What differentiates adults from children in The Little Prince?

Children are differentiated from adults in The Little Prince because of their imagination, innocence, and clear-eyed openness to experience. Adults have lost the child's capacity for wonder, because of their preoccupation with utilitarian concerns such as money.

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In The Little Prince, the pilot who tells the prince's story differentiates between the imaginations of children and adults. Whenever he shows adults a picture he has drawn, they say it is a hat. Only children—and the Little Prince—can see that it is actually a picture of a boa constrictor who has swallowed an elephant. This shows from the start of the story the gap that exists between adults and children.

The Little Prince has retained all the attributes of childhood that make children superior to adults. Not only does he have a vivid and active imagination; he is innocent, and his innocence allows him to see what is truly valuable in life while leaving him open to learn.

For example, in his innocence, he loves his difficult and deceptive rose dearly and does his best to protect and care for her until her behavior forces him to leave. On his journey through the galaxy, he is confused and saddened by adult preoccupations with what seem to him as meaningless tasks, such as claiming...

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