The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, a French pilot, and a writer, is an interesting story. The storyteller is a pilot who crashes his plane in the Sahara Desert. While stranded in the barren land, he meets Hemet a little prince from another planet known as Asteroid B-612. Their friendship will expose each of them to events and interesting pieces of information that will change their lives. The book is based on exploration, relationships, and nature.

Introduction

The Little Prince is a fairy tale and a scientific novel by a French pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The writer’s writing style has been described as mysterious and intriguing. The major characters in the book are the narrator who is the Pilot, the little Prince, the Fox, and the Snake.

He meets with a King who has no subjects and a drunkard who always drinks and forgets himself He will also meet a businessman who is materialistic and neglects the fineness of the stars. The Prince will also have an encounter with a lamplighter who does not see beyond lighting the lamp. But most interesting of all, the pompous, vain man and an elderly geographer who has refused to go anywhere. In his journey, the little Prince learns about love, forgiveness, and the actual meaning of life.

Overview

The narrator, an airplane pilot, crashes in the Sahara desert. The crash badly damages his airplane and leaves the narrator with very little food or water. As he is worrying over his predicament, he is approached by the little prince, a very serious little blond boy who asks the narrator to draw him a sheep. The narrator obliges, and the two become friends. The pilot learns that the little prince comes from a small planet that the little prince calls Asteroid 325 but that people on Earth call Asteroid B-612. The little prince took great care of this planet, preventing any bad seeds from growing and making sure it was never overrun by baobab trees. One day, a mysterious rose sprouted on the planet and the little prince fell in love with it. But when he caught the rose in a lie one day, he decided that he could not trust her anymore. He grew lonely and decided to leave. Despite a last-minute reconciliation with the rose, the prince set out to explore other planets and cure his loneliness.

While journeying, the narrator tells us, the little prince passes by neighboring asteroids and encounters for the first time the strange, narrow-minded world of grown-ups. On the first six planets the little prince visits, he meets a king, a vain man, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer, all of whom live alone and are overly consumed by their chosen occupations. Such strange behavior both amuses and perturbs the little prince. He does not understand their need to order people around, to be admired, and to own everything. With the exception of the lamplighter, whose dogged faithfulness he admires, the little prince does not think much of the adults he visits, and he does not learn anything useful. However, he learns from the geographer that flowers do not last forever, and he begins to miss the rose he has left behind.

At the geographer’s suggestion, the little prince visits Earth, but he lands in the middle of the desert and cannot find any humans. Instead, he meets a snake who speaks in riddles and hints darkly that its lethal poison can send the little prince back to the heavens if he so wishes. The little prince ignores the offer and continues his explorations, stopping to talk to a three-petaled flower and to climb the tallest mountain he can find, where he confuses the echo of his voice for conversation. Eventually, the little prince finds a rose garden, which surprises and depresses him—his rose had told him that she was the only one of her kind.

The prince befriends a fox, who teaches him that the important things in life are visible only to the heart, that his time away from the rose makes the rose more special to him, and that love makes a person responsible for the beings that one loves. The little prince realizes that, even though there are many roses, his love for his rose makes her unique and that he is, therefore, responsible for her. Despite this revelation, he still feels very lonely because he is so far away from his rose. The prince ends his story by describing his encounters with two men, a railway switchman and a salesclerk.

It is now the narrator’s eighth day in the desert, and at the prince’s suggestion, they set off to find a well. The water feeds their hearts as much as their bodies, and the two share a moment of bliss as they agree that too many people do not see what is truly important in life. The little prince’s mind, however, is fixed on returning to his rose, and he begins making plans with the snake to head back to his planet. The narrator is able to fix his plane on the day before the one-year anniversary of the prince’s arrival on Earth, and he walks sadly with his friend out to the place the prince landed. The snake bites the prince, who falls noiselessly to the sand.

The narrator takes comfort when he cannot find the prince’s body the next day and is confident that the prince has returned to his asteroid. The narrator is also comforted by the stars, in which he now hears the tinkling of his friend’s laughter. Often, however, he grows sad and wonders if the sheep he drew has eaten the prince’s rose. The narrator concludes by showing his readers a drawing of the desert landscape and by asking us to stop for a while under the stars if we are ever in the area and to let the narrator know immediately if the little prince has returned.

The book is a masterpiece in its own right that enables readers both young and old; understand the importance of exploration and relationship.

Exploration and knowledge

The Pilot thinks he knows so much, but experience shows him that he knew nothing. He feels exploring is a loss of time and sees his life to be too precious to waste. The Little Prince leaves his planet and learns more through exploration. He explores the outside world and also himself.

Explorers are people who travel beyond mountains, oceans, and planets. Some people explore mainly for adventure going to new places, meeting new people, and taking new challenges. European countries are known to have sent explorers to find new lands, treasures, and more territory for the country. Mostly they went out for political and economic aggrandizement; searching for gold and silver, but there are lots of things worth exploring such as knowledge

When you explore, you know the truth about other places and not just your idea. The people you’ll meet in your journey may teach you many unimaginable things outside your comfort zone. Check the Prince’s experience; it is when he meets with the Fox that he’ll learn many things. Humans always focus on acquiring wealth and forget that they do not just sit at a place to get knowledge. When you center your whole life in a particular locality, you will not be aware of the other person ideas, beliefs, and principles. You only learn when you move around and as such grow.

Relationship

When two people build a relationship, an unbreakable bond holds them together for a long time. When The Prince meets the Fox, his life turns around as he teaches him the true meaning of friendship. Their friendship grows, and The Prince sees him as a rare gem.

Friendship is built on love, respect, understanding, and generosity. Love and responsibility are the true nature of friendship, as seen between The Prince and storyteller. Also, friends give each other all the time, but these gifts may not necessarily be materials but those positive impacts we make on our friends. For instance, after the storyteller tames The Prince, the little boy leaves him with a beautiful gift of laughter. Both the storyteller and the Fox learn lessons from The Prince that will better their lives. Due to the impact, he makes in their lives; they miss The Prince when he leaves to his planet.

In life, we appreciate people who impact on us irrespective of whom they are and as such respect them too. The Little Prince teaches us to be good friends than being a nuisance in the name of friendship.

Children and the grownups

The grownups in the novel do not understand the true meaning of friendship. They are engulfed with pride, selfishness, and lack of experience. Well, they may be pardoned because they lack the experience of exposure since the failed to see the importance of exploration. The Prince in this novel becomes more experienced than the adults around him after his explorations. His journey exposes him to different kinds of adults on the planets he visits. For instance, he meets an alcoholic, a proud man, geographer, the lamplighter and so could appreciate their different characters.

This novel is shows that when it comes to adults and children, the latter usually have more zeal for knowledge and exploration. Children typically are not yet familiar with the things of society. As a result, they’re more eager and excited to learn new things and explore places. These adults he meets do not have a vision but notices only what is presented to them at the moment. The little Prince sees the grownups as very strange and unimaginative

Saint-Exupery highlights the shortcomings and impediments of the adults. He’s not telling us that growing up is wrong or a problem, but it’s an inevitable and necessary process. However, adults need to work on themselves and also remember their zeal for knowledge when they were children. Parents always think that they are wiser and more experienced than their children. Yes, they are older but not smarter. Most times, they don’t buy the ideas of the kids, theirs are always better. No wonder the little Prince finally tells the adults that life is easier by making friends and exploring.

Innocence

The book tells us that adults have lost their innocence and have stopped looking for the truth. They tell lies and carry out various forms of evil since looking for the truth would mean exposing themselves. The most valued attribute between the Pilot and the little Prince is innocence. Innocence gives us the capacity to view and see the valuable things of life. It helps you to stay away from evil and enables you to live in harmony. Innocence also fosters cordial relationships with the people around you like the relationship between the Pilot and the little Prince.

It’s very saddening that today’s world is filled with evil and different kinds of atrocities. Imagine that the Pilot feels the need to keep the little Prince away from the earth to protect him. He feels the earth was too bad and dangerous for the little Prince. In this era, many things happening around us have robbed even the little children of their innocence. The adults who are supposed to protect them are the ones aiding and abetting corruption. It’s safe to say that the internet is not helping the matter at all. Nowadays, our children are learning terrible things online and losing their innocence daily.

Even the little Prince felt the need to go back to his planet Asteroid in other to keep his Rose safe. Where will we take our little ones to protect them from the harsh realities of our present societies? No wonder Neil Clark sees the book as a “bird’s eye of humanity”. Let’s start from where we are to reclaim the lost innocence of our era. That way, many things will change, and our societies may become better.

Nature

Do you know that Nature whispers to us when we are in difficulties? It strengthens our immune system and makes us healthy. People are encouraged to plant trees, flowers, and keep pets to appreciate nature. Apart from planting them, people should try hard to conserve nature because, without these elements, we may forget our origin.  In all the Planets the little Prince visited, he realized that the grownups did not see the beautiful things of nature. They never appreciated the things of life. In the different planets, the people are full of themselves and in no small extent foolish. The King believes he could make the sun rise and set whenever he wants. The businessman thinks he owns the stars and the moon. The adults think they have control or own all the elements of nature and everything that made up their planets.

But the Prince is different. He appreciates nature and sees the beautiful things of life. Back on his planet, he cares for his flower and his volcanoes. He sees and embraces his responsibilities and make sure that they stay away from the harmful baobabs. He realizes that to be happy; you have to care for nature.

Conclusion

There are many lessons in the experience of a young boy who leaves his planet to learn more about life. The Pilot’s experience teaches that we cannot touch or see the most beautiful things in the world. However, we can feel it in our heart.

The book teaches both children and adults how to associate with people around them. The Prince left his planet to learn more but could mingle among strangers. The writer Saint-Exupery used different symbolization to enable the reader to understand his concepts better. The King represents the uselessness of power while the Fox symbolizes love. The flower is a prized possession and water signifies spiritual food that nourishes the soul. We should learn to appreciate everything around us and avoid harmful behaviors.

Other important aspects of this book are that adults should sometimes listen to the little ones who travel and learn. Life doesn’t end in one place and let’s not always think that we’ve known all there is to human existence.

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