The Little Prince Critical Analysis

1144 words - 5 pages

In The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, every character contributes an important, universal message about life and human nature. While reading this story, I found that I most related to the narrator, a grown-up with a child-like heart. As one of the protagonists in this narrative, he connects with me as a vulnerable human being, a direct contrast to the otherworldly, extraordinary little prince. In his early years, the narrator was told to abandon “what might have been a magnificent career as a painter” for the more respectable profession of pilot. In my own experiences, the adults closest to me have, at times, urged me to suppress certain dreams and ideas in order to pursue more realistic prospects. In both cases, the transition from childhood to adulthood was accompanied by the facts, figures, and “matters of consequence” that society links with maturity. I understand how the narrator does “not know how to draw” in his adulthood, as I, too have lost the wonderment, ingenuity, and curiosity that was so apparent in my younger self. Especially now in this constant digital age, it is hard to maintain such a pure understanding of the world – an understanding that the perceptive little prince seems to thrive on. Like the narrator, however, I have not yet attained all the adult-like characteristics of the king, the vain man, the drunkard, and the business man. In this, there is hope that I, too may find my little prince, and thus rediscover the vitality that is lost within my past.
“All grown-ups were once children, but only few of them remember it.” This passage from The Little Prince perfectly demonstrates the central theme of this profound narrative –innocence does not last forever. From the start of the book, it is apparent that the narrator harbors a deep resentment for grown-ups, a resentment that stems from the adult misinterpretation of his childhood drawings. As a result, he grows up with the caution that age lessens the imagination and the ability to see that which is “invisible to the eye.” This theory is later reflected by the little prince – a physical manifestation of the innocence that grown-ups have lost. As the little prince relates his adventures to the narrator, it becomes clear that he is similarly disappointed with the adults that he had encountered on his planetary travels. While he had visited many planets with the hopes of understanding his own puzzling life, he discovers that the grown-ups who should have a developed wisdom, are far more ignorant than he is. Though the king, the vain man, the drunkard, and the businessman are different by nature, they all seem to regard the world as their own playground, created for their massive egos and base gratifications. And like most adults, these characters do not acknowledge the absence of child-like simplicity that is so evident within their daily lives. The narrator and the little prince, however, seem to respond in a different way. They do not accept this loss of...

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