Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy What's Up With the Epigraph?

By Ruth White

What's Up With the Epigraph?

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Ruth White actually talks about why she chose this particular quote from The Little Prince to use as her book's epigraph. As she explains it:

"It's about people's physical appearances and how we judge people by their appearance before we get to know them. It's about a person's life and how it looks as if a person might have everything, but then on the inside there's a deep wound." (Source.)

Who she's referring to, of course, is Gypsy—who seems like she has everything. She's ridiculously pretty, popular, and has a mother whom everyone in town adores. Everyone assumes that Gypsy has it made, and they don't realize that she's tortured by her father's death and finding him in a pool of his own blood. She has regular nightmares about seeing a dead animal, and she finds her beauty to be more a chore than anything. In focusing only on the physical side of Gypsy, people fail to truly get to know her. When they do, they find that beautiful Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster doesn't have it made after all.

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