What Differentiates Adults from Children in The Little Prince?
How often adults notice, that their perception of the world around is totally different from the children’s one? Sometimes, such a mindset seems to become dull, boring and trivial with age, leaving no space for miracles. Fortunately, not all adults are the same: famous French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery managed not only to save the belief in a fairy tale but to share it with other people as well.
His fairy tale for adults shows his own life principles and gives pieces of wisdom to every one of us. The problem of kids and adults has always been of current interest, and The Little Prince is not an exception. But the distinction between adults and kids is not only of age. People are overwhelmed with their own problems and life issues, as if they are stuck in the net, they created themselves and saw nothing around them. Picture number one in the book shows a good example: whether you see just a hat like any other adult, or you turn on your imagination and see the elephant inside a boa constrictor, rather than a hat (Garland).
The Little Prince points out the main issue of modern society: many people are busy with something, that nobody actually needs, spending their lives in vain. The best example is the king, who governs the planet by himself with no people around. Or the lamplighter, who lights up every single night only one lamp. The question is why and what for? Feeling disappointed with these people, Little Prince finally meets the author, the only person he gets along with. Maybe because, Little Prince is a reminder of how much the author misses his childhood, feeling that small kid is living inside of him.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery points out, how adults become selfish and forget how small things made them happy when they were kids. “All grown-ups were once children… but only a few of them remember it” (De Saint-Exupery). These small miracles don’t disappear, but people tend to change. The simplicity of Little Prince’s personality, his humanity still doesn’t have those eyeglasses adults wear, that distort and disfigure the world.
The Little Prince is a good enlightening parable, that reminds us to keep our eyes and heart open. “This is my secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye” (De Saint-Exupery). There is always a place for a miracle; we just need to see it.
De Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. The Little Prince. Translated by Katherine Woods, Harcourt Brace & Co, 1993.
Garland, Dolly. “The Little Prince: Portrayal of Adults vs. Children.” Kaizen Reading, www.kaizenreading.com/the-little-prince-portrayal-of-adults-vs-children/. Accessed 6 July 2013.