The Little Prince

The Little Prince Metaphors and Similes

Taming (Metaphor)

Taming puts in place a new arrangement in the world: an emotional relationship. It supplants the pragmatic relationship, when things were understood only in terms of utility. Now it is not their function that counts but the power of suggestion they envelop. The color of wheat led the fox to the little prince, just as the stars remind the pilot of the prince. The wheat or the stars do not exist as things; they are signs to the little prince, and they have the value of metaphors.

The Pilot (Simile)

When the pilot crash-lands in the Sahara, he says "I was more isolated than a man shipwrecked on a raft in the middle of the ocean" (3). This simile allows readers to see just how alone he is. Like a man shipwrecked on a tiny raft amidst the watery wastes of the ocean, he is alone in the "waves" of sand in the Sahara. His isolation is what makes the little prince's arrival so startling; this is also what links the two of them together, as the prince is also completely alone.

Baobabs (Simile)

The prince tells the narrator about baobabs and the narrator responds thusly: "I pointed out to the little prince that baobabs are not bushes but trees as tall as churches" (14). This simile allows the reader to envision just how large and imposing the baobabs are, which is significant because many critics believe the baobabs are symbols of the Nazis due to their interest in spreading out (Hitler's lebensraum) and conquering.

Prince as Lamp (Metaphor)

This is a lovely metaphor because it indicates just how small and meek the little prince actually is, though he is often loud and querulous and questioning. Towards the end of the prince's life, the narrator says: "And I realized he was even more fragile than I had thought. Lamps must be protected: A gust of wind can blow them out..." (69). He uses the image of a lamp that can easily be blown out to suggest that the prince's life can be quickly extinguished. This is a metaphor but also a foreshadowing since the prince does die.

Army (Simile)

The narrator describes the army of lamplighters: "the movements of this army were ordered like those of a ballet" (48). This simile not only adds grace to a rather quotidian task, but also reinforces how rigid the tasks are that adults undertake. The simile is also a somewhat flowery and "witty" way to describe the lamplighters, which the narrator admits and apologizes for. It reminds readers that the narrator is an adult and prone to such superfluities.