“It was as if he were just playing, splashing and swishing like a child busy cooking up so ghastly brew of water, grass, and mud, which he then asserts to be soup. Yes, like a child, thought Baldini; all at once he looks like a child, despite his ungainly hand, despite his scarred, pockmarked faces and his bulbous old-man’s nose. I took him to be older than he is; but now he seems much younger to me; he looks as if he were three or four; looks just like one of those unapproachable, incomprehensible, willful little prehuman creatures, who in their ostensible innocence think only of themselves, who want to subordinate the whole world to their despotic will, and would do it, too, if one let them pursue their megalomaniacal ways and did not apply the strictest pedagogical principles to guide them to a disciplined, self-controlled, fully human existence.”
I though that this passage was very interesting because I believe that Baldini is the first person to actually see Grenuoille for what he truly is, a child. Yes, Grenuoille has committed murder, and done horrific things, but he is still only a young boy. And Baldini sees this rather than seeing a devilish, horrifying monster that most people see. What do you think about Baldini’s observance of Grenuoille??