Looking Beneath the Surface
People often value objects based on their appearance or their monetary value. The novella, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupery tells the adventure of the little prince who lives in a little planet with his rose and then leaves the planet because he doubts the rose’s sincerity. On Earth, the little prince realizes the true meaning of his relationship with his rose and decides to return to his planet. Throughout the book, the author cleverly describes many strange adults who can only see on the surface such as a power-hungry king, a self-absorbed conceited man, a greedy businessman, a narrow-minded geographer, and more. Through these shallow characters, the author emphasizes that what is visible is often misleading, and things that are “essential [are] invisible to the eyes” (Saint Exupery 87). To understand the value of something, people need to see with their hearts. Later in his journey, the little prince learns how important his rose is to him by looking with his heart. Just like the little prince, if people do not understand the real value of something, they will never be able to live life to the fullest. The narrator and the little prince make many mistakes and go through many learning experiences before they realize that what appears on the surface is not essential. At the beginning of the novella, the narrator draws a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, but the adults who see the drawing fail to understand its true meaning. The adults scoff, “Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?” (Exupery 4) They only see a hat because they fail to look beneath the surface of the picture. The narrator describes the children’s frustration to have to explain everything to the dull and unimaginative adults who tend to live monotonous and unfulfilled lives. After being stranded in the desert for eight days, the narrator is running out of water and dying of thirst. While searching for water, the little prince points out...
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