The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

When the author was six, he read about a boa constrictor swallowing a wild beast. He illustrated it, and people thought it looked like a hat. However, when he showed them that there was an elephant inside in the boa constrictor, adults were not impressed. They discouraged him from taking up art as a career. The author eventually became a pilot. Since then, he had a bad opinion of adults as they appeared to pass judgments. Grown-ups are very serious people.

Once the author crash landed in the Sahara, he had to repair the plane’s engine himself. It was a life and death situation as there was only water for 8 days. He met a little prince in his dreams, who requested that the author draw him a sheep. After a few attempts at drawing, the author finally drew a crate, where the sheep was inside. The little prince liked how abstract the concept was.

The little prince was intrigued that the author crashed from the sky in a plane. The author tried to probe where the little prince was from. In the little prince’s world, everything was very small. The little prince didn’t like the idea of tying up the sheep. The prince lived in a very small planet. Grown-ups love to judge others by their appearance and the better dressed you were, the more people would be willing to listen to you. Grown-ups like numbers and details and tended to judge things by their value in monetary terms. The little prince came from Asteroid B-612. The author valued the value of friendship. Grown-ups find it hard to visualize.

The little prince thought that sheep could eat baobabs. In reality, they were too tall for sheep to eat it. He wanted them to eat it as they were considered bad plants, where they should be extracted when young before they became too tall. Be disciplined and pull up the baobabs regularly. Do not let them grow to too large a size or your planet will be destroyed. The author drew a picture of the baobab. The little prince boasted that in his planet, he could view 44 sunsets at a time. He liked sunsets a lot and longed for them as they made him feel better.

The little prince asked whether sheep ate flowers with thorns. The author replied yes. Thorns are no good and it is just a flower’s expression of being mean. The little prince was terribly annoyed that the author was being so serious and didn’t care about how useful the thorn could be to a flower. The little prince saw the thorns as a form of protection against external threats. The author consoled the little prince and stopped fixing his plane. He wanted to draw a muzzle for the prince’s sheep so that the sheep won’t be able to eat the flower.

The little prince took care of a flower in his own planet by watering it. The flower developed thorns after a while. The little prince was not concerned and neglected the flower. Eventually, he came to know of how to love her.

The little prince wanted to leave the planet. However, he stayed to protect his planet first before he left. He uprooted the baobab shoots, watered his flower and raked out the active volcanoes. The flower encouraged the little prince to be happy. The flower knew that she could take care of yourself and didn’t need the little prince’s help or to be placed under glass.

The little prince visited other planets after he left his own. He came upon a planet with an authoritative king. To the king, everyone was his subject. The king liked to order others around. However, yet he was kind. The king ruled over everything. It was a universal monarch. The king only gave reasonable orders and would only grant the little prince’s wish of a sunset when the time was right. The king wanted the little prince to be the minister of justice. He wanted the little prince to pass judgment on himself, rather than others. The little prince left the planet. Reflecting on his encounter with the king, the little prince thought that the king was weird.

The little prince met a very vain man at the second planet. To this man, everyone was his admirer. The man instructed the prince to clap and after he clapped, the man gave him a tip. Even though he was the only one on the planet, he wanted praise and acknowledgement from the little prince. The man thought he was the most handsome, best-dressed, most intelligent and richest man on the planet.

In the third planet, the little prince met a drunkard who was drinking to forget his sense of shame of drinking.

In the fourth planet, he came upon a businessman. The businessman was too busy calculating his figures and ignored the little prince, claiming he was trivial and unimportant. He was disturbed by a beetle, rheumatism and the little prince in his life. Due to the lack of exercise owing to his busy schedule, the businessman contracted rheumatism. The businessman owned the stars, claiming he was the first man to think of this idea. To the businessman, he would count the stars and write the figure down on a piece of paper. The little prince commented that the businessman was of no use for his stars.

In the fifth planet, the little prince met a lamplighter and a street lamp. The lamplighter could light up or extinguish the street lamp. The lamplighter claimed he was following orders to light up the lamp in the evening and extinguishing it in the morning. As the world was turning faster, the lamplighter had less free time to pursue his other interests. A solution would be to walk fast to ensure it remained in daylight so that the lamplighter could do other things. However, he didn’t have the chance to rest. This planet was blessed with a lot of sunsets due to it spinning very quickly. Of all the people he met, the little prince respected the lamplighter the most. The little prince felt that his work had meaning.

In the sixth planet, he met an old gentlemen who wrote enormous book. The old man was a geographer. The little prince was impressed with his occupation. The old man couldn’t admit whether there were oceans, rivers etc on his planet as he was not an explorer. The old man didn’t trust explorers who were drunk and even the good ones were questioned morally. Good explorers needed to provide evidence before the old man would accept what was said. The old man didn’t recognize the flower as part of geography he should record as it was short-lived. He advised the little prince to visit planet Earth.

In the seventh planet, the little prince landed on Earth. There were 2 billion grown-ups on earth. Lamplighters were hard at work before the invention of electricity. The little prince was impressed by the lamplighters and their hard work and dedication.

Grown-ups think they are very important. The little prince met a snake on planet Earth, in a desert in Africa. He was wondering where all the people were. The snake took pity on the little prince and let him off, without poisoning him

Across the desert, the little prince came upon a flower with 3 petals. He asked the flower where the people were and the flower replied that people are on the move and are never still. This particular flower felt neglected for humans didn’t stop to tend to him.

The little prince climbed a high mountain, hoping to see people from afar. However, he found none of them. After hearing his own echo, he thought Earth was a very lonely place.

The little prince finally found a road where he saw many of the same flowers that existed on his planet. Initially, he felt that his flower would not like the fact to learn that there were many similar ones. He felt honored that he had owned just one flower.

People where you live grow five thousand roses in one garden…yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…and yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart. – The Little Prince

The little prince came upon a fox. The fox commented that people loved to hunt and raise chickens. The fox explained that unless a relationship be developed between the both of them, they wouldn’t need each other. The little prince claimed that the flower tamed him. The fox was disappointed with his life as he had not made any connection with anyone. The fox begged the prince to tame him. The fox suggested that the little prince sit in the grass every day and with each passing day, he should advance slightly closer to the fox. Also, the fox encouraged the little prince to return at the same time every day so as to seem predictable. Language is the source of misunderstandings. The little prince looked at his rose and appreciated the beauty of it. The fox said this to the little prince ‘One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.’ The little prince became responsible for his rose.

That’s right. For me you’re only a little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me. I’ll be the only fox in the world for you. – The Fox in the book, The Little Prince

The little prince met a railway switchman. He was surprised at the speed at which people travelled and appreciated the beauty of being a child.

People start out in express trains, but they no longer know what they’re looking for. Then they get all excited and rush around in circles…It’s not worth the trouble… – The Little Prince

The little prince met a salesclerk who sold pills to quench thirst so that people could save time from drinking water. He didn’t understand why people did that.

The eight days were up and there was no more water for the author left. He was going to die of thirst. The little prince commented that the stars were beautiful. The author was very appreciative of nature around him, like the desert and the stars. Both the author and the little prince decided to look for a well. The next morning, he found the well.

They started tugging at the rope attached to the pulley. Finally when they both got to sip from the well, they appreciated the beauty of their long and arduous walk together. They claimed that people need to look with their heart rather than with their eyes. The author drew a muzzle for the little prince’s sheep. Be responsible for those you have tamed. The little prince had been on Earth for one anniversary (year) and it was time to go.

At night, you’ll look up at the stars. It’s too small, where I live, for me to show you where my star is. It’s better that way. My star will be…one of the stars, for you. So you’ll like looking at all of them. They’ll all be your friends. – The Little Prince

 

People have stars, but they aren’t the same. For travelers, the stars are guides. For other people, they’re nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they’re problems. For my businessman, they were gold. But all those stars are silent stars. You, though, you’ll have stars like nobody else. – The Little Prince

The little prince was sitting on top of the wall. He appeared to be talking to someone. At the bottom of the wall, there was a snake. As the author approached, the snake slithered away. The little prince was heading back to his planet today. The author was touched and longed for his presence. As a parting note, the little prince imagined what the author will feel when he looked up to the stars. His author would be able to enjoy a laugh once he glanced up at the stars, as it would remind him of the little prince. Due his last moment on earth, the little prince did not want the author to witness his moment of pain. The snake poisoned the little prince and he felt to the ground.

Six years have passed and people were glad that the author was alive.  If the little prince forgot to keep the flower under the glass or if the sheep managed to break free of the muzzle, the laughs would turn into tears. No one would ever know whether this would really occur on the little prince’s planet. ‘And no grown-up will ever understand how such a thing could be so important!’

What I think the little prince is trying to tell me: Adults are boring, don’t know how to appreciate the arts, like to use stereotypes, culturally-insensitive, serious, calculative, judgmental, uncaring, cold, aloof, authoritative, domineering, depressed, vain, condescending, materialistic, unhealthy, lead the rat race, weird, theoretical, lonely, unfriendly, busy, aimless, clingy and stubborn. Kids are on the other hand are, creative, imaginative, well-prepared, nature-loving, caring, curious, diligent, determined, passionate, affectionate, dreamy, optimistic, interesting and receptive! I think there is certainly some truth in that. A real classic! – Marcus Chan

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5 thoughts on “The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

  1. Pingback: A Review of ‘BE in the Moment by Iris Tan’ | Book & Quote Monster

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