The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince
About The Book
Plot Overview
Analysis
The Little Prince is philosophical tale, with humanist values,
shared from one generation to another for more than 75 years.
The Little Prince fable and modern classic that
was published with his own illustrations in
French as Le Petit Prince in 1943.
Author
The novella has been translated into hundreds of languages and
has sold some 200 million copies worldwide, making it one of
the best-selling books in publishing history.
The simple tale tells the story of a child, the little
prince, who travels the universe gaining wisdom.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Born on July 29th in Lyon, in an old Aristocratic Family,
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry serves in the Air army and becomes a pilot.
He received his pilot’s wings during his compulsory
military service in 1922, around which time he also began to write.
His vocation feed his writing, and both give him the French Medal of Honor.
His adventures as a pilot would supply the inspiration for
all of his literary endeavors, which culminated with the 1943
publication of the classic The Little Prince.
He disappeared in July 1944 while flying a reconnaissance
mission over occupied France during World War II,
leading to speculation over the cause of his death
that persists to the present day.
The narrator, an airplane pilot, crashes in the Sahara desert.
The narrator, who calls the child the little prince, learns that
the boy comes from a very small planet, which the narrator
believes to be asteroid B-612.
One day an anthropomorphic rose grows on the planet,
and the prince loves her with all his heart. Her vanity
and demands become too much for the prince, and he leaves.
At last he travels to Earth, where he meets a snake,
who says that he can return him to his home, and a flower,
who tells him that people lack roots.
The narrator and little prince have now spent eight
days in the desert and have run out of water.
The little prince tells the narrator that he plans to
return to his planet and flower and that now the stars
will be meaningful to the narrator, because he will know
that his friend is living on one of them.
The story resumes six years later. The narrator says
that the prince’s body was missing in the morning,
so he knows that he returned to his planet, and
he wonders whether the sheep that he drew him ate his flower.
He encounters a small boy who asks him for a
drawing of a sheep, and the narrator obliges.
On his asteroid-planet, which is no bigger than
a house, the prince spends his time pulling up baobab seedlings.
The prince travels to a series of asteroids,
each featuring a grown-up who has been reduced to a function.
He comes across a rose garden, and he finds
it very depressing to learn that his beloved rose is
not, as she claimed, unique in the universe.
The two then traverse the desert in search
of a well, which, miraculously, they find.
Returning to his planet requires allowing
the poisonous snake to bite him.
He ends by imploring the reader to contact
him if they ever spot the little prince.
A fox then tells him that if he tames the fox
then they will be unique and a source of joy to each other.
The Little Prince draws unflattering portraits
of grown-ups as being hopelessly narrow-minded.
In contrast, children come to wisdom through
open-mindedness and a willingness to explore
the world around them and within themselves.
The main theme of the fable is expressed in the
secret that the fox tells the little prince: “It is
only with the heart that one can see rightly:
what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The End
The story of the little prince ends in mystery.
We are left to figure out whether the prince
has managed to save his rose.
The only thing that is certain is that one of the
prince’s first questions, about whether the sheep
will eat his rose, has emerged in the end as the
most important question of all.
The final chapters are an allegory about
dealing with the death of a loved one.
The Little Prince deals with serious and even
upsetting issues, though emphasizes the idea that
good can be derived from sad events.
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