Hidden Wisdom Found in the Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince, written by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, is a Work of literature that contains both hidden and explicit pieces of Wisdom. This childrens story is about a little prince who lives on a small planet. The planet is simple, it is comprised of three volcanoes, which come up to his knees, and a ﬂower overwhelmed with pnde. The flower and the little prince have conversations about life that confuse the little boy to the extent that it sets him on ajourney to discover what is really important In ones existence. Before the little prince had a chance to set on his journey, an aviator crash-landed onto his planet and they began to form a friendship. The little prince started to teach the visitor about how to take care of the planet and the importance of cleaning out the baobab trees before they had time to grow.
A baobab is a plant that needs a large amount of immediate attention. If It does not receive it, the baobab could expand and ruin the Whole planet, The little prince said, When you finish With your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, iust so, With the greatest care (21). The little princes point is simple: the baobabs need to be taken care of. even if they do not seem to cause direct harm to the inhabitants of the planet. I see this very concept in my everyday life. For example, I pay attention to recycling. This is not because of the short-term effects of littering, but rather because I know littering can potentially caus! e a problem for our environment. The chances of me directly hurting an animal, by throwrng one wrapper on the ground, are very slim.
However, I keep the ground clean for other reasons. For instance, I may influence somebody else to litter, simply by showmg this person it Is okay for me to do it. If everyone in the world is behaVing this way could have a huge effect on our planet. I slowly started to realize that the advice the little prince was gIVing and receIVIng was actually symbolism for what surrounds me everyday, The little princes planet is a microcosm of our CIVIlIZalIOI’I, Many envnonmentalists today believe it is harmful to litter because eventually it causes problems for our enwronment This entire thought about the baobabs, once again, gives the reader insight into the authors infinite wisdom and foresight. He wrote about the enVironment before it became a public concern. Later in the text it says, A baobab is something you Will never, never be able to get rid of if you tend to it too late (21). This quote sounds similar to the famous clich nip it in the bud!
This clich is usually talking about conquering a problem immediately, before it has time to develop into a larger issue. My mother always tells me to drink tea even ill think I may have symptoms of a cold, We both believe that if I can get rid of the symptoms than i can prevent a cold. Unfortunately, we did not always agree! A long time ago, I refused to try and take Vitamins and herbs to cure my symptoms, because I did not think that would prevent me from haVing a cold, Boy, did I Wish I nipped those symptoms in the bud, because the cold caused my bronchitis to act up. and I ended up in the emergency room on Shabbat. I always try to take care of colds before they worsen now. The little prince continued explaining life lessons to the visitor through the metaphorical baobab. He said. You must pull up the baobabs the moment they can be distinguished from the rose-bushesit is very tedious workbut very easy (21).
This idea is often seen in our lives as well. It takes a very slight effort to take care of a friends possessions, but one would have to pay a great price if something were to happen to an object while on loan. If I would not take that concept for granted lwould often save myself from unwanted consequence. Then the prince set out on his Journey, Along the way the little prince stumbled upon different planets where he became acquainted With many taskroriented people. Among these were: an emperor Who controlled the universe; a geographer, Who sketched the world as explorers described it to him; and a tippler, who drank to forget his shame of drinking. The prince also met a Turkish scientist, Saint Exupery writes, On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration. But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said. Grown—ups are like that (17).
Meeting all of these people gave the little prince added sell-confidence. He realized that adults had a great deal to learn because he felt he knew more than they did. This sequentially made the entire experience of learning the most important lesson of his life more humbling for the prince. What the little prince overlooked was that! he was also lacking certain characteristics He was about to learn a lesson that was extremely vital to shaping his future. his indiVIduality. and his personal growth. The emperor that was mentioned earlier expressed another key point in the story. Accepted authorities rest first of all on reason. If you ordered your people to go and throw themselves into the sea they would rise up in revolution. I have a right to require obedience because my orders are reasonable (SB). This expression leads the reader to believe the emperor is foolish since he does not actually have control over the entire universe as he claims.
The emperor just used this idea as an excuse for the little prince when he could not produce the sunset the prince desired. There is hidden meaning in the emperors words. The idea he is proposing is an idea the American people take for granted nowadays, democracy. This ideology has worked for the American government lor over 300 years. The idea is using reason to achieve a compromise. I completely agree with the beliel that reasoning can achieve unity and omectivuy. The U.S.A. has successfully employed this method t! hroughout its short history. Finally. the little prince reached earth where he met a fox who taught him the secret to life. He said. It is only with the hean that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye (84).
This is one of the more obvious messages that Antoine De Saint—Exupery wanted the reader to grasp from the story. This quote talks about something valuable that is also intangible. such as. love or friendship. it teaches the little prince a great deal about the relationships he maintains. When he encountered the fox he learned the word tamed meant to establish ties. At this point in the story. the little prince realizes that flower on his planet had a special connection to him. initially he believed this was true because he thought the flower was onerofra kind in the entire galaxy. Later. De SaintrExupery expresses the little princes disillusionment. He was standing before a garden. all arbloom With rosesand he was overcome With sadness. His flower told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe (64). At the end of the day. the fox convinces the little prince that the rose is specral because he tamed it.
The little prince had taken care of the flower: he had put a glass cover around it at night and he communicated With it. This implies a special COHHSC‘IDH. The little prince also had a unique relationship With the visitor, which becomes increasingly signiﬁcant towards the end of the book. The relationship they have is comparable to a lather and his son. For example when the little prince explains to the visitor: All men have the stars but they are not the same things for different people. For some. who are travelers, 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, and you Will have the stars as no one else has them (43).
These last Words the little prince said to the aVIator are analogous to a dying father uttering his last words to his son. Relationships are the foundation upon which humanity rests. Without relationships between people. the world would be a sad and lonely place to live. From this l must learn to reconsider and appreciate the relationships in my life. with all those around me. Only through relationships With others can one learn about oneself. Although the little prince was arrogant. he was a smart little man, When talking to the merchant. he came up with a question that embodies the typical hard-working American today, The author writes. This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst. You would eat one pill a week and would feel no need of anything to drink with these pills. computations made by experts, prove that you can save fifty-three minutes in every week.
And the prince questions the man: And What do I do with those fifty-three minutes? (74) Many current newspaper articles and teleVision news stories mention the hustle phase the American population has entered. due to recent technological advancements. Sometimes I Wish I had a car. so I could be involved in more activnies. After reading The Little Prince. I realize that I am lucky. In a sense. not having a car actually allots more free time to enjoy lifes little things. I live in a time when television shows like! The Oprah Winfrey Show and all sorts of self-help books tell everyone to take a step back and smell the roses. Oprahs show is one of the most popular ones on TV and these self-help books are often best sellers because thee topics are the obsession of people today! These items have unbelievable skyrocketing ratings, This is obsession ol people today! Take a day oﬂ and stop and smell the roses. Vou only live once so live well! Spend more time With your children! People who devour this fact should simply read a childrens story titled The Little Prince. The little prince learns lessons we could all use.