— Sharon Haines, Shouldn't You Be in School?

Sharon claims that she had a "violent and treacherous" boyfriend in the eighth grade. As an adult, Sharon lived with her two children, Lizzie and Kellar; Kellar claims that she was never a good cook. He also says that she used to be a better parent, though it is unclear if that is true.

At some point, Lizzie left to study under the famous actress Dame Sally Murphy. After a few months, Lizzie's letters stopped arriving, and Sharon instead received word from Hangfire, who had kidnapped her daughter in order to use as leverage.

Sharon and Kellar were ordered to follow the orders of the Inhumane Society in order to keep Lizzie safe. Sharon grew paranoid and obsessed with obeying Hangfire without question, to the point of losing her relationship with her younger son.

Hangfire orders Sharon and Kellar to go to Stain'd-by-the-Sea and trick S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice, Lemony Snicket, in order to keep them from realizing Hangfire's plan to take all the schoolchildren to Wade Academy and burn down the library. At some point, Ellington Feint arrived at the school to assist Hangfire in exchange for her father's release, going under the false name Filen N. Gottlin, and though Sharon searched her for the Bombinating Beast statue, which Hangfire wanted, she didn't find it. Ellington also made Sharon promise to "take good care of" her father's phonograph, which had been left behind when she'd escaped the town last. 

It is implied that Sharon was given information about the residents of the town beforehand, as she knew about Dashiell Qwerty's unusual jacket and Moxie Mallahan's journalism.[1]

Shouldn't You Be in School?

The Department of Education takes its mission very seriously. Even one schoolchild in danger is a terrible thing. Children are the future of the world, and we must keep them safe from harm. Every night I tremble thinking about how I'd feel if something terrible happened, even if it happened to somebody I did not know.
 
— Sharon Haines, Shouldn't You Be in School?

Upon the arrival of Lemony Snicket and S. Theodora Markson at 350 Wayward Way, Sharon puts up the pretense of working in the non-existent Department of Education. She disregards her son, Kellar, in the similar way that Theodora disregards her apprentice, Lemony, and they discuss on the case presented; a barn was burned, according to Sharon, and many schoolchildren are in danger. The sole witness to the case is a man named Harold Limetta- a fake name by Sharon- and she and Theodora get along amiably, creating a supposed friendship. They go out together and paint their nails the same color: yellow. 

At the arrest of Dashiell Qwerty, who was framed for arson, Sharon celebrates with Theodora in the Far East Suite, who knew nothing about the real plan in hand. Seemingly unbothered by Lemony's remark on how schoolchildren were still in danger, as Stain'd Secondary was set on fire even after Qwerty's arrest, she resumes partying with Theodora.

Sharon and Hangfire then strike (literally) a deal with Theodora, meaning she'll leave town and refuse to stop them in exchange for Lemony's safety. She then goes with him to 350 Wayward Way and kidnaps Moxie, Jake, Cleo and Kellar to take to Wade Academy, where all the other schoolchildren have been transferred. There, Sharon mainly keeps the students locked up, except for transporting Hangfire's supplies into the school, and keeps them drugged with laudanum. 

After Snicket sneaks into the school, Ellington Feint hides him in her room and tries to distract Sharon from finding him, though she expresses anger for the destruction of her phonograph. Sharon reminds her to play her part in Hangfire's plan before leaving. 

The next day, following Hangfire's instructions, Sharon takes the students on a "field trip" to Partial Foods, where she has them steal Honeydew Lemons and load them onto the bus. She spies Lemony and Ornette sneaking away from the group, but when she confronts them, Kellar tells her to leave them alone and tells her that they need to stop assisting Hangfire. Sharon raises a hand, as if to strike her son, but instead leaves. 

Kellar goes back to school with her, but after failing to convince her to abandon Hangfire, he leaves her and lives with the Mallahans in their lighthouse. 

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

Sharon Haines: I'll thank you to stop interfering.
Lemony Snicket: Oh, you don't have to thank me, Mrs. Haines.
Sharon Haines: Get out of here, young man. You have no idea what is going on.
Lemony Snicket: That's why I'm here.
Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

Hangfire gives Sharon one last order; to sneak onto the train out of Stain'd-by-the-Sea, The Thistle of the Valley, in order to pretend to be him while masked when necessary. She slightly defies him by giving her former "friend" Theodora a skeleton key so that she can steal a unifom and sneak aboard the train, which Theodora gives back at Stain'd Station. 

Sharon spots Lemony Snicket at the train station, and when he points out that Theodora had given her back the skeleton key, she tells him to leave and stop interfering. She also spots Kellar in the crowd and tells him the same thing.

Hangfire then has Sharon imitate him to meet with Lemony Snicket, in order to distract him while he retrieves the statue from Ellington Feint. But when Snicket reveals that Lizzie is safe and aboard the train, Sharon gasps and unmasks, demanding the location of her daughter, which causes Lemony to flee. 

After the traincrash, Sharon reunites with her children, and Snicket hopes that Lizzie and Kellar learn from her mistakes. The last he sees of Sharon is of her standing quietly nearby as her children talk on the taxicab.

Quotes

Shouldn't You Be in School?

Good morning. I'm Sharon Haines. I work here, which is the Department of Education. Yes, that is what it is.
 
— Chapter Two
This is my son, Kellar, and never mind him, either.
 
— Chapter Two
The Department of Education is very busy today. Very busy. And my desk gives me some kind of medical condition. My tongue swells up if I sit there too long, and I end up talking like my mouth is full of baby mice.
 
— Chapter Two
S. Theodora Markson: He was always saying impolite things about my hair.
Sharon Haines: Well, I think it looks nice.
S. Theodora Markson: Well, I think you're nice.
—Chapter Two
Recently a local business was burned to the ground. Birnbaum's Sheep Barn caught fire in the middle of the night, and there was scarcely enough time to evacuate the sheep. The fire was not an accident. It was a crime.
 
— Chapter Two
S. Theodora Markson: We'll assign this case extra-crucial status.
Sharon Haines: I appreciate that. As luck would have it, there was a witness to the fire, and I'm hoping you and your apprentice will go interview this man and see if he can tell you anything.
S. Theodora Markson: A witness! Aha!
Sharon Haines: For instance, he might say the arsonist had an unusual jacket, so it would help you find him and capture him.
S. Theodora Markson: Unusual jacket! Aha!
—Chapter Two
Yes, Harold Limetta. I believe his name is Italian, although he lives here in town at 421 Ballpoint Avenue, walking distance from the library.
 
— Chapter Two
Call me Sharon, and call me the minute you have an update.
 
— Chapter Two
I must say, I didn't expect so much kindness and understanding from such a prestigious investigator.
 
— Chapter Two
Don't take this personally, but if your associate went to a top-drawer school, he might have been smart enough to solve it himself.
 
— Chapter Four
Speaking of beverages, let's have one to celebrate. I always treat myself to a limeade when I accomplish something super-duper. The Italians call it limeade.
 
— Chapter Four
The arsonist is a moth-hater, all right, and my new best friend Theodora was telling me that she knew just who it was.
 
— Chapter Four
Moxie Mallahan: Dashiell Qwerty wouldn't hurt a fly.
Sharon Haines: You're not listening, girlie. He's hurting moths. The press always gets everything wrong.
—Chapter Four
He's a fugitive. If you went to school, you'd know that a fugitive is a criminal who is running and hiding.
 
— Chapter Four
Sharon Haines: We heard about the school. I'm very upset about it.
Lemony Snicket: Nobody was hurt.
Sharon Haines: That's what we're celebrating. Theodora has solved a difficult and troublesome case, and we can put all this unpleasantness behind us.
Lemony Snicket: You were worried about schoolchildren in danger. It doesn't seem to me that the case is over.
Sharon Haines: Don't take this personally, but you're almost as dopey as you are wrong. Not a single schoolchild is in danger. With the destruction of Stain'd Secondary, they have all been transferred to Wade Academy, just outside of town. Normally, they only admit the best kind of students- the children of dukes, earls, counts, that sort of thing. You get the idea. But because of the fire, the school has agreed to become the emergency replacement for each and every schoolchild in Stain'd-by-the-Sea. Thanks to the arsonist, they're all about to get a top-drawer education.
—Chapter Five
It's rude to have secrets. Why don't you leave us alone, little boy, so the grown-ups can have their grown-up time? Go on, trot!
 
— Chapter Five
You children are truants. We're here to take you to school.
 
— Chapter Six
Children like yourselves shouldn't be messing around in abandoned buildings. Get in the van and you'll learn the value of a top-drawer education.
 
— Chapter Six
Sharon Haines: There's no need to show off with words.
Lemony Snicket: It makes me feel better when I'm frightened.
—Chapter Six
We're not going to hurt Mr. Snicket. That's the deal we struck. But you other four children are coming with us.
 
— Chapter Six
You act like we're doing some terrible thing. We're simply taking four young people to school.
 
— Chapter Six
Ellington Feint: I was just about to get into bed.
Sharon Haines: Don't sleep too long. Tomorrow is a big day.
Ellington Feint: I know.
Sharon Haines: I'm counting on you. We all are.
Ellington Feint: I know.
Sharon Haines: Nothing can go wrong, Filene.
Ellington Feint: People who think nothing can go wrong are usually disappointed.
—Chapter Eight
Sharon Haines: Don't get smart. The intruder had a phonograph with him. It broke to pieces.
Ellington Feint: You promised to take good care of that.
Sharon Haines: The machine is broken, but I still did my part. And I know he expects you to do yours.
—Chapter Eight
Honeydew melons! Grab all the honeydew melons!
 
— Chapter Eleven
We don't have time for nonsense. We're stealing honeydew melons.
 
— Chapter Eleven
Don't be sorry and don't be dizzy. Be on the bus.
 
— Chapter Eleven
we didn't come to Stain'd-by-the-Sea to make friends.
 
— Chapter Eleven

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

Sharon Haines: What are you doing at Stain'd Station?
Lemony Snicket: I might ask you the same thing.
Sharon Haines: I might ask you the same thing.
Lemony Snicket: You already did.
—Chapter Two
Where's Lizzie? You promised that if I boarded the train and pretended to be Hangfire, she would be set free. Where's Lizzie? Where is she?
 
— Chapter Eleven

Trivia

  • Her surname could be a reference to Canadian jazz-poet Paul Haines, or his daughter, Emily Haines, a songwriter and singer. The name may also come from the character Guy Haines from Patrcia Highsmith's 1950 novel, Strangers on a Train.
  • Lemony Snicket refers to her as "Mrs. Haines."[2] In English, "Mrs." refers to a woman who is married, as opposed to "Miss", an unmarried woman, or "Ms", which is neutral. This implies that Sharon is or was married; considering no spouse seems to be present during the timeline of All the Wrong Questions, it is likely that she is not currently married.

Family

 
 
 
 
Sharon Haines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lizzie Haines
 
 
 
Kellar Haines


Appearances


Gallery

Sources

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