The Little Prince

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The Little Prince (French: Le Petit Prince), published in 1943, is French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's most famous novella. Saint-Exupéry wrote it while living in the United States. It has been translated into more than 190 languages and sold more than 80 million copies[1][2] making it one of the best selling books ever.

An earlier memoir by the author recounts his aviation experiences in the Saharan desert. He is thought to have drawn on these same experiences for use as plot elements in The Little Prince. Saint-Exupéry's novella has been adapted to various media over the decades, including stage, screen and operatic works.[3][4]

Contents

Place of writing

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote The Little Prince in the United States, while renting The Bevin House in Asharoken, New York, on Long Island.

Viewpoint

Though ostensibly a children's book, The Little Prince makes several profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry tells of a fox meeting the young prince as he exits the Sahara desert. The story's essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: "On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.") Other key thematic messages are articulated by the fox, such as: "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed" and "It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important."

Plot

The narrator's point of view is interwoven in the first nine chapters and changes from third-person to first person. In the first chapter, we meet the narrator who, as a young boy, uses his imagination to draw pictures. But, when he shows them to the adults, they spurn them, and he quickly decides to abandon his drawing and grow up. As such, he decides to become a pilot, which eventually leads to his crash in the Sahara desert and his meeting with the Prince.

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