The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
Translated from French to English by Katherine Woods
I myself believe that I am not a child anymore. Yet this book, categorized as literature and also a children’s book. It actually is a children’s book for grown-ups as they said.
The cover design and also relatively easy sentences might give you the impression of a children’s book. Instead what you will find is rather symbolized, implicit, while having some blunt messages at the same time.
I warn you in advance that you might find spoilers below. Although I am under the impression that I am not revealing much of it.
The story is being delivered from a narrator’s perspective. While the narrator is also becoming one of the main characters, his name has never been revealed to us through the whole story.
The narrative approached with a short flashback. He found himself keep regretting the grown-ups’ failure to be more imaginative. Therefore they might neglect the better potential especially for a young kid. Until eventually he becomes an explorer that have encountered with many people, especially grown-ups.
We find the main plot when he was having an accident with the plane. He had an emergency landing in the middle of the Sahara desert. Alone and isolated within a thousand miles from any human inhabitants.
The Little Prince
Suddenly after being stranded overnight alone, he was awakened. As the sun rise, the Little Prince, who looks like a small man, brandish him a question. For me while reading it, I prefer to imagine him as a young kid at the age of 11-12 years old.
The Little Prince’s conduct seems to be lacking in comprehending the grave situation of our narrator. He also has a pragmatic way of thinking. Which proved to help him conceive what seems as a complex idea to be very much simple in some occasions. Adding to that, as what the nature of a child shows, he is also adorable, honest, and stays true. He will never give up any of his questions until he is satisfied. At least until he face the riddled words of the snake.
He does not seem lost or drawn by anything. Nor he emerged to be just undergoing a long journey while in fact he is.
And as the exchange goes for a good while, it unfolds slowly. He apparently came from a far away planet to explore, learn, and to find a friend. While indeed he is just running from a broken heart.
Going deeper into the plot we know that the Little Prince apparently has gone around several other planets, however finding the inhabitants of each of the planets are very much peculiar, eventually he ended up landing on earth.
For me, this book presents us with symbolism in a way but also outspoken critics for the grown-ups.
The first highlight points to me is when the book mentioned how grown-ups lack imagination and perspective while unimaginative considered as sensible.
And these critics again are being emphasized on the little prince’s journey around other planets i.e. stars he visited and found these defective characters of the grown-ups inhabitants on those planets.
These grown-ups are dealing with the stars and their planets with greed, hallucination of power, delirious of wealth, over narcissistic, hiding from reality, circular pointless ego, routines without passion, unwillingness to push the boundaries, etc.
As the grown-ups maintain consequences and responsibility as an excuse to defend their trivial matters and bad practices, truly they fail to prioritize and miss out on what is important.
What actually matters is not merely valued by how much it is worth and how it can benefit a certain agenda rather than by senses, experience, and passion.
In a broader sense, imaginative perspective, creative approach, and characters’ quality might prevent us from tensions, conflicts, greed, wars, killing, and unjust. Instead those will give a better hope. Hopes that lead us into understanding, empathy, respect, and appreciate one another for the better meaning of life.
Reflection to The Current Era
These days with our digital, online, meta verse, e-things, have made our personal interactions crumbling. Our family and personal relationships are tasteless and uninspired.
In the current era we also find artificial modification. With the intent to grasp an instant result. It is not always worthwhile. Be real and enjoy the process to find and achieve your real purpose.
Value and appreciate more for those you loved and worth striving for, worth dying for. Be the best example and role model for them, have more quality time with them. You will never know and suddenly you have no time no more for them. And what is left only regret.
What bothers me is how the twisted end befell our dear Little Prince. Throughout the journey we found an anticlimax with the hope to survive. I certainly and strongly believe that we need to strive for that hope rather than believing the shortcut offered by the twisted snake.
Anyway, one interesting theory came to my notice. As the narrator admitted in the beginning of the book.
What if the Little Prince, and all of these stories and his journeys are simply the imagination of our narrator?.
The narrator himself also has accomplished visiting many places and meeting many people as a pilot. Hence as he was trying to withstand the heat and the thirst for several days, would that lead him to hallucinations?
Is the Little Prince too good to be true?
It can’t be, we are not willing to let go of our pure child instincts. The Little Prince was true as the story goes.
Or……. Are you also one of those grown-ups???.
Source: The Little Prince Ebook
Article Cover: Le Petit Prince Movie