The Little Prince
How we cite our quotes:
“This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside.”
I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my young judge: “That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this sheep will have to have a great deal of grass?” (2.27-8)
There are two kinds of transformations taking place in this scene. We need some twinkly lights or explode-y sounds. First, the narrator makes a drawing that changes a box into a sheep. Poof! Second, the prince’s face is transformed by his knowledge of that drawing. Swoosh! And the narrator is transformed because he realizes that the friend he’s been searching for all his life is in front of him. Ka-POW!
Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume. So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance. And this time everybody accepted his report. (4.7)
The astronomer’s facts don’t change at all. He’s always right about the existence of Asteroid B-612. However, until he changes his outer appearance, people don’t believe his facts. He has to be wearing a specific type of outfit for his ideas to be accepted by the adults. Once he changes his outfit, it’s like his ideas are brand new. People “accept” them without any problems, just because of how he’s dressed. Has that ever happened to you?
In certain more important details I shall make mistakes, also. But that is something that will not be my fault. My friend never explained anything to me. He thought, perhaps, that I was like himself. But I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through the walls of boxes. Perhaps I am a little like the grown-ups. I have had to grow old. (4.15)
Poor narrator guy. This comment that he makes is kind of sad. We know, because he keeps on saying so, that the narrator thinks most adults don’t understand what really matters. He doesn’t feel an affinity for them. That’s a fancy way of saying he doesn’t think he sees eye-to-eye with other adults.
What do we mean by this? Well, he feels like the odd one out: they don’t have the same kind of understanding. Grown-ups don’t view the world in the same way. But, as much as the narrator wants to be able to view the world with imagination and innocence, like the child that he used to be, he fears he may not have as much imagination as the prince he meets. Has he changed too much from the child he once was?