The Little Prince – A Closer L
The Little Prince � A Closer L
Having read the article The Gift Of Imagination this one quote best describes imagination in us. �Almost all children have vivid imaginations. A few retain them. But somewhere in the process of growing up, most people reject it or learn to conceal it or deny that they have it, even though they use it every day.� Silver Donald Cameron. As we grow up we loose our imagination and form ourselves to the �norm� of society. In the novel The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupery imagination is evident throughout the entire novel with the �grown up� and �child�. The building blocks in the novel are: imagination, life of Antoine, novel, movie comparison, childlike and grownup characteristics, heady stuff and the secret found on page 87.
Antoine de Saint Exupery is a French man born in Lyon, France in the year 1900. Being born into a poor aristocratic family, he became a pilot and worked as a mail carrier. Antoine had none to very little of a social life. He traveled to Canada and New York in 1942 with his wife Consuela. Antoine never considered himself a writer, he saw himself as a pilot. While working as a pilot Antoine crashed in the Sahara desert. Most often in coffee shops Antoine would doodle on the napkins drawing cartoons. Antoine�s friend would keep all of his drawings. Consuela bought him a doll along with Antoine�s drawings �The Little Prince� was written. While working for the French government in 1944, Antoine�s plane was shot down while flying in German territory taking pictures. The wreckage has never been found.
After reading and watching the work The Little Prince, one should notice some similarities and differences between the two. The main characters remain the same personality, setting is in the Sahara desert, and the storyline and other aspects remain consistent. The general plot with the little prince moving from one country to another meeting new people is the same in both. During the Princes journey he meets the following characters in both works: the pilot, the businessman, the geographer, the snake, and the fox. Another similarity between the two is that we see pictures drawn and the same pictures are shown in the movie.
The Hollywood version and the novel differ. Visually, and vocally are the two different aspects. During the time of thirst in the movie the pilot and the little prince find an oasis while there was an ordinary well in the book. The characters of the railroad switchman, the tippler and the general were not included in the film while it was in the book. The sunset is mentioned forty four times in the book while it wasn�t even touched upon in the film version. Although having met the businessman in both versions, there was no mention to �matters of consequence� in the film. The Hollywood version and the novel have different content and visual effect.
Throughout the novel we see many childlike characteristics with the plot and characters. There are many words to describe children: adventurous, imaginative, loving, innocent, and creative of course there are many more words than just those five. These five words are the ones best illustrate �childlike�. Qualities the author tries to show are: Adventurous: �So then the seventh planet was the Earth� (Page 67) This quote is more of a general quote that shows how the Little Prince travelled from planet to planet. He wasn�t afraid and liked to travel. Imaginative: � Be my friends. I am all alone,� he said. �I am all alone � all alone,� answered the echo. �What a queer planet!� he thought. (Page76) This quote shows how the little prince thinks that someone is asking the same questions that he is, not knowing it is his echo. Children are also Loving: �If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the million and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.�(Page 29) The little prince has one flower for which he cares for and lives for. Children love and cherish objects also. Innocence can be seen throughout the novel. This is relevant to children due to their lack of knowledge, resulting in them asking many questions. �Why are you selling those?� asked the little prince. (Page 91) The little prince is curious and wants more information. As with all children, a characteristic of being young is to be Creative: �That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this sheep will have to have a great deal of grass?� �Why?� �Because where I live everything is very small . . .� (Page 10) These five words are how I feel children can be best described with examples from the novel.
Throughout the novel we see many grownup characteristics with the plot and characters. There are many words to describe grownups and their actions. Five words that can describe grownups are: Responsible, Stereotypical, Logical, Boring, and Narrow-minded. There are many more words than just those five. These five words are the ones I feel that best illustrate �grownups�. Those five words are illustrated in the novel; some examples are as follows:
Responsible: �Good morning. Why have you just put out your lamp?� �Those are the orders,� replied the lamplighter. �Good morning.� �What are the orders?� �The orders are that I put out my lamp. Good evening.� And he lighted his lamp again. �But why have you just lighted it again?� �Those are the orders,� replied the lamplighter. (Page59)
This quote occurs on one of the Princes many trips. He meets a man that lives on this planet who is responsible for turning the light on and off everyday. A day on his planet lasts one minute. There is no one there to check up on him to see if he turns the lamp on or off, yet he is responsible and feels it is his duty to do it. Next is Stereotypical: �I am drinking,� replied the tippler. ... �So that I may forget,� replied the tippler� �Forget that I am ashamed,� the tippler confessed, hanging his head. (Page 50) The stereotype with that quote is most people drink, smoke, eat or do some other action when in times of pain. The tippler was ashamed of drinking and in return drank because of his problem. Logical: �Three and two make five. Five and seven make twelve. Twelve and three make fifteen� Then that makes five hundred and one million, six hundred twenty two thousand, seven hundred thirty one.� (Page 52) This shows how grownups get too involved with there work. Similarly, Boring is another word that many grownups fit the description of: �Eh? Are you still there? Five hundred and one million � I cant stop � I have so much to do! I am concerned with the matters of consequence.� This man has no intentions of doing anything besides his work. (Page 53) Many grownups also fit the term of narrow-minded also: �I showed my masterpiece to the grownups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them. But they answered: �Frighten? Why should any one be afraid by a hat?� My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. (Page 4) Grownups also overlook the little details that children pay strict attention to. The drawing was of a snake digesting an elephant. A grownup knows what it should look like and there for says it looks like a hat
The novel can be looked at three distinct levels, purely childish, fairy tale, and children�s book, read as a story with a message and what the author is really trying to say (parallels between novel and authors life) The novel is written in simple English, it is an easy read. Anyone can understand what is being written. You can also read the novel as a book with a beginning a middle and an end. At the end there is a distinct message that is part of the novel. The similarities between the novel and Antoine are: Both Antoine and the pilot are French nationality, both have the same interest/occupation of being a pilot, in real life and in the novel he crashes in the Sahara desert, The drawings are all from his real life drawings, the main character of the little prince is shaped from the doll Antoine�s wife gave him. These are different ways in looking at the novel.
In addition to being a child�s book, the little prince has an underlying message that applies to society. The secret in the book can be found on Pg 87, the snake is speaking to the little prince, �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.� This shows how people take many things for granted and we do not appreciate what we have. We are selfish people that always want more and more. Sometimes we don�t see the world as it really is. Sometimes we need to actually experience it to see what is going on. We have to start to think about reality and all of the others out their in our world which are dieing of hunger and thirst. That is why it is only with the heart that one can see rightly. We become this way with the influence of the media. It shapes us, the way we act and think.
After having read The Little Prince, The building blocks of: imagination, life of Antoine, novel, movie comparison, childlike and grownup characteristics, heady stuff and the secret found on page 87 are clearly illustrated. The role of society shapes or moulds our creativeness. The book shows us how we loose many qualities as we become more mature and realize what is true and what is not. A prime example is Santa Claus.