The Little Prince

"Write a concise essay critically discussing a particular book, a work of art, or a problem that is important to you."

In The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry champions the perspective of a child. But for the adult reader, the story presents a dilemma: how to reconcile the novel’s characterization of the “grown-up” with one’s adult self; how to achieve the little prince’s naïve wisdom and simplicity of perspective while still being a grown-up.

The little prince sees the world purely and beautifully, and questions the mysteries of the universe. He sets out on a journey to discover more about life. His perception is naïve because he hasn’t narrowed his mind; he hasn’t formed the preconceptions about the world that grown-ups have. Consequently he only sees the most essential truths of the universe. The little prince’s idealistic perspective is the author’s homage to childhood, the stage of life at which the world is new and mysterious and full of questions.

On the other hand, Saint-Exupéry presents the grown-up as a narrow-minded being who thinks in figures, facts and answers. Yet he does not condemn grown-ups for living like they do. It is possible to be grown-up and still live a virtuous life. After encountering the lamplighter, the little prince remarks, “‘Nevertheless he is the only one of them all who does not seem to me ridiculous....

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