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THE LITTLE PRINCE
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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The Little Prince
The Little Prince is a short story by the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which tells the tale of a little prince who sets off from his asteroid on a journey through the universe, in which he discovers the strange way adults see life and comes to understand the value of love and friendship.
The Little Prince is considered one of the best books of all time and a contemporary classic of universal literature.
Due to its simple and direct style, it was considered more of a children's book. However, its deep character and his reflections on life, society, and love make it a story that's of interest to everyone.
It was published in 1943 in the United States as, due to the second world war, it could not be printed in France.
Languages and formats
The book has been translated into many languages and adapted for various different formats, such as theatre, cinema, an animated series, a ballet and an opera.
The Little Prince
The Little Prince tells the story of a pilot who, while trying to repair his plane which has broken down in the middle of the Sahara desert, meets a little prince from the Asteroid B 612, who insistently asks him to draw him a lamb and never to forget a question.
One day on the asteroid, a flower blooms. The prince looks after it with care and affection, but the flower is dramatic and capricious, and this bothers him. He decides to leave his asteroid and embark on a journey through the universe in search of a friend.
On his journey, which takes the prince to various asteroids before he arrives on Earth, he meets a diverse bunch of eccentric characters who convince him that the world of adults is very strange indeed; they are always so busy with serious and important tasks that they forget to enjoy life.
On Earth, the little prince comes into contact with animals, flowers, and people. It is there that, before meeting the pilot, he meets the fox, who shows him the importance of friendship and the value of the love he feels for his flower. The nostalgia he feels for his flower and the disappointment caused by the adult world will prompt him to return to his planet.
The pilot begins to discover the fascinating story of the prince, which starts on his asteroid where he lived with three volcanoes (one inactive), and where he spent his time pulling up weeds and watching sunsets.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.
"If, for example, you came at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy."
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"One must require from each one the duty which each one can perform."
The essential is
invisible to the eye.
This is said by the Fox to the Prince. It expresses the happiness we get from our friendships and the way in which this affection is demonstrated in the necessity we feel to see our loved ones. It also refers to the importance of fulfilling the expectations of the people we love and the responsibility we have to them.
This is said by the Fox to the Prince. This means that when a relationship or friendship has been formed with another person, this makes us jointly responsible for the progress of that relationship. It reminds us that when we have "tamed" a relationship with someone, we've become very important to one another and we cannot abandon each other.
This is said by the Fox to the Prince. It means that relationships are fostered over time and that it is all this time that we dedicate that makes them valuable to us. It reflects on the importance of dedicating time to what we love, and the responsibility we have to be consistent in our relationships, whether friendships or romantic.
This is said by the King to the Prince. The King was unable to order anything that could not be done. He said that in order to be obeyed, he could only order things that people were capable of doing. It refers to the importance of using power fairly.
The Little Prince
The little prince is the main character. He lives on an asteroid, which he leaves to travel the universe in search of a friend.
The pilot is the narrator of the story. He meets the little prince when his plane breaks down in the middle of the Sahara desert.
The flower is the object of the prince's love. But his relationship with it is complicated.
The fox is the first friend the prince meets on his journey.
When he arrives on Earth he meets the pilot, to whom he tells his impressions of the adult world; always so busy in their affairs, and their inability to value the things that are really important in life.
The little prince represents the child we all have within us and the feelings of love, hope, and innocence that nourish our lives. His way of seeing the world motivates the pilot to write the story to meet the child he once was.
As a child he wanted to be a cartoonist, but adults discouraged him from his purpose. He finds in the little prince a friend who understands his drawings and teaches him, through his stories and his actions, the true value of things. The pilot shows us the importance of following our dreams.
Although he cares for and protects the flower fervently, the flower is proud, melodramatic, and capricious. Its behavior confuses the little prince to the point that he decides to depart on a journey through the universe to separate himself from it.
It is his memories that make the little prince return to his planet. It symbolizes love, which must be cultivated and cared for every day.
He explains to the little prince that friendship is a process of domestication, in which two people establish a special relationship, where both need each other.
It is he who teaches the little prince the value of friendship and who leads him to reflect on the relationship he had cultivated with his flower, as he loved it.
The author of The Little Prince was born in Lyon, France, in 1900, and died on the island of Riou, France, in 1944.
About Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
He was an aviator and writer. Part of his experience as a pilot inspired him to write The Little Prince.
Most of his literary output was written during his exile in the United States, to which he was assigned with the mission of convincing the American government to declare war on Germany during the Second World War.