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Why Should I Read The Little Prince? | Summary, Background, and Quotes


The Basic Bio

It’s a children’s book that asks simple philosophical questions about life. It’s a children’s book for adults. Despite this, The Little Prince harshly critiques adults. The book challenges many of the things adults value are really not that valuable.

So, when a pilot crashes lands in the middle of the desert and meets a little boy, he learns to see things like a child and to value the important things in life. His new relationship with this strange boy will fill the pages of this iconic book with perspective-changing stories that have inspired people for the last 80 years…


 

Story Chapters

 


A Summary of The Little Prince (No Spoilers)

The Little Prince is a book about a downed pilot who has crash-landed in the Sahara Desert. He begins the book by telling the story of how he drew an elephant being consumed by a snake, but the adults only saw a hat. And that’s why he became a pilot instead of an artist.

As he’s fixing his plane, a little boy appears and asks him to draw a sheep. After several attempts to draw a sheep that satisfies the little boy, he draws a box and tells the boy that the sheep he wants is inside. The "little prince" is overjoyed, despite the pilot's expectation of his disapproval.

And that’s how their friendship begins. As they grow closer, the little prince describes his home: Asteroid B-612. A tiny planet where the little prince spends his time raking out volcanoes, decimating growing baobab trees, and taking care of his precious rose. But one day, he decides to leave.

After putting his planet in order and saying goodbye to his rose, the little prince left. While traveling to different planets, he meets a variety of characters. From an always-busy businessman to a man who stands around just to hear people’s applause, these characters represent a type of "adult."

Finally, the little prince makes his way to Earth. He goes on to ask philosophical questions that make us think twice about what’s really important in our lives. Follow along as the little prince and the pilot survive the desert, walk through a rose garden, and tame a fox while framing life’s most important valuables.



The Story of Antoine de Saint-Exupery: The Background of The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in Lyon, France, on June 29, 1900. Three years later, the Wright Brothers would create the first plane, finally unlocking the secret to humanity’s great desire to fly.


Saint-Exupery’s family was impoverished but came from an aristocratic background. This was one of the reasons he became interested in flying at an early age, flying for the first time at the age of 12. This was only nine years after the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk. After this experience, he would strive to become a pilot.

Saint-Exupery’s father died when he was young, and when World War I broke out, he was forced to move to a school in Switzerland. He wanted to go to the École Navale (the Naval Academy) to learn how to fly but failed the entrance exam. So instead, he went to the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) to study architecture in 1917.


École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts)

However, Saint-Exupery was able to realize his dream of flying when he began his compulsory military service in 1921. Despite beginning as a mechanic, he was soon able to learn how to fly. However, he fell in love with a woman and left the Air Force in 1922, but returned after the engagement failed.


Returning to his love of flying, Saint-Exupery worked different jobs until he began to work for Aéropostale, a company that delivered mail throughout France, Spain, and North Africa. It was also at this time that he began to write, publishing his first work, "The Aviator," in 1926.

A year later, in 1927, Saint-Exupery became an airfield chief in southern Morocco. The next few years of his life would inspire his first few books. Seeing the daily heroism of pilots, he wrote his first book, Southern Mail, in 1929. Two years later, after returning from overseeing the development of Argentina’s postal service, he wrote Night Flight, which was instantly successful and would later become a movie.