How does Aldrick change over the course of the book? What are some examples showing his change?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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In my opinion, the changes in Aldrick Prospect amount to a sad, sad story.  He changes from a loyal rebel into an isolated and misguided criminal.

The tradition of the Trinidad Carnival has always been particularly important for Aldrick.  He takes great pride in one thing:  designing his costume for the dragon int he parade.  This loyalty to Trinidad is his beautiful rebellion against the oppression in his society.  It has always stood in the way of him having a "real" job.  In Aldrick's mind, it connects him to the ancients of Africa.

Unfortunately, this loyalty becomes extreme and misguided, eventually landing Aldrick in jail.  The dragon costume becomes SO important, he can't find love with Sylvia.  The guilt from this drives him further into isolation, rejecting the rest of his neighbors and betraying his very best friend.  This eventually dives him even away from his community importance as the dragon.  In a sort of misunderstood stupor, Aldrick steals a police car and is imprisoned for five years.

Here is another change: after he is let out of prison, Aldrick realizes his mistake and seeks out his love, Sylvia. Sylvia is engaged to be married to someone else (Guy). The end of the story still ends in despair and depression for Aldrick as he runs from the Hill.