Hall 1101-351

The Man Behind The Story of  The Little Prince

 

    The Story of  The Little Prince  has been retold  for decades beyond its creation in 1943. This story praises self awareness and individuality by  teaching that there is a value in staying in touch with your inner child. There are many parallels between the character called the aviator and the author of the book  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Saint-Exupery’s message is one that has reached many people around the globe. My first introduction to The Little Prince was through Mark Osborne’s 2015 movie retelling of the classic childhood tale. After being captivated by the kind of disorientated yet nostalgic tone of the story, my interest in learning about the mind and life of  its original creator grew. My purpose for looking more into this children’s story was to find out why it has interested so many people for so long and to understand the opinions that other people have on this story.

In order to fully understand the creation of  The Little Prince , It seemed most important to first understand Saint-Exupery.  Born june 29th 1900 in Lyon, France,to a low income family and being presumed dead in july 31th 1944 in an unexplained plane crash, he lived only until the age of 44. Yet in his lifetime he managed to become a famed French author and a well known war hero. In 1970, the New York Times describe Saint- Exupery as, “… a systematic thinker; his gift was inspirational.. He hated tyranny, cruelty and all systems that subject men to logically ‘structured’ rule, impose as the goal of life and obliterate the things of spirit”(Galantiere, 1970). From this it can be taken away that Saint-Exupery was highly regarded for his ability to reflect  his will to express himself genuinely as opposed to robotically and systematically in his writing. This is one way he was seen and also happens to be a recurring theme in the book, where both children find themselves lost in an adult world where both have to find their own way out of a bleak and oppressing adult world. What I now know about Saint Exupery is that he was a veteran who used his life’s experiences as inspiration in his writings, such as surviving a crash in the dessert and makinging paper airplanes for children. Both of which are also things experienced by the aviator of the story. Leading me to believe that Saint Exupery is the aviator, whose purpose is to show that your life experiences always stay with you and that they are what you choose to make of them.

 

Mark Osborn’s 2015 animated movie of The Little Prince  gave me a feeling of nostalgia despite that I had never heard of the story during my childhood. The warm and lively colors of the clay planets that popped into the movie  whenever the audience enter the world of the prince gave me the impression that the story was old and familiar. At the same time I was able to relate to the concept that it can be easy to forget how to balance out the things you enjoy with the responsibilities you must take care of as you get older. Sarah Hunter wrote, “  The ambiguity of its target audience, along with the persistence of nostalgia, however, seems to be precisely what gives the book such broad, lasting appeal. As a child, I remember loving the conundrum of drawing a sheep by depicting the crate it’s in and the dreamy travels from planet to planet, while the themes of power, materialism, heartbreak, and the drudgery of work were lost on me”(Hunter, 2018), which I found to be relatable since  I agree that the message of the story may be a bit too complex for a child at times, but will keep a person’s interest well into their adulthood. This leads me to believe that the reason The Little Prince has spread as widely as it has, “…become [ing] one of the most translated books ever”(Hunter, 2018), is due to its ability to entertain both children and adults who may find that they can still relate to the story. This story is capable of creating an almost whimsical feel while also managing to stay relevant in the lives of people today.

 

    The life of Saint Exupery is one that i’m glad to have learned about based off of being able to connect with his story of The Little Prince and Osborns film recreation of it. By being able to provide a hopeful message that there is always more to life when you follow your inner child, this story has outlasted its creator all while keeping him alive at the same time. Proving that a creatively free mind can leave a long lasting and powerful impression on the world.

 

     

 

Bibliography

Galantiere, Lewis. “Antoine De Saint-Exupery: ‘The Life of the Spirit Is Higher than the Life of the Mind’ Antoine De Saint-Exupery.” Https://Search-Proquest-Com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/Docview/118912826?Accountid=28313&rfr_id=Info:Xri/Sid:Primo, The New York Times, 27 Dec. 1970.

https://search-proquest-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/docview/118912826?accountid=28313&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo

 

Hunter, Sarah. “Another Look At: Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince.: The Little Prince Has Been Charming Readers of All Ages for 75 Years, but What’s behind Its Perennial Appeal?” Booklist 115.4 (2018): 54. Web.

https://onesearch.cuny.edu/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_gale_ofa559688212&context=PC&vid=ny&search_scope=everything&tab=default_tab&lang=en_US

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