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Thread: A Review on the Classic Novel: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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    Red face A Review on the Classic Novel: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Book Summary

    The whimsical children’s fable for grown-ups entitled “The Little Prince” was written by a French pilot and lyrical poet named Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery during his stay in the United States. The story was written and published a year before he died. Saint-Exupery helped establish airmail routes in the 1920s and became a military reconnaissance pilot. His first book, entitled “Southern Mail” which was published in French in 1929 was about life and death of airmail pilot. He died on July 31, 1944 when his plane was shot down during his final reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean Sea. Originally, it is entitled “Le Petit Prince” and first published in French language. It is translated over 300 languages and dialects.

    This well-known children’s story which is also enjoyed by adults is authored by Saint-Exup&ery. A placid and considerate book, it narrates a story of a boy who resides alone in a diminutive planet. The story focuses on the journey of the little prince as he travelled to different planets. It exhibits moral lessons about life. It is not your typical children’s story that begins with “once upon a time” and ends with “they live happily ever after”. It is rather a children’s fable coated with morals for adults that highlights the essence of friendship which is a greater matter of consequence among the different business and concerns of mankind.

    Dating back in 19th century, the Little Prince journeyed to various planets to search for a companion. After several strange meetings with men living in other planets he reached, the little prince travelled to planet Earth. He arrived at the vast dessert of East Africa and wandered for several days where he encountered numerous beings which later then taught him life lessons.
    Facts About The Little Prince

    The famous story of a pilot and an early age alien prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery has fascinated readers ever since it was first released in 1943. Even if you fully understand The Little Prince (and perhaps Le Petit Prince in its official version French) by heart, there have been probably some things about the classic novel that you may not know.

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    1. Saint-Exupery Knew Some Things About Plane Crashes On The Desert.
    Saint-Exupery was scribbling what he got to know when he described the narrator of the book crashing in the Sahara Desert at the beginning of the book. Although he's mostly known today for The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery was revered as an upper class aviator and writer who had flown postal routes in Africa including South America and had served as a test pilot before the Second World War. Saint-Exupery crashed his aircraft in a desert 125 miles outside Cairo during an attempt to pull the record for fastest trip among Paris and Saigon.
    2. "The Little Mermaid" influenced Saint-Exupery to compose The Little Prince.
    While the story 's true sources remain highly disputed, one popular hypothesis is that Saint-Exupery was influenced by this fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Saint-Exupery was confined in a hospital in the early 1940s as he suffered from multiple accidents that had built up from his aircraft collisions, so he became bored out of mind. His wife Annabella wanted to tell him a story—"The Little Mermaid"—which had Saint-Exupery contemplating composing his own fairy tale.
    3. Saint-Exupery wrote after the Second World War, during a self-inflicted exile in the United States.
    Saint-Exupery was a French Air Force pilot before the truce between France and Germany throughout 1940 which culminated in the French powers being demobilized. Despite Free French dictator Charles de Gaulle's bad judgment, Saint-Exupery declined to join the Royal Air Force but instead headed for the U.S., where he unsuccessfully attempted to push the country into the fight against Germany.
    4. Consuelo, the wife of Saint-Exupery, probably inspired the Prince's Rose.
    There was a tumultuous relationship between Antoine and Consuelo, living separately during most of their lives, but she still stayed his inspiration. Much like Saint-Exupery kept Consuelo near to his heart, the Prince also protects his rose from the elements, watering it and shielding it from danger. While the Prince sees other roses (in Saint-Exupery 's case, other women) on his route, he is told by the fox that his rose is unique to him.
    5. Saint-Exupery wrote The Little Prince, and illustrated it.
    Saint-Exupery himself adorned all the simple sketches of the story with watercolour. He didn't call himself a "artist," but he was a keen doodler and often sketched out little figures on paper scraps.
    6. He had to improvise on drawings of some of the depictions.
    Saint-Exupery had no access to a massive menagerie, so he was basing the illustrations on what he might find. Inspired by his own experience, he based all of the characters on actual figures — the sheep was a friend's poodle, when his own pet boxer was the tiger.
    7. In fact, one of the principal characters has never been shown to the reader.
    The pilot — the protagonist and one of the central characters — is oddly never portrayed in the novel. A 2014 show at the Morgan Library as well as Museum in New York included several rare sketches by Saint-Exupery, including one showing the protagonist sleeping by his jet. Christine Nelson, manager of historical and literary manuscripts at the Morgan, expressed her insights on the piece: We can only wonder why [he] wanted to exclude the picture, but he was really good at removing what was not important to his plot. A fitting explanation, given the tale famously says, ("What is essential is hidden to the eyes," a line which itself went through many alterations.)
    8. Orson Welles, with Walt Disney 's support, decided to turn the narrative into a script.
    Welles was evidently so impressed by the plot that the day after hearing it, he acquired the film rights. He decided to collaborate for Walt Disney and also requested Disney to perform the special effects but as partners, the two talented talents did not work wonderfully. Disney feared a project like that might upstage his own work, and allegedly walked out of a conference shouting, "There's no place for two geniuses on this lot." Welles' initial draft was seen during the Morgan exhibit.
    9. Saint-Exupery dropped off his book at a friend's before fleeing to rejoin the army.
    His distributor had an unassuming ride to one of the most popular authors of all time. Saint-Exupery dropped a "rumpled paper sack" onto a friend's entrance table holding his draft book and initial drawings and then set off again for France. The handwritten text, which was 140 pages long, was a mixture of struck-through script, illegible letters, coffee stains, but also scorch marks. He left it as a farewell present, saying, "I want to send you something special, but that's all I've gotten."
    10. Saint-Exupery has never had the book written in his native nation.

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    The Little Prince, first released in 1943, was issued in English and French but only in the United States. Saint-Exupery 's books were not readily accessible under the Vichy government because of his divisive political beliefs, and it wasn't after the independence of France that the novel was made accessible in the author's homeland.
    11. After the novel was finished Saint-Exupery suddenly vanished.
    Saint-Exupery had already been thought dead for a year by the time his writing became published in France, so his death was as enigmatic so interesting as his career. He was once again allowed to travel after finding his way to Algiers and negotiating his way through the Free French Air Force, while both his physical and emotional fitness are uncertain. His aircraft crashed on a search flight in 1944; So they never saw him again. It is uncertain if he was shot down by an adversary or whether the plane crashed in a suicide move. The author's body has never been identified, and it wasn't until 1998 that a hint to his destiny was located in the shape of his silver identification necklace, found by a fisherman out of the Mediterranean coast of Marseille. A diver finds the remains of his aircraft there in 2000.
    12. The Little Prince was translated into more than 250 separate languages.
    Some of the world's greatest-read and most-translated novels, the tale is also used as a educational resource in classrooms for studying other languages. The sleek layout of the book makes it an especially powerful option for translation into tiny and vulnerable languages. This was translated into a northern Argentinean language named Toba in 2005—a remarkable difference as the only other text translated into Toba up to this stage was the Bible.
    Thoughts About The Book

    The story is consisting of several characters. Although the minor characters play highly significant roles, the relevance of their existence is better understood when readers refer to the story. The major characters are as follows: the little prince, the pilot (the narrator), the flower and the fox. Firstly, the prime character of the story as the title suggests itself is no other than the little prince. As he travelled in different planets, the men he met made him arrived at a conclusion that “grown-ups are very strange”. Secondly, the narrator to whom the perspective of the story was set, is the same pilot who developed a philosophical bond with the little prince after their fateful meeting at the desert.

    As they spent their time wandering in the desert, the little prince elucidates his odyssey to the planet Earth. Thirdly, as Romeo got Juliet and a princess got a prince charming, the little prince got a flower whom he cherishes so dearly. In the story, a vivid significance of friendship was presented by the flower and the little prince. Lastly, among the major characters, the fox gave the little prince an absolute enlightenment about actions neglected by men that makes life malevolent. The little prince shared a secret to the little prince, which is no longer kept to sustain humanity.

    The story was excellently crafted. It is a moral admonition disguised in a children’s fable. However, the narration of the story is somewhat vague which makes the story difficult to understand. Although the story exhibited exemplary life lessons, it cannot be perceived easily at first glance. For instance, the fox said “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye” (p.64). One of the heart-rending passages in the story, it contains an in-depth note about men who only notice what is visible and neglect the idea of the “treasure” hidden within the sole heart of the dessert (or rather deep within our bare heart).

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    Since the story comprises profound lessons about life, adults or grown-ups are the ideal prospective readers of the story. The entire story is addressed to adults and their actions neglected recklessly which results in prioritizing “matters of consequence” those are considerably less important as the suggested by the story.

    Thus, children who are not guilty of these actions are not subjected to reading the story for they might not definitely comprehend its message. Contrarily, the creative illustrations that are inviting to children are actually for adult readers which serve as paradigm to reveal the perplexity behind the quests of the little prince.

    All things considered, Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince” is worth the time of whoever adult who wants to be reprimanded in the most gentle and fascinating manner. Not only because of its candid commentaries about putting premium to life and friendship, but it also informs readers the recipe in living the life to the fullest. The entire story focuses on the adventures of the little prince exploring the certain value of friendship that is present even in the tiniest place in the universe.
    Last edited by solace; 15-08-2020 at 04:39 PM.


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