The Little Prince – A Closer Look

Having read the article The Gift Of Imagination this one quote best describes imagination in us. “Almost all children have vivid imaginations. A few retain them. But somewhere in the process of growing up, most people reject it or learn to conceal it or deny that they have it, even though they use it every day.” Silver Donald Cameron. As we grow up we loose our imagination and form ourselves to the “norm” of society. In the novel The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupery imagination is evident throughout the entire novel with the “grown up” and “child”. The building blocks in the novel are: imagination, life of Antoine, novel, movie comparison, childlike and grownup characteristics, heady stuff and the secret found on page 87.

Antoine de Saint Exupery is a French man born in Lyon, France in the year 1900. Being born into a poor aristocratic family, he became a pilot and worked as a mail carrier. Antoine had none to very little of a social life. He traveled to Canada and New York in 1942 with his wife Consuela. Antoine never considered himself a writer, he saw himself as a pilot. While working as a pilot Antoine crashed in the Sahara desert. Most often in coffee shops Antoine would doodle on the napkins drawing cartoons. Antoine’s friend would keep all of his drawings. Consuela bought him a doll along with Antoine’s drawings “The Little Prince” was written. While working for the French government in 1944, Antoine’s plane was shot down while flying in German territory taking pictures. The wreckage has never been found.

After reading and watching the work The Little Prince, one should notice some similarities and differences between the two. The main characters remain the same personality, setting is in the Sahara desert, and the storyline and other aspects remain consistent. The general plot with the little prince moving from one country to another meeting new people is the same in both. During the Princes journey he meets the following characters in both works: the pilot, the businessman, the geographer, the snake, and the fox. Another similarity between the two is that we see pictures drawn and the same pictures are shown in the movie.

The Hollywood version and the novel differ. Visually, and vocally are the two different aspects. During the time of thirst in the movie the pilot and the little prince find an oasis while there was an ordinary well in the book. The characters of the railroad switchman, the tippler and the general were not included in the film while it was in the book. The sunset is mentioned forty four times in the book while it wasn’t even touched upon in the film version. Although having met the businessman in both versions, there was no mention to “matters of consequence” in the film. The Hollywood version and the novel have different content and visual effect.

Throughout the novel we see many childlike characteristics with the plot and characters. There are many words to describe children: adventurous, imaginative, loving, innocent, and creative of course there are many more words than just those five. These five words are the ones best illustrate “childlike”. Qualities the author tries to show are: Adventurous: “So then the seventh planet was the Earth” (Page 67) This quote is more of a general quote that shows how the Little Prince travelled from planet to planet. He wasn’t afraid and liked to travel. Imaginative: “ Be my friends. I am all alone,” he said. “I am all alone – all alone,” answered the echo. “What a queer planet!” he thought. (Page76) This quote shows how the little prince thinks that someone is asking the same questions that he is, not knowing it is his echo. Children are also Loving: “If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the million and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.”(Page 29) The little prince has one flower for which he cares for and lives for. Children love and cherish objects also. Innocence can be seen throughout the novel. This is relevant to children due to their