I really don’t know how to write a book review about “Le Petite Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This book masquerades as children's literature for its deceptively simple prose and poetry. The words are so simple, yet I could not grasp the profound meaning and the deep wisdom behind them. I see this as a book about humanity and spirituality. The book is full of metaphors, metaphors of introspection, of how to live a life, of what matter in life – love and responsibility – and of the priorities in life. The messages are delivered through the little prince’s innocent questions that sought only the truth and through his understanding of himself and of the life and people he encountered.
If you have read “The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story behind the Little Prince” by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, you could probably understand the prince’s relationship with the rose which somewhat insinuated Antoine’s relationship with his wife, Consuelo. Consuelo was his muse, the inspiration for the Little Prince’s beloved rose —unique in the entire world—whom he could not live with and without. What made the rose unique and special were the love and nurturing that the little prince poured towards her as well as the sense of responsibility he held for her. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed (established ties / friendship / relationship). Like what the fox said, “If you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. I'll know the sound of footsteps that will be different from all the rest. Other footsteps send me back underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like music.” The fox then became unique. It became something after it had been tamed. It became something important to someone, something that someone could even die for.
In the end, we learn what is important, which is love that gives meaning to all existence. What makes the desert beautiful is that it hides, somewhere, a well. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Often we miss out what is important in life. What is the priority? “The men where you live,” said the little prince, “raise five thousand roses in the same garden, yet they do not find what they are looking for”.
** By the way, I cried when I read the book.
Here are some beautiful quotes from the original novel in French. For translations, please see http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/639456
J'aurais dû la juger sur les actes et non sur les mots
C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante
Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur.
L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Ce qui embellit le désert, c'est qu'il cache un puits quelque part...
Ce que je vois là n'est qu'une écorce. Le plus important est invisible...
Il faut bien protéger les lampes: un coup de vent peut les éteindre
Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le coeur.
Ce qui est important, ça ne se voit pas