The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

cover

The narrator starts the story with a picture of a boa constrictor with an elephant digesting in its stomach which he once drew it when he was a young boy. Unfortunately, every adult mistakenly interpret his drawings and they advised him to pick up another hobby instead.

The narrator has become a pilot when he's an adult now. One day, his plane crashes in the Sahara desert. He is greeted by a very small boy whom he refers to as "The Little Prince". During the eight days in the desert, the narrator tries to repair his plane and the little prince tells his story to the narrator. The prince starts to describe his tiny home planet, an asteroid which the narrator believes to be known as B-612. He also describes his earlier days of cleaning the volcanoes, pulling out baobab trees so that it won't continuously growing and dominate his planet. The prince also tells the story of his love with a rose which takes advantage of him later.

After that, he sets up a journey and visited seven planets, each of which was inhabited by different characters of people. This includes a king of nobody; a conceited man who likes to be admired and thought he is the most admirable person in his own uninhabited planet; a tippler who is ashamed of being a drunkard; a businessman who endlessly counted the stars and claimed that he owns them; a lamplighter who faithfully turning on and off a lamp every single minute; and an elderly geographer who never goes outside to discover the places but suggested the prince to visit the Earth.

Then, the prince landed in the desert when he arrives on Earth. The prince met a yellow snake, a desert flower, a high mountain, and rosebushes. Then, he met a fox which is desired to be tamed, a railway switchman, and a merchant who sells a water pill which solves the thirst problem and also saving people fifty-three minutes a week. However, the prince replied that he would prefer to spend the extra time to find the water.

The prince and the narrator spending their time to find for the water and they found a well in the end. After that, they bid their farewell. The narrator feels sad to leave the prince and decided to catch up with him. The prince walked away and was bitten by the snake. However, on the next day, the narrator unable to find the prince's body.

The story is beautifully written but it's probably something too deep for me. It contains some philosophical elements in it. It requires some analysis to understand the real meaning behind the story. I feel this is worth for reading and especially if you like to read something which requires deep thinking.

There are several quotes that I like from the book:

"Then you shall judge yourself," the king answered. "that is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom."


"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean--'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."

"'To establish ties'?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."


"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow."


"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me..."


"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."


"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."


"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."


"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"

Rating: ★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Little Prince.

Chin Yee

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