“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
I knew about “The Little Prince” from a movie trailer with the same name; I thought the trailer for the movie was beautiful and seems to deliver a certain kind of profound message to children, so after knowing that it was based from a book, I immediately looked for opportunities where I could purchase the book in an affordable price. One day, I finally came across it! XD and this little book right here is probably one of the most powerful work of art, not only for children, but mainly for adults.
So the narrator (who is the author of the book, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) was forced to give up his magnificent career as a painter when he was six years old, simply because his sole two drawings were misunderstood; he drew a boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant, but it was mistaken as a hat instead. Reaching adulthood, he became an aviator, and one day, his plane has an accident, leading him deserted in the middle of the desert (get it? :P). While he is repairing his plane,though, a little boy (whom he addresses as the little prince) arrives, and he tells him his innocent, yet profound, intergalactic adventures and the ones he had on Earth.
As a pretty short-read that you can finish reading in under an hour, “The Little Prince” is splendid; once you open the book, the gorgeous illustrations and development bind your hands and eyes, making you wanting to discover what our little prince from asteroid B-612 has to tell us. The story alternates between two segments: the first one being the aviator’s stay with the little prince while repairing his plane, and the second one is the little prince’s journey from planet to planet, starting with his reason for leaving his. Worry not, as these shifts of scenarios are not frequent; once the story goes into the little prince’s tales, it is only when it finishes does the story return to the aviator, avoiding the possible confusion and disruptive story flow.
The most prominent feature of the book, for me, however, is its innocent presentation of the human values; the little prince is a pure character, with a clear mind and behavior; he believes what is important to him, never forgetting his questions once he asked them, and prudent. Even before he leaves his home planet, his childlike purity has always been there. We will read about his attempt to discover what is really important in life, and after realizing it, he makes the aviator realize the significance of innocence and a shift of perception from the adult-oriented view towards life.
Throughout his journey, the little prince meets people from various small planets, involving a king, a conceited person, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer; these people fulfill their roles relentlessly, without rest, and they are blinded by their occupations as well as ego, oblivious to the deeper, fundamental points of life; you see, the businessman counts the stars he owns so that he can buy more stars and put them in a bank, that is what he does his entire life. Allegory much?
We are presented the state of the adults reduced to mere functionality and material utilitarianism, and get to see how regretful and saddening those states of mind are, leaving our little prince perplexed over the ‘extraordinary nature’ of those adults, just like the way the aviator felt when he was a child, but gradually losing that inner-sight once he reaches adulthood. Aside from the mundane nature of the ones who have lost their perceptions of life’s essence, we are given on how to cherish it; with the little prince’s reason for leaving his home planet and a fox’s words, what we call ‘relationships’ and ‘attachments’ have never been explained in such an accurate, simplistic manner.
“The Little Prince” is by no means a didactic book enforcing a certain morality towards its readers; rather, it is a wonderful instrument to open the readers’ eyes and notice what is important and what is necessary to life. The realizations given are all the more powerful when the book gradually turn the story into a poignant farewell, leaving us all questioning: “how can a little prince from another planet be so admirably mature?”
Perhaps we all need an otherworldly being to make us realize certain things.
Rating from me: 4/5
Is the Little Prince’s visit memorable for you?