The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a French children’s book. This classic is suitable for readers of all ages. I’d particularly urge adults to read it. The story is narrated by a pilot who crashes his plane in the Sahara desert and encounters the titular little prince. The little prince tells the narrator thought-provoking stories about his planet and his travels.
One major theme the book deals with is the goodness of preserving childhood curiosities and weirdness of grown-up tendencies. The book mocks the ways of adults by describing the attitudes of a king, a conceited man, a tippler, a businessman, a man who follows the rules blindly and a man who wouldn’t explore.
I liked how the little prince took care of his planet every day. The story of the lazy guy who forgot to take care of his planet alerted me. I felt that this indirectly pushes us to realize that we need to take care of the Earth.
Let me list a few quotes I loved and summarize my interpretations below.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
The above quote can be interpreted as how we all lose our imagination as we grow up. It can also reflect how many of us, as children (especially as teens), used to haughtily think that we know it all and are better than our parents.
I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.
We tend to concentrate on things that don’t matter in the large scheme of things. However, we don’t seem to have either time or interest to stop and smell the roses.
But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said. Grown-ups are like that…
How often do we judge people on their looks? Their appearance, their fashion sense or their personal style has nothing to do with their intellect or character. Yet, we judge people just the same.
If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost £4000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”
Some adults tend to judge things based on their monetary worth, not on their value or importance.
For us, who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference.
Well, if the author meant scientific computations when he says figures, I disagree. I firmly believe that science adds to the awe of looking at nature and marveling at it. If he meant to say money, then I agree.
I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words.
We all know that this statement holds true for all alliances and relationships. Enough said.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
I understand this quote to mean that sometimes you have to think from your heart and ignore what your eyes see. The important things in life are abstract and intangible and your eyes cannot perceive them.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
There is no challenge in the world that has no solutions. Every sadness has a silver lining. When a door is closed, another opens.
I hope my list of quotes has inspired you to pick the Little Prince. I would really recommend it to everyone I know. Books like this need to be read every now and then, to keep us on track. No wonder its a classic!