Review The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

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Content Summary

The Little Prince, French Le Petit Prince is a contemporary narrative published in French by French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1943 with his own illustrations.

The Little Prince Price Comparison

AmazonMariner Books$6.89
Amazon (Kindle)Mariner Books $15.99
Barnes and NobleHarper Collins Publishers$10.49
Barnes and Noble (Nook)Harper Collins Publishers$6.99

The book tells the story of the Little Prince, a boy who wanders the universe seeking wisdom. The book has been translated into hundreds of languages and has sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books in publishing history.

So, what kind of life did Antoine de Saint Exupery, the author of The Little Prince, who is so well known all over the world, live?

Who is Antoine de Saint Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a French writer, aviator, poet and writer. Growing up in an aristocratic family, the artist fell in love with aviation at a young age after taking his first flight at the age of 12. In 1922, during his compulsory military service, he received the title of pilot and started writing at this time.

Although he has many works, his most important literary work, The Little Prince, which is a children’s tale for adults, is referred to as the poetic and mystical depiction of a pilot stranded in the desert talking to a young prince from another planet. It was written and illustrated by Saint-Exupéry and published in both French and English in the United States in 1943. Considered one of the greatest books of the 20th century, the work has been the subject of numerous adaptations.

A photograph of Antoine de Saint Exupery

A photograph of Antoine de Saint Exupery

Summary of The Little Prince

Stories create our world, enable us to perceive the universe. We tell them to each other. Simply conveying the facts cannot make us understand; The only means by which we can attribute meaning to facts are narratives. For us, life is worth living only with meaning. The way we see the world as a community, a civilization, depends primarily on the stories we tell (and retell) each other.

In The Little Prince, the pilot tells how he gave up his passion to be a painter and became a pilot like a real-life writer. The story begins like this: The pilot once had to land his plane in the middle of the Sahara Desert. It is in the middle of nowhere, and there is no sign of civilization even a thousand miles beyond. He sleeps in the sands of the desert under the starry sky. Then in the morning he wakes up with a sound.

The voice comes from another boy dressed as a prince, who asks the pilot to draw a sheep on a piece of paper. He draws one, the prince does not like it, and then he has to redraw another and another. Until he gets frustrated and draws a box and explains to the prince that the sheep are in the box. Thereupon the Prince

“This is exactly how I wanted it!”

he replies.

The prince then tells him about a planet called B612. He tells that he is trying to prevent the planet from shrinking and disappearing because of the baobab trees. While the prince is struggling like this, one day a rose appears. First it is a bud, a sapling, but then it grows into a flower that takes your breath away. The prince and the rose fall in love, but soon the rose’s demands for intense attention lead to frustration for the prince.

A ımage from the 2015 movie The Little Prince

A ımage from the 2015 movie The Little Prince

The prince and the rose are separated from each other. Without a word, the prince joins a flock of birds, leaving the rose all alone on the little planet. This is a reflection of a stage that most people go through throughout their lives. A love that would have been more successful if both people could say what they wanted to say… Yet, in the end, a love lost because both people hesitated to speak…

On Earth, the Prince meets a snake who says he can bring him back home, and a flower that tells him humans are rootless. He stumbles upon a rose garden and is deeply saddened to learn that his beloved rose is not, as he claims, unique in the universe.

The Topic of The Little Prince

Throughout the book, Saint-Exupéry criticizes many aspects of humanity. He claims that people are too preoccupied with power and technology, missing out on the important things in life. Not taking the time to love others and noticing the little wonders of the world, people rush about in search of things; but they are never satisfied with where they are because they are chasing the wrong things. They set off again, like trains controlled by the switchman. People are made to believe that facts and numbers matter, just like the geographers in the book; however, what is put before us often hides the truth and causes one to lose sight of the true meaning of life.

Similarly, when a person is successful and has amassed some wealth, he spends all his time counting his assets rather than focusing on the important moments of life. They finally realize that their life has no meaning.

One of the first original illustrations of The Little Prince

One of the first original illustrations of The Little Prince

The Little Prince paints us portraits of narrow-minded adults. In contrast, children attain wisdom through open-mindedness, a willingness to explore the world around them and within themselves. The main theme of the tale is expressed when the fox tells the Little Prince: “Here is my secret, it is very simple: one can see the truth only with the heart. The essence of truth is invisible.”

The Little Princes Quotes

“Here is my secret, it is very simple: one can see the truth only with the heart. The essence of truth is invisible to the eye. “

The Little Prince shows the thematic chain of understanding between different creatures through the interpretation of the fox, who says that the important is often not visible to us. So, the author wanted to emphasize the idea that when there is understanding, disagreements can be resolved and impossible things become possible for human beings. When the pilot finds out about this, he repeats it several times in his mind to decipher its meaning.

“You are responsible until you die, for everything you have bonded with.”

The theme of effort has been one of the most dominant themes in the novel because the Little Prince made great efforts to grow his rose like a lover. He tamed her more lovingly, and the fox indicates that he is responsible for what he tamed. All the characters, including the prince and the pilot, care for and strive for each other by creating a relationship… These relationships change their world. Therefore, when the prince dies and leaves the world, the pilot begins to suffer from loneliness.

“It is much harder to judge yourself than it is to judge others. If you can judge yourself, you are a true sage.”

Oh growing up… The novel shows the thematic line of children’s growth through The Little Prince, who he thought was a child until the pilot told him about the important things in life. The pilot is slightly aware of life’s ingenuity, but when his life crosses with the Little Prince, he learns the importance of interaction in life, love and human relationships. At the same time, through this little friend, who paints an exciting picture with his narratives of different planets, he also recognizes and distances himself from negative human emotions such as pride, smugness and greed.

General Evaluation of The Lİttle Princes

Although the style adopted by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for the narration of The Little Prince seems very simple, easy to understand and fluent, it is inexplicably mysterious and extremely captivating. At the same time, we can see examples of the style of “poetry in prose”. The fairy tale, which seems like it was written for young children, has almost the same peculiar appeal to adults because of the simplicity of its language and the depth of the message it conveys. The narrative is told in the first person singular. First by the pilot, then by the Little Prince… Although it has some dialogue, it also has an informal language that is often used for children’s literature.

It is possible to see the story as an allegory. In fact, the author’s message can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the reader. The story was written primarily for adults to explain how valuable it would be to benefit from children’s worldview.

Books of Antoine de Saint Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is among the most read books for years with many stories he wrote on the values that modern man is about to forget.

  • The Aviator
  • Southern mail
  • Night Flight
  • Wind, Sand and Stars
  • Flight to Arras
  • The Little Prince
  • A Sense of Life

References

https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/fox-taming-and-teaching 

https://www.thelittleprince.com/ 

Review The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
  • Story
  • Fiction
  • Wording
  • Atmosphere
5

Briefly My Opinion

The Little Prince is a terrific book that states that adults lost in vehicles must strive to find their purpose again.

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