Book Title/Author: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Publisher/Year: June 29th 2000 by Harcourt, Inc. (first published April 1943)
Genre: Classics, Childrens, Fantasy, Fiction
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. (Goodreads)
Although this book is sold in the Children’s section of most bookstores, the way in which The Little Prince is written, in its clever simplicity, is aimed at adults as much as it is children.
The Little Prince is a tale about the absurdities of adult human behaviour and the differences between childhood and adulthood. This is a short tale of a prince travelling from planet to planet and discovering strange adults fixated on their own selfish tasks and absurdities.
The tale is a clever allegory of a child trying to find understanding of adult behaviour, and pointing out to the adult readers that as adults that they can get distracted with their perceived ‘responsibilities’ and ‘important’ tasks, missing the simple joys in life.
The recurring phrase throughout the book is in fact that “grown ups are so strange.” Throughout the course of the book the narrator patronizes adult readers, and reminds us all that children often ‘get’ the simple ideas and beauties of life that adults cannot understand or have forgotten.
““People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”