‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ by Hans Christian Andersen

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen, 1837

The magic trick:

Doubling down on the emperor’s misplaced pride, even after the fairy tale’s lesson should have been taught

This should have been installed as mandatory daily reading in the U.S. beginning Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. The resemblance of the idiot emperor in this story to Donald Trump is just too obvious.

Everything about this story is perfect. What can I possibly assign as a magic trick?

I guess my favorite aspect is the end. You’re geared up for the emperor to be exposed. There has to be a better word choice, sorry.

But you’re waiting the whole story for the scam to be uncovered. Still struggling, I apologize. I swear this is not intentional.

Anyway, you wait and you wait and finally the child at the end speaks his innocent mind. Surely, now the truth is out! And it is.

Yet it doesn’t matter. The emperor doubles down on his pomposity and carries on in spite of it all. Talk about Trumpian leadership.

And that’s quite a trick on Andersen’s part.

The selection:

The Emperor now sent another officer of his court to see how the men were getting on, and to ascertain whether the cloth would soon be ready. It was just the same with this gentleman as with the minister; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see nothing at all but the empty frames.

“Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you, as it did to my lord the minister?” asked the impostors of the Emperor’s second ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and colors which were not there.

“I certainly am not stupid!” thought the messenger. “It must be, that I am not fit for my good, profitable office! That is very odd; however, no one shall know anything about it.” And accordingly he praised the stuff he could not see, and declared that he was delighted with both colors and patterns. “Indeed, please your Imperial Majesty,” said he to his sovereign when he returned, “the cloth which the weavers are preparing is extraordinarily magnificent.”


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