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Character Review of the Little Prince

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Character Review of the Little Prince

The little prince is not your traditional fairytale. It is a story for all ages filled with characters that encourages readers to look at them in different perspectives. The little prince encounters characters, unusual in a sense, each had something to impart on the little prince. The author of the story formulated his characters with a high relevance to his personal life and philosophies. For juveniles, characters offer a perspective of ridiculousness of the grown-up world, a charming hero and of talking animals. Meanwhile an adult reader brings in to question the world of men their simple, single mindedness, egocentric ideologies, and critiques their ideas of power and ownership. (Anelli et al., n.p)

Before his encounter with the aviator, the little prince is found to be wandering around different asteroids—or planets as the author refers to—just large enough for a single person to reside or to call home. The people the little prince came across with were namely: a king, a conceited man, a tippler, a businessman, a lamplighter and a geographer. All of them were preoccupied when the prince came for a visit and gave him the idea that grown-ups are very odd. The characters that the author presented are not just skin-deep. I believe that they are a representation of a significant event/observation that the author once encountered—people of the society perhaps.

A question that came to mind was: Why were they alone? The author wrote it that way possibly to highlight their characteristics and behaviour in contrast to that of the little prince’s. Characters here symbolize or represent the bad side/traits of a human being. Inside of us there lives a king—the urge for power, a conceited man—the need to feel appreciated, a tippler—the pessimist, a businessman—the common grown-up or the thirst for numbers and statistics, a lamplighter—the conservative and a geographer—wants to learn but does not want to do the actual work. They hold or rather own a place in our mind—the planets the author mentioned in the novel.

The rose is a vain and conceited flower that the little prince once believed to be the only one of its kind in the whole universe. The rose appears at the first chapters of the novel. She is described by the little prince to be “a very complex creature.” She demands a lot from the little prince and does not allow herself to be in wrong. She pretends to cough and be sick when she finds herself saying something naïve so that the little prince may suffer just the same remorse. Although the rose possesses these characteristics, she is a valuable character in the story. Because of her, the prince left his planet and journeys around the universe:

“I ought not to have listened to her… One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance” (29-30)

As the little prince wanders around the earth, he encounters a whole garden of flowers that looked just like the flower on his planet—the flower on his planet happens to be an ordinary rose. But thanks to the fox, he realizes that his flower is unlike the others:

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you—the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered… Because she is my rose.”(68)

The rose, I believe, is a symbol for love. The prince invested an awful lot of time and effort in taking care of her without asking for anything in return—a perfect example of unrequited love. And although to the universe she is just an ordinary rose, for the right person she is one of kind, one he can call his. The journey the prince took led him to be at distance with her for a long time. Because of the rose, the prince learns time away from one’s love causes a person to better appreciate love, and that love entails responsibility. Recollecting the memories he had with the rose got him into regretting going on the journey in the first place:

“Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her” (30)

The author idealized the rose as a symbol for femininity. It may be a representation or symbol for the author’s wife and his love for her. The author gave life and personified an immobile object that for a long time was used as a symbol for love. The other roses that the little prince met along his way may also represent the women the author encountered during his travels (Webster, n.p.).

The fox’s appearance in the story happens after the little prince came across the rose garden. A fox is more often than not an image of a sly and devious creature. But in the story, the author flipped this symbolism. The fox easily established a connection with the little prince and pleaded for the little prince to tame him: “if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life.” I believe that this is the most unlikely statement to hear from a fox. At first, I actually had doubts about the fox’s intentions but in the end I was proven otherwise. Everyday the fox and the little prince grew closer together. As the fox said “you will sit a little closer to me everyday.”(65) The fox was both a teacher and a student of the little prince. I find it charming for the fox to ask the little prince to tame him but he was the one giving the “taming lessons”. Most often they sat there in silence because the fox said that words are the source of misunderstandings. Most if not all of the lines of the fox had a special meaning. On the contrary to the traditional image of a fox, the image that the author presents here is a wise and sensible creature. He did not only teach the little prince meaningful life lessons but the readers of the story as well. In his final encounter with the prince, the fox witnesses the prince’s departure and made sure the prince understands why his rose is so important to him. This encounter displays an ideal type of friendship because even though the prince’s departure causes the fox great pain, the fox behaves unselfishly, encouraging the prince to act in his own best interest(Sparknotes Editors). Before parting ways, the fox shares a secret to the little prince and the readers—a secret that’ll remain true for eternity: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (68)

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