The Little Prince

By antoine de saint-exupery.

  • The Little Prince Summary

The narrator, a pilot, crash-lands his plane in the Sahara desert. While he tries to repair his engine and monitor his dwindling supply of water and food, a little boy appears out of nowhere and simply asks him to draw a sheep. The author then learns that this "little prince" comes from the far away Asteroid B-612, where he left a rose and three volcanoes.

The prince’s most prized possession was the rose, but her tempestuous mien and fickleness tired him and he decided to leave his tiny planet. To his surprise, the flower was visibly sad to see him go, but she urged him on nonetheless.

Before arriving on Earth, the prince visited other planets and met with strange individuals: a king, a vain man, a drunkard, a lamplighter, and a geographer. At the geographer’s suggestion, he visited Earth but dropped down into the Sahara Desert. He found no friends there, but a snake told him that if he ever needed to return to his home planet, he could take advantage of the snake’s bite. He met a fox that taught him to realize that to know others we must “tame” them; this is what makes things and people unique. "The essential is invisible to the eye," says the fox.

The narrator grows to love and cherish the small boy, marveling at how fragile he seems though he adopts a serious air. He and the boy find a well and drink from it, which saves the narrator’s life, but he later, right as he is about to joyfully tell the prince he's fixed his engine, happens upon the prince talking to a yellow snake about poison. The plan is for the prince to reunite with his rose, but this is utterly devastating to the narrator. Nevertheless, the boy lets the snake bite him and falls over into the sand. The narrator cannot find his body the next day so he hopes that the boy is not dead.

The narrator returns to his life but always wonders about the prince and hopes he returns. He asks readers to let him know if they ever meet the prince.

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The Little Prince Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Little Prince is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Who is the inhabitant of The Little Prince's shortest visit?

The inhabitant is a conceited man.

Why does the little girl have the jar of pennies?

I see no evidence of a little girl with a jar of pennies or coins in the text.... chapter?

Fully describe the appearance of the Little Prince.

The Little Prince was a little man with golden hair. He wore a blue jacket with burgandy lapels and cuffs, golden stars attached to his soldiers, knee-high blue boots, and he carried a sword.

Study Guide for The Little Prince

The Little Prince study guide contains a biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About The Little Prince
  • Character List

Essays for The Little Prince

The Little Prince essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

  • Disguised Imperfections: Human Nature in "The Little Prince," "The Mirror Maker," and "The Nose"
  • Matters of Consequence in "The Little Prince": Comparing Childhood and Adulthood

Lesson Plan for The Little Prince

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to The Little Prince
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • The Little Prince Bibliography

Wikipedia Entries for The Little Prince

  • Introduction
  • Tone and writing style
  • Inspirations

book report of the little prince

book report of the little prince

The Little Prince

Antoine de saint-exupéry, ask litcharts ai: the answer to your questions.

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

The Little Prince: Introduction

The little prince: plot summary, the little prince: detailed summary & analysis, the little prince: themes, the little prince: quotes, the little prince: characters, the little prince: symbols, the little prince: theme wheel, brief biography of antoine de saint-exupéry.

The Little Prince PDF

Historical Context of The Little Prince

Other books related to the little prince.

  • Full Title: The Little Prince (French: Le Petit Prince )
  • When Written: 1942
  • Where Written: New York
  • When Published: 1943
  • Literary Period: Existentialism
  • Genre: Fable/Novella
  • Setting: Sahara Desert
  • Climax: The fox teaches the little prince the value of his rose
  • Antagonist: Grown-ups
  • Point of View: First person

Extra Credit for The Little Prince

The Tale of the Rose. The character of the rose in Saint-Exupéry's novella is likely based on his real-life wife, Consuelo Suncin—herself a writer and artist—who wrote a memoir about her life and relationship with Saint-Exupéry, entitled The Tale of the Rose . The manuscript was found and published two decades after her death, in 1979.

Desert Crash. As a pioneering aviator, Saint-Exupéry had a brush with death when he crashed in the Sahara desert with his mechanic-navigator, André Prévot, in 1935. This crash is referenced in The Little Prince , with the narrator's opening dilemma, and Saint-Exupéry writes about it in more detail in his memoir, Wind, Sand, and Stars .

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The Literary Edit

The Literary Edit

Review: The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I often wonder if I’ll ever reach a point in my reading life where I’m satisfied by the amount of books I’ve read; where I can say with confidence that I’ve read the classics and the critically acclaimed that have long haunted my to-be-read pile. Thus far, 2019 has been a good year for books: I read my first Agatha Christie, I read a Russian classic hailed by many as the best book of the twentieth century. I finished thirteen books in January; more in the months that have since passed. I too have read my first book by an Indonesian author, and a couple of contemporary novels I’ve had my eye on for a while. And yet, and yet, there are still many hundred of books I fear I may never get around to reading, unless given a particular reason to do so.

The Little Prince was one of the said unread books until a fortnight ago. While I’m sure I may have read it as a child, as an adult it’s always been a book that had never quite made it to my list of reading priorities until a friend recommended it recently. I had just finished The Master and Margarita when I was queuing for a coffee at my local bookshop in Bondi, Gertrude & Alice, and I saw they had the Penguin Classic edition was on sale. With no plans for the rest of the morning, hot drink in hand, I settled myself down to read, the air infused with coffee beans and the hum of idle chatter.

Beloved by many since its first publication in 1943, Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is an enchanting fable imbued with life lessons that tells the tale of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the intricacies of adult behaviour through a series of unexpected encounters.

A profound and poetic tale, the story is a philosophical one and through its social criticism of the adult world, reminds its readers that we were all children once. Written during a period when Saint-Exupéry fled to North America subsequent to the Fall of France during the Second World War, it is, according to one review, “…an allegory of Saint-Exupéry’s own life—his search for childhood certainties and interior peace, his mysticism, his belief in human courage and brotherhood, and his deep love for his wife Consuelo but also an allusion to the tortured nature of their relationship.”

Rich with timeless lessons that are cushioned behind layers of delightful story-telling. The Little Prince is the sort of book that will inspire wonder and reflection, even in the most cynical, and world-weary adult.

And so, to end, my favourite quote from this poignant and profound novella: “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

About The Little Prince

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

About Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine De Saint-Exupéry was born in 1900 in Lyon. In 1921, he began his training as a pilot By 1926, he had became one of the pioneers of international postal flight. In 1935 he embarked on a record-breaking attempt to fly from Paris to Saigon. Nineteen hours into the flight, his plane crashed in the Sahara desert. He survived the crash but spent three days battling dehydration, limited food and hallucinations. On the fourth day, the was rescued. In part, this experience was the inspiration for  The Little Prince . He continued to fly until World War II, during which he took self-imposed exile. On 31 July 1944, he disappeared over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission.

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4 comments on “Review: The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry”

What a lovely post! I am a new subscriber from Sweden. Looking forward to read more reviews from you!

Thanks for stopping by Anna and for your lovely words – they made my day! xo

I love the little prince it’s my favourite book

It’s a really lovely, touching tale, isn’t it? xo

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The Children's Book Review

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | Book Review

Bianca Schulze

Book Review of The Little Prince The Children’s Book Review

The Little Prince

Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Age Range:   10+

Paperback: 98 pages

ISBN: 978-1949998641

Publisher:  Harcourt (1943)

What to expect: Fantasy, Adventure, and Friendship

The Little Prince  is a book that has been translated into English from the French language. The author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was a pilot. Similarly to the pilot in his story, while flying a mission during World War II, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s plane was shot down, and it disappeared somewhere over the Mediterranean.

The Little Prince is an honest and beautiful story about loneliness, friendship, sadness, and love. The prince is a small boy from a tiny planet (an asteroid to be precise), who travels the universe, planet-to-planet, seeking wisdom. On his journey, he discovers the unpredictable nature of adults. “All grown-ups were once children… but only a few of them remember it.”

The story begins on Earth with the narrator—a crashed pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert, who is trying hard to repair his wrecked plane. One day a little boy, oddly dressed, shows up out of nowhere and insists that the pilot draw him a sheep. The pilot obeys this odd request, which strangely enough leads to the pilot learning more about the Little Prince and where he came from. What unfolds is a marvelous story that some will deem happy and some will find sad. Either way, all readers will have their minds opened wide and will hopefully grow up to be adults that will always remember they were once children, too.

The Little Prince  is a thin book with its mere ninety-eight pages, but don’t be fooled; it’s a brilliant book meant to be deeply thought about and to encourage you to build castles in the air.

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About the Author

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, the “Winged Poet,” was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. A pilot at twenty-six, he was a pioneer of commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. His writings include The Little Prince, Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, Southern Mail, and Airman’s Odyssey. In 1944, while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, he disappeared over the Mediterranean

The Little Prince , written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry , was reviewed by Bianca Schulze. Discover more books like The Little Prince by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Adventure , Antoine de Saint-Exupery , Classics , Fantasy , Friendship , and Middle Grade Books .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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Book Review The Little Prince Antoine De Saint Exupery

Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

August 25, 2017 By Jessica Filed Under: Book Review 2 Comments

Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

Reading The Little Prince was such a strange experience.  It’s delightful.  It’s funny.  It’s adorable.  The almost condescending attitude towards adults and the jokes at their expense makes this book appealing to kids since they can relate to being baffled by grown-ups.  But as I’m laughing at the crazy adults and the crazy things they do, I had to stop for a second as it sank in that I do those crazy things, too.  I found myself reflecting at the deeper story behind this prince and his cute travels to different planets.  The little prince’s complete bewilderment at the behavior of adults challenged the way I think in so many ways.  And boy do I love a story that challenges my thinking.

Here’s one that blew my mind – if sheep eat flowers with the thorns, then what good are thorns?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  My instinct is to explain evolution or genetics.  But that’s not the question.  The thorns don’t do any good and I hadn’t realized that.  Maybe as adults we simply stop questioning things because now we know science and math and stuff and we assume there’s nothing left to learn.  I do have a lot left to learn.  I need to figure out why plants have thorns.

The little prince describes grown-ups as loving numbers and asking questions to get to know someone where the answers are numbers instead of questions about things that matter (like getting to know their personality).  To prove the little prince is right, here’s a numbered list of the types of adults he meets on each planet:

  • The King – talks about his control and power, but the little prince clearly sees that it’s just an illusion since he commands things under the “science of government, until conditions are favorable. (pg 31)” Or, when they were going to do it anyway.
  • The Vain Man – wants nothing more than to be admired constantly.  The little prince wonders “…what is there about my admiration that interests you so much? (pg 34).”
  • The Drunkard – the vicious cycle of shame.  He’s ashamed that he drinks so he drinks to forget his shame. The prince has literally nothing to say about that.
  • The Business Man – endlessly counts all the stars and says he owns them and they make him rich. The little prince sees that work should be a two-way street. “But you’re not useful to the stars. (pg 40)”
  • The Lamp Lighter – stuck in the endless cycle of chores. He is a hard worker and the little prince likes him since his job is useful to others, but the little prince doesn’t understand why he can’t rest and enjoy the many joys (like sunsets) that his planet has.
  • The Geographer – never actually goes anywhere. He writes about places and discoveries that other people have made.  He’s the kind of adult that never fully lives their life.
  • Earth – the last planet he visits that has a combination of all these grown-ups (which he numbers to please the adults).

I think I relate the most to the lamp lighter.  I get stuck in the daily grind of things.  Who do you relate to the most?

My favorite thing about the little prince is his view of love.  The time you spend caring for something is what makes it important to you.  A huge rose garden is not as meaningful as the one rose you took care of.  Like the fox said, don’t forget this truth:

“One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince pg 63

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Book Review The Little Prince Antoine de Saint Exupery

We read The Little Prince for book club and out host gave out these roses with a quote from the book attached.  I had to share it since it was such a clever and fitting gift for the book.

Quote The Little Prince Antoine De Saint Exupery

About Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family's château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appears again and again in Saint-Exupéry's writing.)

Later, in Paris, he failed the entrance exams for the French naval academy and, instead, enrolled at the prestigious art school l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1921 Saint-Exupéry began serving in the military, and was stationed in Strasbourg. There he learned to be a pilot, and his career path was forever settled.

After leaving the service, in 1923, Saint-Exupéry worked in several professions, but in 1926 he went back to flying and signed on as a pilot for Aéropostale, a private airline that flew mail from Toulouse, France, to Dakar, Senegal. In 1927 Saint-Exupéry accepted the position of airfield chief for Cape Juby, in southern Morocco, and began writing his first book, a memoir called Southern Mail, which was published in 1929. He then moved briefly to Buenos Aires to oversee the establishment of an Argentinean mail service; when he returned to Paris in 1931, he published Night Flight, which won instant success and the prestigious Prix Femina.

Always daring, Saint-Exupéry tried in 1935 to break the speed record for flying from Paris to Saigon. Unfortunately, his plane crashed in the Libyan desert, and he and his copilot had to trudge through the sand for three days to find help. In 1938 he was seriously injured in a second plane crash, this time as he tried to fly between New York City and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The crash resulted in a long convalescence in New York.

Saint-Exupéry's next novel, Wind, Sand and Stars, was published in 1939. A great success, the book won the Académie Française's Grand Prix du Roman (Grand Prize for Novel Writing) and the National Book Award in the United States. At the beginning of the Second World War, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance missions for France, but he went to New York to ask the United States for help when the Germans occupied his country. He drew on his wartime experiences to write Flight to Arras and Letter to a Hostage, both published in 1942. His classic The Little Prince appeared in 1943. Later in 1943 Saint-Exupéry rejoined his French air squadron in northern Africa. Despite being forbidden to fly (he was still suffering physically from his earlier plane crashes), Saint-Exupéry insisted on being given a mission. On July 31, 1944, he set out from Borgo, Corsica, to overfly occupied France. He never returned.

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August 27, 2017 at 8:16 am

I read this a long time ago, but I remember really enjoying the wimzy. Maybe I should re-read.

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November 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I’ve read The Little Prince for the first time when I was in the elementary school and I remember the teacher advising us to read this story again in a few years because we would look at it from a completely different perspective… I have read it 3 times in my life and every time I interpret it in a different way, amazing book.

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C.A. Hughes Book Reviews

The literary journeys of a 20-something, bilingual, elementary school teacher.

Book Review: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

book report of the little prince

Book Details:

Year of Publication: 1943

Genre: Fable (Middle Grade)

Format (How I Read It): Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis:

A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see, standing before him, the most extraordinary little fellow. “Please,” asks the stranger, “draw me a sheep.” And the pilot realizes that when life’s events are too difficult to understand, there is no choice but to succumb to their mysteries. He pulls out pencil and paper… And thus begins this wise and enchanting fable that, in teaching the secret of what is really important in life, has changed forever the world for its readers.

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as  The Little Prince , presented here in a stunning new translation with carefully restored artwork. The definitive edition of a worldwide classic, it will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.

Book Review

Themes: Don’t judge others. Friendship. Listen to your heart. Don’t grow up too fast.

“Then you shall pass judgment on yourself,” the king answered. “That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it’s because you are truly a wise man.”

Character Development: The pilot and the Little Prince were definitely the two most important characters of this story, and the other minor characters that showed up were really only there to establish different lessons and morals. Which was fine! It’s a very abstract story with unusual characters. I was intrigued by them, but didn’t necessarily feel super connected to them.

Plot/Pacing: For such a short book, it did move pretty slow. It goes at a leisurely pace as both the pilot and the Little Prince learn various life lessons. There was one section where the Little Prince is hopping from planet to planet, and these were probably my favorite chapters! They felt more lively and introduced several new, odd characters.

“He was just a fox like a hundred thousand others. But I’ve made him my friend, and now he’s the only fox in all the world.”

Writing Style: Whimsical. Abstract.

“Bingeability”: Moderate. It’s short, but since it’s so abstract you kind of have to take your time and really think about what’s happening.

Emotional Investment: Moderate.

Windows and Mirrors: Other planets?

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

Overall Thoughts: This was a strange book! I somehow had never read this as a kid, but I had definitely heard of it. That being said, I went in to it knowing little-to-nothing about the story. It was much weirder and more confusing than I expected! And I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. I thought it had a lot of great themes in it which I found really interesting. However, it still didn’t love this one. I normally like this type of book; it reminded me of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which is similar in that it is fable-like and is more focused on theme rather than plot or character development. However, something was just missing for me here. But I think it’s just a personal issue! I just didn’t connect with it, but it’s a well-written and thought-provoking book that is worthy of its status as a classic.

Recommendation: I work with many emergent bilinguals, and I couldn’t help but think about them as I was reading. I think this would be a difficult one to read in a language that isn’t your dominant language, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind. That being said, I think this would be fun to do as a novel study with advanced readers (maybe 5th grade and up). I was also thinking that some of the chapters could work as expert models for learning about theme! Some are short and could stand on their own, so this could be a good way to use it in the classroom.

Thank you for reading my review! Leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read this one or have any questions about it, and keep an eye out for my next review!

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Book Review: The Little Prince

Today’s book review will be on ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine De Saint- Exupéry. Growing up as a child this was one of my favourite books with a very important life lesson to learn.

Little Prince Book Review

‘The little prince’ tells the story of a pilot stranded in the desert fixing his aeroplane, until one day he meets a little boy – the Little Prince. The Little Prince tells the pilot many stories of his magical journey from his little planet and of his encounters with different grown-ups. The story focuses on how grown-ups are only interested in figures or matters of very little importance in life, in which the Little Prince cannot understand. The story highlights how most grown-ups miss out on the simple things in life, such as friendship, love and the beauty of the world because they are too occupied with gaining wealth and power. They are tricked into believing that figures or having money is important, but their life has no meaning.

What I like most about ‘The Little Prince’ is the key message of:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

It teaches the reader that it is important to look beneath the surface to truly understand something, which most people fail to do as they are only interested in the face-value of something, as demonstrated at the very beginning of the story. This is a very important message for any child or grown-up to understand, in which the book demonstrates very beautifully.

The story writing itself is kept very simple with no rhythm or rhyme, but the imagination and maturity of the story keeps the reader interested. Along with the use of drawings by the author to help the reader visualise some things which may be unfamiliar. Not everyone knows what ‘Baobabs’ are?

Overall I would recommend ‘The Little Prince’ to all children over the age of 8, as younger readers may fail to understand certain words or the key message being portrayed. They may also find the book too serious, lacking any fun or humour, while older readers will definitely appreciate the beautiful message in this old tale.

Final Book Ratings:

Imagination: 9/10

Illustrations: 7/10

Writing: 6/10

Message: 10/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

You can purchase your copy of ‘The Little Prince’ from Amazon or borrow a copy from your local library.

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The Little Prince

Introduction to the little prince.

The Little Prince was originally translated in English from the title Le Petit Prince, a short and simple novel , an imagination of the French aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The novel was translated into English by Reynal & Hitchcock, published in April 1943. However, it invited an immediate ban from the Vichy Regime ruling France at that time. The novel presents a young prince meeting the pilot of an airplane, who had crash-landed in the Sahara desert. The prince narrates the stories of various characters he meets on different planets, discussing their problems and predicaments of love, friendship, and life. Despite its being a narrative for children, it cleverly presents universal dilemmas human beings are facing on this planet.

Summary of The Little Prince

The story of the novel presents a pilot who tells about his childhood and the pictures that he used to draw having different meanings for different people. One of them is a depiction of an elephant eaten by a snake which looked like a lumped hat for the adults and always criticized the narrator to concentrate on important subjects like geography at schools rather than fanciful and creative things. Then he takes the reader to his present situation of having found himself crash-landed in the vastness of the Sahara desert where he finds a Little Prince with golden curly hair approaching him when he is feeling not only the heat but also the thirst and hunger.

The narrator has to fix the plane before he runs out of eight days of supplies. The Little Prince is not afraid of asking questions constantly until he receives an answer. The young prince, then, requests, him to have a sketch of a sheep that the narrator draws along with the box to which the narrator complies, and both befriend. Soon the pilot comes to know very strange and unique stories from that Little Prince who tells him about different asteroids having different numbers and unique features.

The Little Prince, then, states that he takes great care of the planet where he lives. He does not let the seeds grow into baobab trees that are malign for the environment. He also states that he loves roses due to having a rose plant on his planet with which he communicates daily and that it works wonders in her loneliness. It happens that the Prince starts narrating stories of his different journeys to different asteroids that he has completed. When going through the stories, he also comments on the different human expressions, emotions, and reactions to different things and concludes that human beings are strange creatures to go through such a variety of experiences and emotions.

During his narratives, the Little Prince states that he has met a king, an arrogant person, an addict, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographical expert during his journeys. Yet he finds that they have all been suffering from different negative emotions. This strange type of negativity has rather perturbed the prince who has not understood their real motives. Although he admires the obstinacy of the lamplighter as a good thing, he also reaches the conclusion that the human beings he has met on these different asteroids do not possess any beneficial characteristics except some among which geographer is also one.

The geographer has told the prince that flowers are useful but have a temporary life, and therefore, needed to be taken care of. The rose he takes care of on his planet demands him to do everything according to her will, which creates distrust in him and would judge her words rather than her actions. In reality, both loved each other but couldn’t show it because of their silly differences and interpretations.

At the narrator’s suggestion about doing something, the prince reaches a desert spot on the earth to meet human beings and come to know about a riddle speaking snake to which the Little Prince turns a deaf ear and continues roaming around until he meets a flower and tests his echo on a little mountain. Finally, he finds a rose orchard where he comes to know that his rose is different from all these roses and that it is the only of its kind because he has tamed it and not the rest of the other roses just like he tamed the fox and it is special. Befriending a fox makes him learn things that ‘a person can see through his heart is clearer and anything essential becomes invisible to the eye’ He also comes to know more about different abstract ideas through his encounters with people, a railway signalman, and a salesman.

When his narratives are on the verge of ending, both feel thirsty and move in search of a well where they come to a consensus that not too many people agree on the same point. They both understand that what makes things beautiful is because of their invisibility. Both express their willingness to return to their respective places and the Little Prince makes deals with the snake because his body is too heavy to take him back to his planet he lets the snake bite him, leaving him to fall to the ground.

When the pilot comes to know about it, he becomes very gloomy at his death but finds his body disappeared on the very next day. He, afterward, imagines the stars showing his friend, the Little Prince, smiling and giggling at him. Then the narrator asks the readers to take part in his narrative by stopping for stars and imagining Little Prince happily laughing.

Major Themes in The Little Prince

  • Understanding: The novel, The Little Prince, shows the thematic strand of understanding between different creatures through the commentary of the fox who says that what is important is often not visible to us. It means the author wants to stress upon this idea that when there is an understanding, things easily reconcile and becomes feasible for human beings. When the pilot comes to know about it, he repeats it several times in his mind to overcome its meaning. When the Little Prince departs from the desert, he comes to know how this simple phrase has become seductive due to his love for the rose and in turn the pilot’s love for the prince.
  • Effort: The theme of effort is ever-present in the novel in that the Little Prince has done great efforts to spoil his rose like a child. He has rather tamed it with much love that the fox also points out to him that he is responsible for what he tames. All the characters including the prince and the pilots are putting effort into for caring each other that has created a relationship. This relationship has changed the world for them. That is why the pilot suffers from loneliness and pangs of nostalgia when the prince dies and leaves the earth.
  • Love and Separation: Love and separation are intertwined and one makes the other prominent as the fox points out that if the Little Prince wants him to be a friend, he must tame him first. This creates a relationship that lasts for longer than a person can think. The Little Prince thinks about his flower and comes to know that actually, he has tamed his flower. So, it comes into his thoughts often as he recalls it. This is the love that separation from his rose is intensified in the story.
  • Growing Up: The novel shows the thematic strand of growing up of the children through the Little Prince whom the pilot thinks a child until he tells him things that are significant in life. The pilot is little aware of the point of tameness in life but when the Little Prince points him out he comes to know about its significance in life, in love, and its interaction in human relationships. He also comes to know negative human emotions of pride, vanity, and greed through this little friend whose narratives of different planets set his record straight.
  • Lack of Purpose: The Little Prince stresses the purpose or objective in life. When the pilot comes to know that his narrative about different asteroids has different interesting characters but almost all of them have very trivial purposes in their lives, he sees that life without a purpose seems absurd and idiotic. For example, the lamplighter is only posted to light the lamps and the king is only there to issue commands without having any tangible purpose. This makes the Little Prince feel ashamed of himself that he has accepted such illogical things.
  • Fear of Time: At one point, the Little Prince meets the salesman who tells him that he is selling pills that are a substitute for drinking water. The prince is amazed at his claim and asks him why it is so. In response, the salesman tells him that it is the fear of time. However, when he asks the purpose of this venture, he does not elicit any answer from him which makes him think about the time and the rationality behind wasting it.
  • Curiosity: The thematic strand of curiosity is significant because the Little Prince is not only curious but also highly quizzical about general things. The curiosity of the Little Prince spans over the nature of flower to the worlds he visits and his questions about the nature of life, about professions and professionals, and the nature of the task that the king, the salesman, and the geographers are performing. However, when compared to the world of adults, this curiosity seems childish, and in reality, is it very profound.
  • Nature: The theme of nature transfuses throughout the book on account of the information the little price has and wants to have about the earthly flora and fauna and their importance on his planet. The insidiousness of a short, thick tree is put into contrast with the innocence of roses and the natural world including the stars, the sunsets, and the starry nights that seem to laugh with the prince. When the Little Prince meets the king, he takes his boasts about the natural phenomenon quite seriously, the reason that he feels his love for his rose.

Major Characters The Little Prince

  • The Narrator: The first-person narrator of the novel, The Little Prince , is an aviator by a professional who has crash-landed in some part of the Sahara desert where he meets the Little Prince and faces an uncertain future. However, he narrates his painting-making stories of how he used to be a naïve kid when he was in school and used to paint with curiosity. When the Little Prince meets him, he quickly adapts himself to his childish but realistic stories to enjoy and finally tries to leave the desert when the Little Prince dies and his dead body disappears on the next day.
  • The Little Prince: The Little Prince is the protagonist and the central character around whom the entire story revolves. The eponymous child-like character is a very simple, easy-to-deal, and naïve person yet his stories are highly suitable for adults and mysterious. He narrates several fantasies about different planets having different numbers and different people residing on them with whom he has a very good conversation. In detail, his conversations and interactions with the king, the salesman, and the geographer are highly meaningful as they take a philosophical turn. His conversations in the desert with the fox, the snake, and with some people are also complete of the message and hidden meanings.
  • The Rose: The Rose also becomes a character when it comes into contact with the Little Prince. The Little Prince has personified the rose as a female having fickleness with temporary beauty and flirtatious nature. Although the rose also loves the Little Prince, he becomes restless at her temporariness and fleeting nature.
  • The King: The character of the king is significant in the novel when the Little Prince comes into contact during his first expedition to Asteroid B-325. The King is found alone and yet ruling over his subjects comprising a single rat. The most important feature of this king is that he issues commands only when things are going to happen and not when they do not happen. He only moves with the moving things and stops with the things have stopped.
  • The Geographer: The significance of the geographer lies in that the geographer is a book lover as well as a book worm, yet he states that he does not go out to verify facts. He states that this is the job of the researchers and asks the Little Prince to visit the Earth on account of its good reputation.
  • The Vain Man: This dramatic character appears when the Prince starts his narration about his visit to Asteroid B-326. He tells the pilot that the boaster considers himself the most intelligent man and wants to be admired despite knowing the fact that he is alone.
  • The Businessman: The character of the businessman makes the Little Prince realize the importance of increasing one’s bank balance. They also discuss the difficulty of planning and earning them. However, the businessman has had to hear his tale of the rose that is hard to digest for him.
  • The Drunkard: The drunkard is a minor character who meets the Little Prince. He confesses that he is ashamed of it and wants help to get rid of his addiction.
  • The Street Lamplighter: The only character that impacts the Little Prince is the lamplighter who states that he obeys orders and keeps the lamps bright. The Little Prince does not consider him funny or ridiculous.
  • The fox and the snake: The character of the fox is important as the fox makes the prince realizes that the worth-loving things are invisible, while the snake makes him realize that he can send the Little Prince back home through his poison.

Writing Style of The Little Prince

  Although it seems that the writing style that Antoine de Saint-Exupérya adopts for the narration of The Little Prince is very simple, easy to understand, and has a flow, it is inexplicably mysterious as well as highly alluring. It is also called shiver style or what is dubbed as “poetry in prose .” The fable that seems written for little children has almost the same whimsical appeal for the adults due to the simplicity of language and depth of the message it conveys. The narrative has been told from the first-person point of view . First by the pilot and then by the Little Prince. Despite have some dialogues , it shows informal diction and informal language generally used for children’s literature.

Analysis of the Literary Devices in The Little Prince

  • Action: The main action of the novel comprises the crash landing of the plane, the pilot’s meeting with the Little Prince, and the narratives of the Little Prince about different people he found on different asteroids referred to with numbers. The rising action occurs when the Little Prince narrates the story of the king and the falling action occurs when he narrates the story of the fox.
  • Allusion : The novel shows good use of different allusions as given in the examples below, Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature , about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal . (Chapter-I) ii. At a glance, I can distinguish China from Arizona. If one gets lost in the night , such knowledge is valuable. (Chapter-I) iii. So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to, until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six years ago. (Chapter-2) iv. But that did not really surprise me much. I knew very well that in addition to the great planets–such as the Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus–to which we have given names, there are also hundreds of others, some of which are so small that one has a hard time seeing them through the telescope. (Chapter-4) The first example shows alluding to a book, the second to geographical places, the third to a geographical feature, and the fourth to celestial bodies.
  • Anaphora : The novel shows the use of anaphora . For example, But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. (Chapter-21) ii. It seemed to me that I was carrying a very fragile treasure. It seemed to me, even, that there was nothing more fragile on all Earth. (Chapter-24) These excerpts show the repeated use of “because it is” and “It seemed to me” in the first part of the sentences .
  • Antagonist : The antagonist in The Little Prince , is the curiosity or the thirst of the Little Prince for answers. He questions everybody and wants to get an answer to all of his questions.
  • Conflict : The novel shows only internal conflict . The internal conflict comprises the Little Prince’s curiosity and the thirst to know everything at once.
  • Characters: The novel shows both static as well as dynamic characters. The Little Prince in the novel, The Little Prince, is a dynamic character as he shows a considerable transformation in his behavior and conduct by the end of the novel. However, all other characters are static as they do not show or witness any transformation such as the pilot, the king, the geographer, and even the salesman.
  • Climax : The climax in the novel occurs when the Little Prince decides to go back to his own planet and take care of his rose.
  • Foreshadowing : The novel shows many instances of foreshadows as given in the below examples, Oh, Little Prince! Bit by bit I came to understand the secrets of your sad little life. (Chapter-6) ii. On the fifth day–again, as always, it was thanks to the sheep–the secret of the Little Prince’s life was revealed to me. (Chapter-7)
  • Hyperbole : The novel shows various examples of hyperboles such as, If you could fly to France in one minute, you could go straight into the sunset, right from noon. (Chapter-6) ii. “I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman. He has never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved anyone.” (Chapter-6) iii. On the morning of his departure, he put his planet in perfect order. He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. (Chapter-9) These examples exaggerate things instead of showing the normal situation and characters as nobody can fly to France in a minute, nor is there a person living alone on a star, or a planet, or nor a person owns a planet, or visits any planet. In the world of children, however, the use of hyperboles is a normal practice.
  • Imagery : Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, Now I stared at this sudden apparition with my eyes fairly starting out of my head in astonishment. Remember , I had crashed in the desert a thousand miles from any inhabited region. And yet my little man seemed neither to be straying uncertainly among the sands, nor to be fainting from fatigue or hunger or thirst or fear. (Chapter-2) ii. Seen from a slight distance, that would make a splendid spectacle. The movements of this army would be regulated like those of the ballet in the opera. First would come the turn of the lamplighters of New Zealand and Australia. Having set their lamps alight, these would go off to sleep. Next, the lamplighters of China and Siberia would enter for their steps in the dance, and then they too would be waved back into the wings. (Chapter-16) These two examples show images of color, sound, and feelings.
  • Metaphor : The Little Prince shows good use of various metaphors as given in the below examples, His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. (Chapter-20) ii. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the Little Prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. (Chapter-21) These examples show that several things have been compared directly in the novel such as the first shows the flower compared to a man and the second things to invisible things.
  • Mood : The novel shows various moods; it is entertaining, funny as well as exciting but with the passage of time it starts losing its fun and rather becomes too alluring and too philosophical.
  • Motif : Most important motifs of the novel are the stars, flowers, paintings, and asteroids.
  • Narrator : The novel is narrated from the first-person point of view, who the pilot and the Little Prince.
  • Personification : The novel shows examples of personifications as given below, I don’t believe you! Flowers are weak creatures. They are naïve. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons. (Chapter-7) ii. His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. (Chapter-20) These examples show as if the flowers have feelings and lives of their own.
  • Protagonist : The Little Prince is the protagonist of the novel. The novel starts with her entry with the pilot and ends when his dead body disappears.
  • Setting : The setting of the novel is a place in the Sahara desert and then different mysterious places that the Little Prince visits.
  • Simile : The novel shows the use of various similes as given in the below examples, They would shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child. (Chapter-4) ii. Volcanic eruptions are like fires in a chimney. (Chapter-9). iii. He twined himself around the Little Prince’s ankle, like a golden bracelet. (Chapter-17) iv. But he saw nothing, save peaks of rock that were sharpened like needles. (Chapter-18) v. And a brilliantly lighted express train shook the switchman’s cabin as it rushed by with a roar like thunder. (Chapter-22) These are similes as the use of the word “like” shows the comparison between different things such the first one between him and the child, and the second between volcanic eruptions and chimneys, the third between the snake and the bracelet, the fourth between the rocks and the needles and the last between the sound of an express train and the thunder.

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Home › French Literature › Analysis of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince

Analysis of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince

By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on August 1, 2023

This last novel by the popular French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–44) is ostensibly a children’s book, set in the author’s familiar and cherished landscape of the Sahara of northern Africa. Although the central character is a pilot, this tale has little to do with actual flight; the storytelling of The Little Prince is far removed from the quasi-biographical and autobiographical musings of the author’s earlier works that often deal with an airplane pilot’s exploits. These earlier works include  Night Flight ( Vol de nuit , 1931) and Southern Mail ( Courrier sud , 1929). The pilot as narrator in The Little Prince does appear as he is forced to land in the desert, but this is where the biographical familiarity ends, for it is here that the protagonist encounters the eponymously small prince who tells wise and enchanting stories of other worlds that he has visited. The simple beauty of this charming parable has delighted adults and children alike over the many decades since it was written in the late years of World War II. In addition, Saint-Exupéry’s own illustrations of The Little Prince have appeared on a plethora of merchandise, perpetuating the success of the novel and its author.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his wife in Paris

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his wife in Paris.Photograph by Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty

The book was dedicated to Leon Werth, Saint-Exupéry’s closest friend, and more particularly to Werth when he was a child. The dedication states that Werth—unlike many adults—does in fact remember when he was a child. This assertion sets the tone for the tale proper, which ponders the loss of innocence in the world and rejoices in the simple joy and vast imagination that children possess. The narrator begins his story with a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, drawn when he was six years old; he relates to his readers the frustration he felt when the adults who viewed it thought it looked like a hat and therefore discouraged him drawing any further pictures. Disillusioned from his dream, the narrator becomes a pilot and remains distrustful of grown-ups; when he does meet any adults who appear clear-sighted, the pilot shows them his childhood drawing as a means of testing their true understanding, but unfortunately they always see a hat, and their lack of imagination and interest allows them to see no further.

The pilot is so truly disappointed by the other adults he meets that he chooses the solitary existence familiar to many of Saint-Exupéry’s characters. He lives his life alone until he crashes his plane in the Sahara desert and meets a very serious and very small person. The little prince teaches the narrator to appreciate the beauty in life and the joy that is to be found in the mutual appreciation that one obtains from love and friendship. The little prince relates his adventures around numerous planets and his curious encounters with several adult characters, grown-ups who all occupy themselves with so-called matters of consequence, restricted by the ridiculous rules and regulations they impose upon themselves. Saint-Exupéry exposes the peculiarity of everyday adult activities through the man who drinks to forget that he is ashamed of drinking and the businessman who counts the stars so obsessively that he is barely aware of what it is he is counting. Once again, Saint-Exupéry urges his readers to find freedom from modern life and materialism and stresses the importance of a responsibility to something beyond ourselves, a duty to others, the value of living for the good of someone else, be that through friendship, love, or work; after all, “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The narrator urges his readers not to read this book thoughtlessly, as he has experienced so much grief recording his memories; this perhaps is a little insight into the spirit in which Saint-Exupéry writes and wishes to be read. Certainly the personal nature of all his stories resonates clearly, and there is an intimacy in The Little Prince that inspires a feeling of conspiracy between the author and those to whom he relates the memories of his dear friend. The pilot laments his own growing up and his diminishing ability to see beyond the immediate, unlike his little prince, who can see the elephant inside the boa constrictor and the sheep inside the box.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Des Vallières, Nathalie. Saint Exupéry: Art, Writing and Musing. Translated by Anthony Zielonka. New York: Rizzoli, 2004. Higgins, James E. The Little Prince: A Reverie of Substance. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996. Saint Exupéry, Antoine de. Wartime Writings, 1939–1944.San Diego: HCJ, 1986. Schiff, Stacy. Saint Exupéry, A Biography. New York: Knopf, 1994. Webster, Paul. Antoine de Saint Exupéry: The Life and Death of the Little Prince. London: Macmillan, 1993.

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The Little Prince

By antoine de saint-exupery.

'The Little Prince' is based on adventure, fiction, and fantasy. It is inspired by the voyages, reflections and realizations of the author. It takes place mostly in a desert in Africa.

About the Book

Chioma Julie

Article written by Chioma Julie

Degree in M.C.M. Awarded Best Graduating Student in Literature-in-English at UNISEC.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s bestseller, ‘ The Little Prince ’ tells the story of a young man who, while trapped in a desert in Africa, meets a peculiar character that learns from him and teaches him much more in return. The protagonist, the little prince, helps him retrace his steps and rediscover himself, lest he quickly starts becoming what he hates.

Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.

The quote above is the fox’s words . To understand, one must first tame, and to tame, and one must be patient and observe. Powerful. We’ll take a look at this bestseller of Antoine de Saint-Exupery that has been translated into more than 300 languages. With me, please.

Humor in The Little Prince

‘ The Little Prince ,’ not the little prince (I find the little prince funny anyway) is one book I find particularly humorous. The humor may not be so glaring, and this makes most of the events there even more hilarious. The characters from ‘ The Little Prince ‘ down to the snake- all of them, hilarious.

The Little Prince Language Journey So Far

Originally titled ‘ Le Petit Prince’ , and primarily set in a desert in Africa, the story of ‘ The Little Prince ‘ has been translated- apart from English to German, Spanish, and Latin.

A Recap of The Little Prince and the Major Lesson Therein

The little prince, on his way, spends time on about seven other planets, including the Earth- where he spends his time in a desert. Part of the story also takes place where the boy lives. This place is, however, not described explicitly by the author like he did, the other planets and the desert on Earth.

It is a story, quite short, but with many lessons. It takes us on a journey with a boy who becomes friends with a voyager, the little prince. It tells a story about friendship, love, the value of memories, what should be matters of consequence and what should not, and how the grown-ups get it wrong a lot of the time, but excuse themselves, because, well, they are grown-ups.

The Little Prince Structure

The author writes in very simple English. I only found one word unfamiliar in the course of reading this book. Don’t get me wrong, books should make people open their dictionaries to learn, and books should enrich one’s vocabulary. However, it is a complete turn-off, having to check the dictionary at every turn. It interrupts communication, and an impatient reader would likely shove the book aside without finishing it. The English used is English of the modern times. With twenty-seven chapters, some chapters contain just a few sentences. The book is concise and heavy with lessons.

Characterisation in The Little Prince

The characterization took a turn, one different from what I thought it would be. From chapter one, one would think the boy to be the main character, alas, the prince comes along and assumes that role. The boy narrates. Both are the two main characters in the book, but, the little prince is the protagonist.

Vividness of the Events in The Little Prince

The use of imagery in the book is commendable, and so is the use of illustrations, though obviously not the expert standard (because the boy himself admits that he really never did develop his drawing skills because that potential was stifled before it could bloom). The author’s use of adjectives gives a clearer picture of things- how each character looks, talks, and dresses. It makes the reader live in the story.

More on Lessons

‘ The Little Prince ‘ shines a light on the things society ignores, chasing after shadows instead. An instance I already used about two or three times- people buying pills in order not to drink water, only to spend the time saved, by the spring- means that grown-ups have lost touch with reality. At best, it is hilarious, a thing to do, and at worst, is a very foolish thing to do.

The book makes one reflect. The little prince learns to love his possessions a little more, on meeting the fox, agreeing to tame him, understanding him, and therefore becoming his friend.

We learn to lift our focus from the shell and focus a little more on the invaluable things, the things we cannot see. They distinguish us from inanimate things.

Character Development in The Little Prince

I like how every character is given life, some much more than the world, as it is, would allow them to have- the fox, the snake, the flowers. Even the characters who were only talked about, are given more ‘personalities’ than they would otherwise not have- the sheep, the baobabs, the boa constrictors.

Another thing I found quite funny, is the dedication. The author pleads that we indulge him and try to understand why he would dedicate this story, not to the grown-up but to the child that grew up.

I like that it exposes grown-ups for what most of them are- ignorant, worse still, comfortably so.

Wrapping Things Up

The curtains are drawn when the ovation is at its loudest. Things get quite tense towards the end of the book (not the story, because we would not want the story to end there) when the little prince is bitten by a snake and has to leave at the same spot he appeared in, exactly a year ago. The goodbyes. Very difficult. It reminds us of what happened with the fox. The goodbyes to beloved ones are always a hard pill to swallow. The little prince tries to deflect so many times- he cracks dry jokes and laughs, but nothing seems to be working. The boy is worried, still. He was only leaving his shell behind, he promises. The little prince transforms in the most glorious way. The stars are always there to remind the boy of the little prince. The beauty is, the boy cannot tell which star exactly his friend is, so he would have to love all the stars equally. So, sometimes, he looks up to the sky and begins to laugh. Of course, people would think him crazy, especially the grown-ups, the grown-ups! But, that won’t matter, because he would only be looking out for his friend, and happiness is all that matters. What a beautiful story!

The Little Prince: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Timeless Novel

The little prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery Book Cover

Book Title: The Little Prince

Book Description: 'The Little Prince' is a 1943 novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The story is a work of fantasy that follows the adventures of the little prince.

Book Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Book Edition: First Edition

Book Format: Hardcover

Publisher - Organization: Reynal & Hitchcock

Date published: April 6, 1943

Illustrator: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

ISBN: 978-0-156-01219-5

Number Of Pages: 96

  • Writing Style
  • Characterisation
  • Lasting effect on the reader

‘The Little Prince’ Rating

The Little Prince is a novel based on fantasy. It tells a story of friendship, what should or what shouldn’t be matters of consequence.

  • The simplicity of the language used in ‘ The Little Prince’ is a big plus.
  • A little more suspense would have made the book even better.

Chioma Julie

About Chioma Julie

Chioma is a graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She has a passion for music, movies, and books. Occasionally, she writes to unwind.


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Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Book Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

There are few books in the world literature legacy that equally satisfy the tastes of both children and adults. One of the first masterpieces that come to mind is probably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This charming story takes the reader on an engaging trip all over the universe; a trip that results in fascinating discoveries and helps to realize true values. Adventures that happen during this intergalactic space investigation keep young readers’ eyes glued to the pages of the book, whereas the novella’s hidden meaning attracts a grown-up audience. For this reason, it is impossible to classify The Little Prince as children’s literature or adult literature: the book sends a relevant message to the readers of both age groups. Moreover, each generation extracts important lessons from the story. Below you will find a review of the book that will help you uncover all the secrets of this charming story.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and The Little Prince history

A wonderful book is usually a product of an extraordinary writer. The author of The Little Prince was truly that kind of man: adventurous, courageous, hopelessly in love with flying. Having turned his lifelong passion into a full-time job, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quickly became known as a remarkable French military pilot who delivered mail across continents. His thrilling and sometimes dangerous trips over the Sahara Desert and the Andes found their display in The Aviator (1926), Southern Mail (1929), Wind, Sand and Stars (1939).

The latter is centered around a horrible autobiographical event: Saint Exupéry’s hazardous attempt to break the speed record, which led to the plane crash in the Sahara Desert. Together with his navigator, he got stuck between life and death with almost no food or water. Their struggle ended thanks to Bedouin coming by and finding them desperately exhausted, dehydrated and hallucinating after four days in a desert. Probably, that accident inspired the setting of The Little Prince : the Sahara Desert, plane crash and its pilot left in the middle of nowhere.

Not only the setting but also the ending of the novella alludes to mysterious events from the author’s past: Saint-Exupéry left our world silently, without any explanation. He literally vanished without a trace. During World War II, he left occupied France and joined French Air Force, flying reconnaissance missions. In 1940 he traveled to the US and had to stay there for long 27 months. For this reason, his magnum opus was published far away from his Motherland.

When was The Little Prince written? It happened in 1942 in Long Island, NY, USA. Silvia Hamilton, his friend, was handed a real treasure: the author’s manuscript and his own watercolor drawings stained with coffee and holed with cigarette burns. The Little Prince illustrations together with original manuscripts were exhibited in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York to honor the story’s 70th anniversary.

Triple genre of The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry skillfully combined the features of three different literature genres, so The Little Prince is considered to be a mix of parable, allegory, and fable. As a parable, it holds significant moral value to the readers, fulfilling a didactic function. Moral lessons about relationship, responsibility, and commitment aim to teach the audience rather than merely entertain.

Being an allegory, the story conveys two meanings: a literal one and a figurative one. Basically, a reader is presented with a story of unexpected travel experiences of a weird boy. However, every event and every dialogue in a book holds deep symbolism and hidden meaning.

Finally, The Little Prince is also a fable, since the author grants inanimate objects the ability to speak and think. Both animals and plants reflect human characters, which appears to be captivating for kids, making the process of reading a pleasure for them. This is why the book is so popular among all age groups: kids perceive it as a story with a thrilling plot, whereas older readers think deeper and try to recognize the core essence of allegories and symbols, enjoying ‘decoding’ the treasures hidden in verbal images.

The Little Prince characters

The story demonstrates an incredibly deep gap between childhood and mature age, illustrating how differently kids and adults perceive life. It is best revealed through the dialogues of two main characters who share their adventures. Apart from them, there are other characters of minor importance, each serving as embodiment of some remarkable feature. So, minor characters from a relevant background help the main hero to grasp the real state of things, hence contributing to the general concept of the story. The Little Prince characters analysis emphasizes the purity of children as opposed to weird and often wrong principles of the adults.

The Narrator

He lands his plane in the desert due to an engine trouble. While repairing it, he encounters a pale boy with curly gold hair who approaches him with a request to draw a sheep. The Narrator then shows him his own childhood drawing of a boa eating an elephant. When he was a kid, adults could never guess what he meant by that sketch and insisted on him quitting drawing. Surprisingly, the curly boy immediately understands the inner meaning. Such an extraordinary acquaintance initiates friendship between these two heroes. Later on, the Narrator feels a strong bond that ties him with his little friend, reminding him of a sincere, naive, optimistic world of childhood and its real values.

The Little Prince

The curly boy was given the name “the Little Prince” by the narrator. He comes from a distant Asteroid B-612 and considers this star to be his home for which he bears full responsibility. The boy takes care of his own little planet grubbing up harmful baobab roots and cleaning out three tiny volcanoes in order to prevent eruptions. Above all, his mind and heart belong to a Rose that once appeared on his planet. She is far too arrogant and demanding, so the Prince comes to the point when he cannot stand her anymore, though he still deeply loves her. He sets off on a long trip investigating five nearby planets aiming to find answers to eternal life questions. Finally, the boy visits the Earth and makes friends with the Narrator. The man becomes the one who is honored with the Little Prince’s trust. Therefore, two of them ponder over the essence of life based on their mutually shared experience. The Little Prince then feels it is high time to come back to his Rose and protect her again. Even though he prepares to leave the Narrator, he wants to be remembered: every time the Narrator looks at the starry sky, he is reminded of the Prince and their friendship.

the Little Prince and the Fox sitting

He is the one who teaches the Little Prince the most valuable lesson: essential things can only be seen by heart, not eyes. That explains everything to the main hero, including his relationship with his Rose. The Fox asks the Prince to tame him as ‘taming’ means surrounding someone with love, kindness, and appreciation.

Being the Little Prince’s property and totally depending on him, she behaves as if she is a master, and the Prince should please her. The Rose claims to be absolutely unique and the most beautiful ever, so everyone must adore her peculiarity. In fact, she is intolerable, capricious, and naughty, which makes her owner exhausted. The Rose represents the woman who is hard to love but whose vulnerability and grace irresistibly attracts others.

The King on Asteroid B-325

Having a rat as his only subordinate, the King assures the Little Prince in his almightiness and power. He believes that even the sun obeys his orders when rising and setting down. The King treats the Little Prince as his new subordinate which seems fairly ridiculous for the latter who sees nothing in such a man but the mindless desire to rule in the adults’ world.

The Conceited on Asteroid B-326

Being the only inhabitant on his small planet, he expects everyone to acknowledge his grandeur in beauty and intellect. Since there is no one to do that, he permanently praises himself. Consequently, the Little Prince realizes how presumptuous and self-centered the adults can be.

The Drunkard on Asteroid B 327

The man keeps drinking in order to forget the shame he feels about being a drunkard. He does not have any aims in life and lives each day in the likewise manner. The Little Prince finds out that he cannot help the desperate man, and leaves with the persuasion of how discouraged and depressed people may become if they lack any inner strength and wish for changes.

The Businessman on Asteroid B-328

Spending busy days and nights counting stars, he considers to be the owner of them. The man does not have any time to think whether dedicating his life to such a business makes sense. The Little Prince tries to persuade him that owning something means doing some favor to others, just as he does to his Rose. However, the man cannot comprehend such ideas, and the Prince leaves, disappointed at adults’ obsession and wrong standards.

The Street Lamp Lighter on Asteroid B-329

As the sunset comes, he lights the lamps on his planet. Day by day, he is doing the same job. With the pace of time, the asteroid’s turning speed is increasing, leaving the Lamp Lighter loaded with work. The Little Prince respects the efforts of this man, though adult’s life seems to be hopelessly busy and monotonous.

The Geographer on Asteroid B 330

His job is collecting important information about the world geography revealed by explorers. He does not bother to discover things on his own, but would rather wait for someone else’s news. The Little Prince is convinced that one should put efforts in order to get knowledge and wisdom, not merely sit and expect others to explain everything. As advised by the Geographer, the Prince decides to visit the Earth where he tells his adventures to the narrator. The diversity of characters in The Little Prince depicts the real world with various people, beliefs, ideas. The reader looks at the world through the eyes of the Little Prince and tries to comprehend together with him the way things should exist.

Themes in The Little Prince

The story depicts bright characters who assist in the reader’s decision-making process towards rediscovering life principles and values. Taking lessons from each episode enables the reader to distinguish important themes of the book, which are definitely worth attention. The key theme is the total contradiction between children’s and grown-ups’ perspectives of life. Sincerity, curiosity, passion, kindness inherent to kids are opposed to obsession, arrogance, apathy of the adults. The author manifests this theme with the help of other subsidiary ones:

  • Necessity of enriching one’s knowledge vs. staying ignorant;
  • Personal growth through new experiences;
  • Acquiring wisdom through learning lessons from other people’s mistakes;
  • Pursuit of true values in life;
  • Meaningless waste of time;
  • Dangers of self-concentration;
  • Relationship equals responsibility;
  • Love, friendship, and commitment;
  • Realization of world’s narrow-mindedness and its impact on a person.
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry raises core questions that need to be answered by everyone. Moreover, not only does he puzzle the audience with them but also prompts on the right decisions.

Analysis of the writing style of the author

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry developed his authentic writing style that can be surely recognized. The story is told from the first-person viewpoint: the narrator is an aviator who got lost in the desert. He lets the reader know only those things that he knows himself. The man recalls some of his childhood memories, then he gets acquainted with the Little Prince and describes their dialogues. Since the Prince appears to be an experienced traveler and adventure-lover, he cannot leave his adult friend without telling him valuable things he has recently learned. Therefore, the narrator listens more than he actually talks, focusing on the extraordinary collocutor.

The author’s tone of writing may be described as ‘mysterious and secret’. The Little Prince unexpectedly appears in the middle of the Sahara desert talking about interstellar travels; animals speak with riddles; asteroids lead their own lives with a single man on each of them; the Little Prince miraculously disappears and no one knows where and how to find him. In addition, the entire story is centered around finding answers to life mysteries that cannot be completely comprehended.

Together with the writing itself, the original book contains Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s illustrations that complete the narration. Such a skillful technique makes the author’s writing style really unique.

The Little Prince looking at his rose

The Little Prince literary devices

The masterly style demands a dexterous usage of literary devices. The Little Prince offers a variety of them:

  • Allegory (literal and figurative, inner meaning: through the demonstration of the Prince’s travels the author shows the process of searching for life answers);
  • Climax (the Fox shares his main secret with the Little Prince, which results in the boy’s decision to return to his Rose);
  • Foreshadowing (the Prince asked the pilot what planet he belongs to, hinting that the story has something to do with planets, and the boy is not a usual one; the snake told the Prince that if he wanted to come back to his planet, he would need to get bitten by her);
  • Imagery (engaging description of extraterrestrial worlds);
  • Paradox (in the Prince’s opinion, adults should grow wiser with years, but they seem to be getting ignorant, so one has to explain every single detail to them);
  • Personification (the Rose is pictured as a beautiful lady constantly dressing up and enjoying herself).

The Little Prince symbolism

Each character of the story is deeply symbolic. Moreover, even inanimate objects convey allegorical meanings. For instance, stars: the aviator navigates thanks to them, but when he meets the Little Prince, the stars acquire new meanings. When the Narrator looks up at the stars, he now knows they hold his dear friend and is reminded of eternal life mysteries and worlds not yet discovered. Therefore, stars stand for life secrets and hidden treasures.

  • The desert symbol represents hostile place without means for life, just as the narrator’s state of mind at that time. The Little Prince’s optimism was like finding the well in the desert for the pilot – it guaranteed survival.
  • The water symbol in The Little Prince describes the spiritual food necessary for one’s life. Like water nourishes a thirsty traveler’s body, spiritual fulfillment feeds our souls. The human spirit is what feels thirst the most, not our body. Moreover, people should not take things like a gulp of cool water for granted, but appreciate life in its details.
  • Baobab trees in The Little Prince is another bright symbol in the story. Baobab seeds sprout and soon become fatal to the planet if they are not uprooted in time. The same happens with any harmful habit that leads to inevitable outcome if not given up before it’s too late.
  • Planet symbolism lies in reminding us we are the only ones responsible for the well-being of our own little planets (aka lives). Each of us has a choice: whether to follow the Little Prince’s example and make the planet protected from dangerous ‘roots’, spread care, kindness, and love, or turn our life into a cramped space centered around egotistical desires, obsessive tasks, routine, spending time meaninglessly, like asteroid inhabitants.
  • The narrator told the story of his parents discouraging him after he had drawn the picture of a snake eating elephant . Adults saw merely a hat while the child’s imagination pictured something much greater. People perceive things differently but if you have a dream, protect it from the discouragement by all means.
  • The symbolism of fox manifests itself through a famous saying about responsibility and essence of things. The Fox is like a life teacher who once appears and impacts on the way one sees the world. In fact, the Fox did not say anything sophisticated. On the contrary, his wisdom lies in the simplicity: the only thing needed is to stop rushing and listen to what the heart speaks.
  • The Prince symbol meaning is revealed in two dimensions: as a pure-hearted child with optimistic ideas who lives in his own positive bright world, and as an open-minded person who strives to lead meaningful life devoting himself to people around.

Thus, symbolism of The Little Prince is one of the book’s crucial features. Each reader may find more symbols or reveal new tints in the already mentioned ones. Symbols give us an opportunity to think critically, and this is exactly what attracts open-minded audience.

The Little Prince quotes

The Fox appeared in the story for a short while only but no other character expressed the core essence of the story as eloquently as he did. His advice to the Little Prince is quoted worldwide, “Here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” The Little Prince fox quotes cannot leave the reader indifferent, as they deal with the deepest spheres of human life. What the fox once said was later on repeated by the Little Prince and the narrator proving his true point of view:

  • “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
  • “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
  • “You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”
  • “The eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.”
  • “Only the children know what they are looking for.”
  • “One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets oneself be tamed.”
  • “No one is ever satisfied where he is.”

Books like The Little Prince deserve eternal acknowledgment and attention. As long as people refer to them, they make a pause in their busy lives in order to think about the most important things like love, responsibility, and life goals.

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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — The Little Prince — A Book Report On The Little Prince By Antoine De Saint-Exupery


A Book Report on The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-exupery

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