The Little Prince Essay

1050 words | 4 page(s)

In the novella, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry_GoBack_GoBack, the author presents a fable in the form of a novella. The fable is a lesson for both adults and children. In the story, the children possess the wisdom, while the adults are foolish. This is seen in a series of events in which the children appreciate life around them while the adults fail to understand it. Only the children have the ability to use imagination; the adults have lost their imagination with adulthood. As a result, the children can see things as they truly are. The adults can only see things in a boring and dull manner. The novella is a fable which encourages adults to look beyond the dreariness of their lives. It is also a story that encourages children not to lose their gifts of imagination and wonder.

The novella tells the story of a young prince who has come to Earth from his home, an asteroid. Through the story, he engages in a series of adventures, including climbing the world’s highest mountain, correctly interpreting drawings, and sharing his stories about visiting other asteroids. The author utilizes these tales to express the strangeness of the adult world. In the adult world, they place no value on art. When the narrator discusses his attempts at drawing an elephant swallowed by a boa constrictor, the adults advise him “to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and to devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar: (de Saint-Exupery 2). They fail to appreciate the ability of the narrator to imagine this scenario. It is obviously impossible for a snake to eat an elephant. However, the narrator had the imagination to consider a world where the impossible happens. This is a gift the adults do not grasp.

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The narrator asks a series of adults to recognize what his drawing represents. Essentially, it represents the expansion of the world’s possibilities. However, all the adults see a mundane object in his drawing: a hat. The narrator then realized that the adults could not image a world with possibilities. Instead, the adults lived in a boring world filled with mundane things, such as “bridges, and golf, and politics and neckties. And the grownup would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man” (de Saint-Exupery 2). The narrator realizes that he cannot talk to the adults about magical occurrences that are filled with adventure. He feels sorry for the adults due to the world they are forced to inhabit.

The narrator’s plane crashes into the desert, where he meets a little prince who still possesses the wonder and the imagination of a child. He is alone and worried that he will die from thirst. Therefore, he is rather surprised to discover the little prince. Also, the little prince is not worried about mundane things; he asks the narrator to draw a sheep for him. The narrator discovers that he cannot. This is because “the adults discouraged me in my painter’s career when I was six years old, and I never learned to draw anything, except boa from the outside and boas from the inside” (de Saint-Exupery 3). In this manner, the narrator realizes that the adult world deprived him of all creativity and imagination. He had possessed these traits as a child; however, the adults told him to put aside these abilities. Rather, he had been encouraged to focus on practical considerations.

The little prince, however, still possesses the wonder and imagination of a child. The narrator draws him his traditional picture of an elephant inside a boa. The narrator is rather surprised when the little prince can properly interpret the drawing. When the narrator draws him a box, he says that the sheep is inside the box. The little prince indicates “that is exactly the way I wanted it!” (de Saint-Exupery 4). It is obvious that the adults would have told the narrator that he was wasting his time. It is also obvious that the adults would not have grasped that the sheep was inside the box.

The little prince tells the narrator about the asteroids he visited in his journeys. Adults run the asteroids in a ridiculous manner. For instance, one asteroid is run by a king who has no subjects. The king repeatedly gives orders to the prince. He orders him to not yawn and then he orders him to yawn. When the little prince indicates that he cannot do this, the king modifies his orders. The king tells the little prince to yawn sometimes and to not yawn sometimes. Of course, this order makes no sense. However, “what the king fundamentally insisted upon was that authority should be respected. He tolerated no disobedience” (de Saint-Exupery 14). The king recognized the difficulty of this plan though. He did make his orders reasonable simply because he did not want to be disobeyed. The king represents the adults who often give orders regardless of their feasibility. Rather, the adults in the world merely want to exercise authority. They do not care if their authority makes sense.

Another important scene involves the little prince taking a train ride. The little prince notices that the adults rush from place to place. They never enjoy the place where they are at the present time. The children who ride the train do. The switchman tells the little prince “Only the children are flattening their noses against the windowpanes” (de Saint-Exupery 30). The children appreciate life as it happens. The adults only look towards the future. In this manner, the adults actually fail to enjoy life. The children, however, enjoy the present time. This is the only time that actually exists.

In the story The Little Prince by de Saint-Exupery, the author utilizes a series of events to explain the difference between the children and the adults. While the children still enjoy wonder and amazement, the adults have lost their imagination. Rather, the adults rush from place to place. They give orders and follow orders, regardless of whether or not the orders make sense. They are obsessed with authority. The adults rush from place to place, never enjoying where they are at the present. The children, however, live fully in the present moment and enjoy their lives.

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