What Differentiates Adults from Children in The Little Prince?
How often adults notice, that their perception of the world around is totally different from the children’s one? Sometimes, such mindset seems to become dull, boring and trivial with age, leaving no space for miracles. Fortunately, not all adults are the same: famous French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery managed not only to save the belief in a fairy tale, but to share it with other people as well.
His fairy tale for adults shows his own life principles and gives pieces of wisdom to every one of us. The problem of kids and adults has always been of a current interest, and The Little Prince is not an exception. But the distinction between adults and kids is not only of age. People are overwhelmed with their own problems and life issues, as if they are stuck in the net, they created themselves and see nothing around them. Picture number one in the book shows a good example: whether you see just a hat like any other adult, or you turn on your imagination and see the elephant inside a boa constrictor, rather than a hat ( Dolly Garland, 2013).
The Little Prince points out the main issue of modern society: many people are busy with something, that nobody actually needs, spending their life in vain. The best example is the king, who governs the planet by himself with no people around. Or the lamplighter, who lights up every single night only one lamp. The question is why and what for? Feeling disappointed with these people, Little Prince finally meets the author, the only person he gets along with. Maybe because, Little Prince is a reminder how much the author misses his childhood, feeling that small kid living inside of him.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery points out, how adults become selfish and forget how small things made them happy when they were kids. “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince). These small miracles don’t disappear, but people tend to change. The simplicity of Little Prince’s personality, his humanity still doesn’t have those eye glasses adults wear, that distort and disfigure the world.
The Little Prince is a good enlightening parable, that reminds us to keep our eyes and heart open. “This is my secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince). There is always a place for a miracle, we just need to see it.
1. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, translated from French by Katerine Woods, The Little Prince. Retreived from http://download.bioon.com.cn/upload/201111/21084046_8501.pdf
2. Dolly Garland, The Little Prince: Portrayal of Adults vs. Children, 2013 . Retrieved from http://kaizenreading.com/the-little-prince-portrayal-of-adults-vs-children/
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Looking Beneath the Surface People often value objects based on their appearance or their monetary value. The novella, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupery tells the adventure of the little prince who lives in a little planet with his rose and then leaves the planet because he doubts the rose’s sincerity. On Earth, the little prince realizes the true meaning of his relationship with his rose and decides to return to his planet.
Throughout the book, the author cleverly describes many strange adults who can only see on the surface such as a power-hungry king, a self-absorbed conceited man, a greedy businessman, a narrow-minded geographer, and more. Through these shallow characters, the author emphasizes that what is visible is often misleading, and things that are “essential [are] invisible to the eyes” (Saint Exupery 87). To understand the value of something, people need to see with their hearts. Later in his journey, the little prince learns how important his rose is to him by looking with his heart.
Just like the little prince, if people do not understand the real value of something, they will never be able to live life to the fullest. The narrator and the little prince make many mistakes and go through many learning experiences before they realize that what appears on the surface is not essential. At the beginning of the novella, the narrator draws a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, but the adults who see the drawing fail to understand its true meaning. The adults scoff, “Why should anyone be frightened by a hat? ” (Exupery 4) They only see a hat because they fail to look beneath the surface of the picture.
The narrator describes the children’s frustration to have to explain everything to the dull and unimaginative adults who tend to live monotonous and unfulfilled lives. After being stranded in the desert for eight days, the narrator is running out of water and dying of thirst. While searching for water, the little prince points out to him that the desert is beautiful because “it hides a well” (Exupery 93). They both recognize the invisible beauty of the desert. To them, the well in the desert represents hope that they can only see with their hearts, not with their eyes.
When the little prince decides to leave his planet, he feels conflicted because he does not yet understand the true value of his relationship with the rose. Later in his journey, a wise fox teaches him that his rose is very special because of “the time [he] wasted for [his] rose” (Exupery 93). On the surface, the little prince doubts the rose because of her vanity and foolishness. However, the fox makes him realize that the time he spends with the rose is precious. Only by understanding the effort that has been spent, the extent of the relationship, and the inspiration that comes from the experience, one can truly grasp the value of objects.
In life people must look beyond the obvious in order to understand the true meaning of their relationships. No one can find good friendship based on look or wealth. Long-lasting relationship needs to be built on trust, honesty, kindness, caring, and support. These characters cannot be seen with our eyes but rather with our hearts. I met Isabella when we were playing in the schoolyard. For some reason, I accidentally tripped and fell on the ground. While other students only paused briefly and then continued with their games, Isabella ran over and checked on me. She later accompanied me to the nurse’s office.
From that day onward, we are best friends and have always been very supportive of each other. Whenever I felt sad or dejected at school, Isabella always comforted me with her kind and encouraging words. After she moved to a different school, I still keep in touch with her because deep in my heart, she will always be my best friend. Also in relationships, people need to look deep inside in order to see others’ good intentions. When learning a difficult sport such as ice skating, some students are afraid of taking lessons from strict coaches who have high standards and are very critical of students who make careless mistakes.
They worry about difficult requirements and hard criticism because they fail to understand the good intentions of the coaches who teach them to practice efficiently and set high standards. When I was learning the axel jump, a very difficult jump in ice skating, I trained with a new coach. She was very strict and critical of my mistakes. Initially, I was bothered by her strictness. However, soon after I landed my axel, I then realized that she was strict and critical only because she wanted me to learn the proper technique efficiently.
Since then I have been very happy with my coach and truly appreciate her high standards and teaching method. Looking beneath the surface is not only applicable to relationships but to many things that people value in life such as family heirlooms, special childhood places, a medal that one worked so hard to achieve, and more. As long as people learn to look with their hearts, they will find true happiness and contentment in their lives. Works Cited Exupery, Antoine de Saint. The Little Prince. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanich, 1943. Print. I: Introduction
A: Introduce Main Idea: People usually value things based on their appearance or their monetary value. i. Determining the true value of something B: Segue to the literature i. The Little Prince is written by Antoine de Saint Exupery ii. The Little Prince leaves his planet because he doubts the rose’s sincerity. On Earth, he learns about the true meaning of his relationship with the rose and decides to return to his planet. iii. “What is essential is invisible to the eyes” C: Thesis: if people do not understand the real value of something, they will never be able to live life to the fullest
II: Prove the Thesis A: Adults not seeing the true meaning of the narrator’s drawing. 1. The adults scoff, ”Why should anyone be frightened by a hat? ” B: The true meaning of the well in the desert. 1. The desert is beautiful because “it hides a well”. C: The little prince realizes the true meaning of his relationship with the rose. 1. “The time [he] wasted for [his] rose”. D: Only by understanding the effort that has been spent, the extent of the relationship, and the inspiration that comes from the experience, one can truly grasp the value of objects.
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III: Real Life application A: People need to look beyond the obvious in order to appreciate the beauty of their relationship. B: i. My long-lasting friendship with Isabella: – Special childhood friend because she is very kind, caring, and supportive person. – Remains friends after she moved to a different school. ii. Relationship with my ice skating coach: – Misunderstood her good intentions at the beginning. – Realized mistake and learned to appreciate her teaching method. C: As long as people learn to look with their hearts, they will find true happiness and contentment in their lives.
Author: Brandon Johnson
The Little Prince Essay
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