You might be wondering why these weirdos are filed under “Symbols” as well as under “Character Analysis.” After all, technically they’re people. They have roles they play—and, you could say, they each have their own guiding interest or main idea. But, as fits characters in an allegory, they’re each defined by what they are and what they represent. These characters are more important to the story for what they teach the prince than for who they are. Most of them don’t even get physical descriptions. Without the illustrations, we wouldn’t even know about what they look like.
Here’s what we do know: They’re grown-ups. They’re mostly interested in their own “matters of consequence,” which don’t seem that consequential to anyone else. And they each see the world as it relates to them. This is highlighted by the fact that they each literally “live in their own world”—they inhabit tiny planets that they share with no one else.
For more about the king, the businessman, the geographer, the conceited man, the tippler, the lamplighter, the railway switchman, and the salesman, check out their individual pages in the “Character Analysis” section.