Novel Analysis Of The Little Prince
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) is a classic piece of literature that has been translated in over 300 languages.[endnoteRef:1] It is a book in which the inner child in grown-ups can relate as much as children do. This novella is about an aviator and a little Prince who simply met by a coincidence when they are in Sahara desert. Little Prince left his home planet to explore neighboring planets. He traveled in seven planets that include the planet Earth as his last destination. The aviator, on the other hand, was stranded in the middle of the desert due to some engine malfunction. [1: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-little-prince-is-now-the-most-translated-book-in-the-world-that-isnt-religious-it-totally-deserves-the-honor-50154 (accessed December 30, 2018)]
The Little Prince was first published in the United States in April 1943.[endnoteRef:2] A masterpiece written by a grown-up named Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator.[endnoteRef:3] He is known for his classic novels such as Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, The Aviator, Flight to Arras and his masterpiece, the Little Prince. The last-mentioned novel gained a lot of recognition and nominations. It was even featured in various exhibits and museums all over the world. Though Saint Exupéry is one of the most notable authors of twentieth century, he also started from humble beginnings. Before he was just like most of us—a dreamer. At the age of twelve, when he had his very first plane ride, he already knew where his passion lies, in aviation. Though his heart was purely dedicated on the field, his journey towards his dream was never easy. He almost reached the point when his interest in aviation took hold. It was when he failed the entrance exam for the Naval Academy. Fortunately, he was given another opportunity to fulfill his dream to fly a plane. It happened in 1921 during his mandatory military service. This time he made sure that he will make it. After a year, he became a pilot based in North Africa. After five years, he left the military to fly airmail between remote settlements in Sahara desert. Through his experiences as a pilot and his perennial love for aviation, he gained inspiration to write his notable works. Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is just one of his works of literature that shows how devoted he was for aviation. However, his love for aviation is also the reason why he was never found. During his reconnaissance flight in Southern France, he vanished. Mysteriously, he disappeared the same way the little Prince did. No one knew his whereabouts since then. [2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince (accessed December 30, 2018)] [3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_de_Saint-Exup%C3%A9ry (accessed December 30, 2018)]
The enchanting story of The Little Prince started when the protagonist, an aviator, who also happened to be the narrator of the story, crash-landed in the middle of Sahara desert. It is the hottest and driest place on Earth that made it nearly impossible to see any human inhabitant there. He thought he was a hopeless case, even worse than a shipwrecked sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. He was stranded alone but not until the sunrise after the crash. It was the time when he met the other protagonist of the story—the little prince. That morning, he was disturbed by the strange voice of the Prince. Seeing a not-so-normal boy suddenly appear before his eyes left him in astonishment for a moment. The fact that the boy doesn’t even seem lost or frightened despite being in a desert intrigued him. More than that, what actually bothered him is when out of nowhere, the little prince begged for a sheep. It might be normal for a child to ask for a sheep, but not when he is lost in the largest non-polar desert in the world.[endnoteRef:4] Although he responded to the pleading of the boy, he drew a boa constrictor from the inside and outside instead of a sheep since this is what he is good at ever since he was six. Surprisingly, the little prince recognized it and he was flattered. It was the very first time someone recognized his work. When he was young, grown-ups always mistook it as a hat that he set aside his career as an artist since he felt like it was not for him. At that time, the aviator knew how peculiar and interesting little prince was. He knew that boy was different from all the children and even from all the grown-ups. He knew that boy was different from all of us yet he chose to be with him because he understands him—the child within him. After that sudden realization and since he felt like they are on the same page, he drew what the Prince wanted. [4: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.beautifulworld.com%2Fafrica%2Falgeria%2Fsahara-desert%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0SiuysZ4SUBbLphNpfob1xQgQ9BWmix1PYSIEKXPvtsd_ps7N8fzQzjQo&h=AT2mzBBvSaZP80PnyVVfezunQ33gP2I_wFtdypS2lSwa-KeOX2Dk9IgYuG16XomlYaoX7nm2QZMysnuMAsmYERBLjd2isZtZF6chlRIztiV3H4rwmIXlD8kp_-GCisrDXsNO (accessed December 30, 2018)]
As much as he wanted to know more about the little prince, the boy tends to be closemouthed regarding his origin. He was inquisitive yet very reserved. This behavior of his stimulated the sense of urgency in the aviator to know more about the little prince. Though the boy did not spill the beans all at once, still, the aviator managed to somehow, know the little prince. Bit by bit, he discovered how melancholic the life of that boy was. Through their conversations, the little prince absentmindedly divulged his whereabouts. Once little prince mentioned the baobabs; giant trees that keeps on growing on his planet. He told the aviator how these baobabs pestered his planet that is why he requested a sheep, hoping that it will solve his problems. These baobabs perhaps describe the difficulties that we face in our lives. There are challenges that might seem simple and easy but if we do not take an action to solve it right away, it might become bigger and go beyond our control that it might cause chaos and dilemma. One time he also told the aviator that he lives all by himself. He said that he possessed nothing but baobabs and two volcanoes that was why he was really in high spirits when a flower suddenly grew from his planet. At first he thought that it was the common kind of flower that grows on his planet. The one that would bloom in the morning and wither on the evening but not until the flower stopped growing. He thought it was a miracle for a rose to grow on his planet. He was so happy when he saw one and he became easily attached to this rose since she is the only company he has. It may be bliss at first but as days pass by, he felt like it was a misery for him. She seemed to be conceited and unsophisticated but the truth is, she just cannot verbalize her feelings for the little prince. This rose perhaps signifies the mystery of love. We have different ways of expressing and interpreting love. In the prince’s case, he seemed to misinterpret the love of his rose that one time when he caught her in a lie, he doubted her love for him that he decided to leave. Abandoning the dearest rose and precious planet of his, he traveled in his neighboring planets. After that, he unveiled the characters in the seven planets that he visited.
He started off with a planet occupied by a king. He is a king who ruled over nothing. He is powerful to none since he is the only one living on his planet that is why he was as happy as ever when he saw the little prince approaching to his planet. Finally, he has someone to rule over. However, his short-lived power ended when little prince moved to the second planet. This is where he met a conceited man. He was so vain that he wanted to be admired by all. He is alone but likes the fact that he is the best man on his planet. The third planet that he visited was occupied by a tippler. This one is always in a state of senselessness due to excessive drinking. He even drinks to forget how addicted he was to alcohol, how ironic. The fourth planet that little prince visited was occupied by a businessman. He is too busy in his life to even greet the little prince in his arrival. He represents most of the grown-ups today, too consumed by their work that they cannot even interact with others anymore. He wanted to collect as many stars as he can yet he doesn’t even appreciate their significance. Little prince proceeded with his journey on the fifth planet. It was occupied by a lamplighter whom he admires for his faithfulness. Lamplighter, unlike the other grown-ups he met before, was selfless and dedicates himself to his duty. The last planet little prince visited before the Earth was occupied by a geographer. This grown-up has big books to study the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts. The prince was startled that this grown-up knows all except details about his own planet. Making an exception for the lamplighter, he thinks that these creatures are different from one another yet same shallow, narrow-minded grown-ups. After visiting the six planets, he finally heads to the planet Earth, a planet recommended by the geographer. When he finally arrived on Earth, he felt strange that there was no one there. Little did he know, he landed in Sahara desert, a land that is barely occupied by anyone. Though he cannot see any human in the desert, at least, he met a snake who always talks in puzzling riddles. It was the first creature that he saw on Earth and probably one of the last as well. This snake told the prince that he can send back anyone to his place faster than a ship will. The little prince understood very well what the snake was trying to say. They conversed really well but the prince left after that. The next creatures that little prince met were flowers. These are the same roses that he had on his planet. He felt disappointed to know that the flower that he owned is the same as the roses in the garden; he felt less of a Prince because of that. At that very moment, a fox appeared. The prince felt really bad at that time that he wanted a companion, a friend; that is why he asked the fox if they could be friends. The fox said that they cannot be friends unless the prince tames him. The fox said that the Prince is just like any other boy in his eyes since he hasn’t tamed him and the same goes with the little prince. The concept of taming signals a hint to the little prince. There is one creature that came up to his mind—his rose. Although she seemed to like all the other roses that can be found in the universe, she is unique and one of a kind because she tamed him. The thought of it makes the little prince yearn for his rose. As much as he wanted to spend more time with his very first friend on Earth, he continued on his journey to find a way back to his rose. The next creature that he saw was finally a human; he is a railway switchman who transfers people from one destination to another. He even has a better point of view than those thoughtless passengers. He shares the same sentiment with the little prince regarding trains. They think that only children can appreciate the enchanting part of riding trains. Another is a merchant who sells pills that can quench thirst. This saves up fifty-three minutes if people would not stop to grab a glass of water. It represents someone who takes shortcuts than taking the long way, a modern grown-up who wanted to take things easily and readily available for him. At that very moment during the Prince’s story-telling, the aviator drank his very last water supply. The prince as well, was as thirsty as the aviator so they decided to go look for a well. While walking in the sands Sahara, the little prince was mesmerized with the beauty of stars. It is because of the thought that a rose dear to him is somewhere in one of those stars. The aviator added that the desert is also beautiful like the stars. It’s because of the probability that a well might be hidden on it. He was right. After a long while, the aviator found a well at last. Seeing a rope and a pulley on the well, he was sure that it was not a mirage. The well perhaps signifies hope. Sometimes hope may appear as rare as the oasis in the desert but that is not an excuse to give up especially if there is still a spring of fresh water to look forward. They quench their thirst and after that, the little prince suggested that they part ways and meet next evening. As he came back he was shocked
In the end, the little prince is still yearning for his rose and he does not know how to go back in his home planet. At that thought, he remembered the snake, it said that it can bring back anyone to their places that is why he lets it bit him No one knew what happened next. He vanished in a blink of an eye that even the aviator did not noticed itfound so the aviator was still hopeful that he might be alive, somewhere in the stars. With that in mind, the aviator never sees stars the same anymore, for him in one of those stars, his friend is still alive
Though I like the book from the start up to the very last page, the part that really moved me was when the little prince confessed to the aviator that he had watched forty-four sunsets once. He must have been really sad and depressed that time since he said that one loves sunset when he is sad. Before,
This novel memadeis truly exceptional. It is definitely unique and one of a kind. Honestly, I never thought someone could have an imagination as wide as this. Perhaps I’m acting like the grown-ups; perhaps I am really growing old. Was I too shallow? Was I too narrow-minded? These thoughts came up to my mind as I was reading the novel. I felt like at some point in my life I became shallow and narrow-minded. For instance when the little prince felt disappointed when he realized that he possessed a common rose; he felt less of a prince. I can really relate to this part. It reminded me of my parents. Though I am grateful and honored to be their daughter, sometimes I failed to notice the efforts and sacrifices that they made for me and my siblings. This book made me less of a daughter but more of a person. It taught me how to be appreciative and thankful with what I have.
I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, especially to threcommend it who are too consumed with their busy lives that they tend to forget the essence and beauty of life. This book speaks for all of us—the child within us. It reminds us to value the importance of the things that we have in life. This captivating book was well-written by a dedicated author. He is wise enough not to spill all the details on the book. Such creative writing lets readers think and exercise their minds with all the riddles and figurative languages that he used. The cliffhanger ending is what makes it more meaningful. It lets the audience wonder how the story will end or how it should have ended. I myself am as curious as everybody else. Did little prince died? If he returned to his planet, did he reconcile with his rose or did she wither even before he came back? Things like that will remain unanswered since it is meant to be like that, open-ended and mysterious as ever.