December 11, 2012
Love and the Self – Other Relation in Antoine de Saint – Exupéry’s The Little Prince
Sartre believes that most relationship start out not because they are attracted to one another, but it is because of how one makes the other feel about himself/herself by how the other looks at him/her. They need each other in order to see themselves by basing it on the look of the other. This arrangement is often mistakenly known as love but it is really just both participants being enslaved by the look of the other that they feel the need to prove that they have control over the look. According to Sartre, love is the first attitude that one develops towards the other. But with this so-called “love”, one tries to understand the other’s freedom while also trying to preserve his freedom, thus creating conflict between the two participants. The paper will focus on love and the self-other relation through the story of the Little Prince. Through this book, the real essence of love is to be explained in line with the self-other relation. The concept of “The Look” will be used to explain the conflict of the characters in the story, especially the story of the rose and the Little Prince. “The Look” is to see yourself how others see you. You are conscious of your existence because you are aware that others see you. The book of The Little Prince tells us the story of a pilot who crashed and was stranded in the desert – which is also a personal experience of the author – where he meets the Little Prince. The Little Prince tells the pilot about his journeys and his experiences. The paper intends to tackle love and the self-other relation through the Little Prince, The Little Prince’s journeys, and the Pilot himself. In relation to love and the self-other relation, the story of the rose and the Little Prince is a good example to explain the real essence of love. The Little Prince’s love for his planet is to be given emphasis in this paper in line with him being the caretaker of it. Also, the paper will talk about the journey of the Little Prince and use this to explain why adults do not see what is deep inside but sees what is on the surface. The Pilot’s low opinion of adults will be explained through the self-other relation based on the experiences of the Little Prince in his journey. Lastly, the conversation between the fox and the Little Prince will be singled out to full answer and explain why we are responsible for the one/s we love. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Using the quote, the real essence of love is to be explained and reason out the conflicting feelings of the Little Prince towards the rose before and after his conversation with the fox.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS THE ROSE TO THE LITTLE PRINCE? WHY DID THE LITTLE PRINCE LEAVE HIS PLANET? The Little Prince sees himself as the caretaker of Asteroid B-612 because that is his home. The asteroid is so tiny that he can watch the sunset forty-four times in a single day. His whole existence, his life has been nothing but a bore, doing the same thing every single day. He watches every seed that sprouts out of the ground making sure that those seeds are not Baobabs and are not a threat to his home. He does nothing but makes sure that the Baobabs are taken out every time they start to sprout so that they would not destroy his home. Until one day, a peculiar seed shot up from the ground and he worried that this might be a new kind of Baobabs but it ended up being a flower he has never seen before; a rose so beautiful that he could not restrain his admiration. For the first time, he felt like he had another purpose in the planet and that is to love and protect the rose from harm. The Little Prince took care of the rose by watering it, protecting it from the wind, and from other potential harm. Through the rose, the Little Prince saw himself as something much more...
References: 1. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince (London: Egmont Books Limited, 2002), 5-89.
2. Noelle L. de la Cruz, Sartre on being-for-others & Interview with a Vampire (1994) (presentation at De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, November 19, 2012).
3. Foxfoo, The Little Prince-Personal Footnotes, http://foxfoo.blogspot.com/2008/01/little-prince-personal-footnotes.html (January, 2008).
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