Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator. He is best remembered for his novella Le Petit Prince.
Born in Lyon, France, in 1900, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry considered himself a pilot above all else. For twenty years, he flew almost all kind of aircrafts from cartography missions to commercial flights, and flying occupied a significant place in his works, be it esays
Saint-Exupéry began writing The Little Prince during World War II, after Germany’s invasion of France had forced him to give up aviation and flee to New York. In its glorification of childlike innocence, The Little Prince is also an indictment of the spiritual decay Saint-Exupéry perceived in humanity
The theme of aviation was often Saint-Exupéry’s launching point for more abstract discussions on issues like the search for wisdom and the meaning of life. Like the narrator, Saint-Exupéry was a pilot, crashed in the Sahara, and experienced there a kind of mystical revelation.
The Little Prince, translated into 300 languages made Antoine famous and gave him a national hero status. The novel suggests that such inquisitiveness is the key to understanding and to happiness. Enlightenment through Exploration was the major theme of this novella. The little prince represents the open-mindedness of children.
The symbols of the story are what impressed me the most. A desert, stars, a train and water.
The star: The narrator’s final drawing, which accompanies his lament of his loneliness, is of a single star.
The Desert: The novel is set in the Sahara Desert, a barren place ready to be shaped by experience
The train journey: The children see that the journey is more important than the destination and press their faces hungrily against the windows as they ride, taking in the scenery.
Water: By the story’s end, the drinking of water emerges as a clear symbol of spiritual fulfillment.
Saint-Exupéry urges his readers to participate actively in the reading process, using their imaginations to assign deeper meaning to deceptively simple prose and poetry.
Grade 10 French Text Book of CBSE has a small passage from Le Petit Prince for reading. I want to highlight the importance of this author in the Education System, that his novella is a part of the CBSE Syllabus.
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