Title: The Little Prince
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Publication Date: First Published in April 1943
Date Read: January 16, 2016
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a classic novel (originally known as Le Petit Prince) and was originally published in April 6, 1943. It follows a little boy who leaves his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the unexpected adult behavior through so many extraordinary encounters.
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
If you would ask me on who should read this book, I’d probably would say that this book is not intended for children but for the young-adult and adult who remembers being a child and feels nostalgic about it. And by the way, I think the young kids will not fully understand the true meaning of this book if they had a chance to read it.
The Little Prince – he’s one of the two protagonists of the story. He leaves his own planet and ends up on earth where he meets The Pilot stranded in a desert. The Little Prince, for me, symbolizes innocence and hope, even though he encountered many people or things he never stops loving the rose from his planet.
The Pilot – he’s the one who got stranded in the desert and became friends with the little prince. He is also the narrator of the story. The pilot is a grown-up but sees the world like a child than like an adult.
The Fox – I loved the fox. He’s my favorite character for the reason that he gave the important lessons in the book. That is 1) love involves responsibility and 2) the only thing that can see correctly is our heart.
Before going to Earth, The Little Prince traveled to the planets near him and met 6 grown-ups living in each of the planet. The first one he met was The King who think he can rule the entire universe, then he met The conceited man who sees himself as the most intelligent and handsomest man on his planet. He also met The Drunkard who spends his time drinking to forget that he is ashamed of drinking. Then there’s The Businessman who is very busy counting stars that he thinks he own, the Lamplighter who lights the lamp at sunset, a job that the little prince found useful. Finally, there’s The Geographer who writes down the information given to him by the explorers but he himself didn’t have any idea whether there are mountains or rivers.
“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.”
The things that can we learn from this book is that we can only understand things if we experienced them and we cannot truly understand some things unless we search the meaning ourselves. We cannot just rely on others telling us things we should be experiencing it ourselves and we will learn from what is true. The story also teaches us the importance of friendship and responsibility. I love this book so much and now I know why this story is still being taught to students like me even though it was published years ago. It’s a gem, a treasure and a story that I will cherish forever. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
About The Author
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.