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The Little Prince
THE LITTLE PRINCE
In the eyes of a child, there is joy, there is laughter. But as time ages us, as soon as we flowered and became grown-ups the child inside us all fades that we forget that once, we were a child.
The story begins about drawings of closed and open boa constrictors. Later, the author relates a story about the Turkish astronomer who discovers the little prince’s home, Asteroid B-612. When he presents his findings to the International Congress of Astronomy, dressed in his comical Turkish outfit, he is not believed. Man has not learned to look beneath the exterior, or rather, he has forgotten how. Because adults never look within, they will never know themselves or others.
A fox is one cunning animal. And in the story, it is proven to be right. From the fox’s lesson that one can see only what is essential by looking with the heart, the author leaves the desert as a changed person. He agrees with the little prince’s thought: “the stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen”.
The rose is very fragile and needs constant care. Love is not a matter of choice; it is a matter of consequence; indeed, it is a matter of survival. Men must learn to love one another or expire. Love is what gives life meaning. The little prince’s love for his rose is so important to him that his love gives the author’s life purpose and direction.
The fox teaches the little prince how to love. It is the time that one “wastes” on someone or something that makes it important. It is the fox that tells us how love overcomes existentialism: “One only knows the things that one tames… Men buy things already made in the stores. But as there are no stores where friends can be bought, men no longer have friends.”
The three volcanoes represent our problems. The active volcano is our current problems; the extinct, our past trials, and the dormant, the problems that we don’t know if they are through or there are still to come. But as the rain stops pouring down, rainbow starts to form. Joy and pleasure must be earned-- not given or received -- like the joy the water from well gives to the little prince and the pilot. Its sweetness comes from the journey under the stars and the work of the pilot’s arms making the pulley sing.
The different planets that the little prince visited and the people he met presents man’s preoccupations with useless pastimes, wealth and power, and technology. It is these human characteristics that cause man “to miss the essentials in life: beauty, love and friendship”
Drinking is a meaningless activity. The roundabout logic of the tippler shows the stupidity of this activity when he explained to him why he drinks. Man’s need for attention is presented in the conceited man who lives in the second planet. Man’s obsession with wealth and power is seen through the King and Businessman. The king puts a great deal of importance into being obeyed when he orders only what would happen anyway. The businessman takes great price in owning all the stars, a collector too busy counting them to get any pleasure from their beauty. The little prince tries to show the pointlessness of his “property” by explaining that it does the stars no good to be owned. The little prince then tells how he owns a flower and three volcanoes. The fact that he owns and takes care of them does them some good. The businessman does not help the stars.
We can also see man’s fascination with science and technology. Technology on its own can never bring human happiness because it can neither create human relationship nor reveal the person of another. This apathy is illustrated in the story of the train-switch operator. Dozens of dozing passengers are routed in all different directions, never truly knowing where they are going or what they are looking for.
The little prince may be compared to Jesus Christ. The little prince arrives on Earth in the desert beneath “his” star during a time of spiritual conflict. He is professed to be without sin, even by the serpent, a biblical symbol of evil. “Like
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