The Little Prince, written by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, has been translated into some 220 languages and dialects so far. The Little Prince Le Petit Prince Mały Książę El Principito Küçük Prens Il piccolo principe Micul Prinţ Ο μικρός Πρίγκιπας
Key Facts• full title · The Little Prince (in French, Le Petit Prince)• author · Antoine de Saint-Exupéry• type of work · Children’s story, novella• genre · Fable, allegory• language · French• time and place written · The summer and fall of 1942, while Saint-Exupéry was living in Long Island, New York• date of first publication · First published in English translation in 1943. The first French edition did not appear until 1946.• publisher · Reynal & Hitchcock, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. (U.S. edition, both French and English); Gallimard (French edition)
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry isboth a pioneer of aviation anda well-known French writer.He was born inLyon, France, in 1900. At anearly age, he dreamed of alife of adventure and wantedto become a naval officer.Unfortunately, he failed theexam to qualify him for navalofficer training school. As aresult, he turned his attentionto the field of aviation.
Even though flying was dangerous and risky in Saint-Exupéry’s time, hejoined the military and trained to be a pilot. After his military service, hepresented himself to the director of an airline company and expressed hisdesire to become a commercial pilot. The director told him he must firstbecome an airplane mechanic. Finally, in 1927, after serving as amechanic, Saint-Exupéry became a pilot, opening up new air routes overthe Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, and the Sahara Desert. Because ofthe danger of flying, he had a number of accidents, but he escaped anymajor injuries. Later Saint-Exupéry became the director of his own aviationcompany in South America, where he often flew dangerous routes overthe Andes Mountains. For Saint-Exupéry, flying was not just piloting an airplane; it was a time formeditation and reflection. While in the air, Saint-Exupéry would think deeplyabout solitude, friendship, the meaning of life, the human condition, andliberty. He decided to publish his reflections into a book, which wassuccessful. When his aviation company failed, Saint-Exupéry decided topursue writing as a career. He first became a journalist, traveling toSpain, Russia, and Germany. He also wrote two philosophical books based onaviation: Night Flight (1932) and Wind, Sand, and Stars (1939). Still in lovewith piloting an airplane, Saint-Exupéry continued to fly whenever he hadthe opportunity.
In 1939, when France went to war with Germany, Saint-Exupéryimmediately enlisted in the army, hoping to become a military pilotin the war effort. France, however, was soon defeated and occupied byHitlers troops. Saint-Exupéry decided to leave his homeland, settlein the United States, and pursue his writing career. It was in New Yorkthat he published The Little Prince, his most celebrated book, in 1943.Since its first publication, more than 25 million copies have been soldin 75 different countries. In 1942, when American troops landed in North Africa, Saint-Exupérydecided to join the U.S. Army as a pilot. Since he was 42 years ofage, he was initially considered too old to be a pilot and was notallowed to fly; however, Saint-Exupéry persisted and was finally givenan airplane. He accomplished many missions over occupied France. OnJuly 31, 1944, Saint-Exupéry left for his last mission. His plane wasdestroyed by the Germans over the Mediterranean.
The narrator begins the tale with an explanation of his dislikeof adults; he claims he does not enjoy them, for they are much toopractical. Instead, he prefers the company of children, who arenatural and curious. The narrator next tells of how his plane crashed in thedesert, where he met the Little Prince, a mystical creature fromanother planet, asteroid B-612. The narrator tells why the Prince left his planet and wherehe visited before coming to Earth. His adventures on six differentplanets are recounted, including the encounters with theking, the vain man, the drunkard, the businessman, thelamplighter, the geographer, the snake, the desertflower, the garden of roses, the railway switchman, themerchant, the fox, and the narrator. The narrator and the Prince share a rewarding relationship onthe desert, and when the Little Prince departs, the narrator misseshis company. He writes the novel in memory of the Little Prince.
Character list T h e N a r ra t o rThe Little Prince The Rose The Baobabs The King T h e Va i n M a n T h e D r u n ka r dThe BusinessmanThe Lamplighter T h e G e o g ra p h e r The Snake T h e Fo x
The Narrator The Little Prince A lonely pilot who, while One of the two protagonistsstranded in the desert, befriends of the story. After leaving histhe little prince. They spend home planet B – 612 and hiseight days together in the desert beloved rose, the princebefore the little prince returns to journeys around thehis home planet. Although he is universe, ending up on Earth. Frequently perplexeddiscouraged from drawing early in by the behavior ofhis life because adults cannot grown - ups, the princeunderstand his symbolizes thedrawings, the narrator hope, love, innocence, andillustrates his own story and insight of childhood that liemakes several drawings for the dormant in all of us.little prince. The narrator is a Though the prince is sociablegrown-up, but his view of and meets a number of characters as he travels, hethe world is more like a childs never stops loving and missingthan an adults. After the little the rose on his home planet.prince departs, the narrator feelsboth refreshed and saddened.
The Rose The Baobabs A coquettish flower who hastrouble expressing her love for Baobabs, harmless treesthe little prince and on Earth, pose a great threat to smaller planetsconsequently drives him away. like the princes if leftSimultaneously vain and unchecked. They cannaïve, she informs the little squeeze whole planets toprince of her love for him too pieces with their roots.late to persuade him to stay Although baobabs have nohome and not to travel. malicious opinions orThroughout the story, she intentions, they represent the grave danger that canoccupies the princes thoughts befall people who are tooand heart. lazy or indifferent to keep a wary eye on the world around them.
The King The Vain Man On the first planet The sole resident ofthe little prince the second planetvisits, he encounters a the little prince visits.king who claims to rule The vain man is lonelythe entire universe. and craves admirationWhile not from all who pass by.unkindly, the kings However, only by beingpower is empty. He is alone is he assured ofable to command being the richest andpeople to do only what best-looking man on histhey already would do. planet.
The Drunkard The Businessman A caricature of grown-ups The third person who is the fourth personthe little prince the little prince visits.encounters after leaving Too busy even to greet hishome is a visitor, the businessmandrunkard, who spends owns all the stars. Yet hehis days and nights lost cannot remember whatin a stupor. The they are called and contributes nothing todrunkard is a sad them. Although the littlefigure, but he is also prince comments onfoolish because he the oddity of the grown-upsdrinks to forget that he he meets, the businessmanis ashamed of drinking. is the only character the prince actively chastises.
The Lamplighter The Geographer The fifth and most complex The sixth and final characterfigure the prince encounters the little prince encountersbefore landing on Earth. before he lands on Earth.At first, the lamplighter Although the geographer isappears to be yet another apparently well-read, he refusesridiculous character with no to learn about his own planet,real purpose, but his selfless saying it is a job for explorers.devotion to his orders earns He recommends that the littlehim the little princes prince visit Earth and hisadmiration. Of all the adults comments on the ephemeralthe little prince encounters nature of flowers reveal tobefore reaching the prince that his own flowerEarth, the will not last forever.lamplighter is the only one theprince thinks he couldbefriend.
The Snake The Fox The first character Although the fox asksthe prince meets on Earth, the little prince to tame him, the fox is in some wayswho ultimately sends the more knowledgeable ofthe prince back to the heavens the two characters, and heby biting him. A constant helps steer the prince towardenigma, the snake speaks in what is important in life. In the secret the fox tellsriddles and evokes the snake of the little prince before theythe Bible, which incites Adam say their good-byes, the foxand Eves eviction from Eden by sums up three importantluring them into eating lessons: only the heart can see correctly; the princes timethe forbidden fruit. away from his planet has made him appreciate his rose more; and love entails responsibility.
ENDING The climax of the plot occurs when the Little Princedecides to return to his planet and care for his specialflower. He has learned from the fox that the importantthings in life cannot be seen with the eye, only felt withthe heart. In essence, the fox’s lesson is about how tolove, a most important thing for everybody to learn. Thislesson eventually makes the Little Prince realize that theflower from which he has fled is really very special. Aftermeeting the narrator and explaining all that he has learnedsince he left his planet, the Prince accepts that he reallyloves the flower because she is hisresponsibility, and he has invested time and trouble in hersurvival. As a result, he decides that he must go back to hisstar to take care of his special and beloved rose.
• “Goodbye, said the fox. And now 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.”• “All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”• “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.”• “ I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings.”• “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”• “You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.”• “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”