The Little Prince is a novella by French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, originally published (in English) in 1943. The first French edition with the French title, Le Petit Prince, did not appear until 1946. The fable-like tale mingles the story of a lonely, stranded narrator with the story of a young traveler, a prince, facing his own troubles. The young prince travels from planet to planet, encountering a variety of peculiar inhabitants. The prince’s problem, an attempt to understand love, creates an embedded conflict-resolution plot line, but the unnamed pilot, who serves as first-person narrator, is the work’s protagonist.
The novella functions both as a children’s story and a profound meditation on life’s essential truths. The narrative explores themes of love, friendship, loneliness, and the nature of human relationships. The little prince’s encounters with characters like the conceited rose, the fox, and the aviator contribute to the book’s whimsical charm and its deeper reflections on the human condition.
Published during some of the darkest days of World War II, The Little Prince has transcended its original context to become one of the most translated and beloved books in the world. Saint-Exupéry’s distinctive illustrations and the novella’s universal themes have captivated readers of all ages. The Little Prince remains a classic that continues to inspire readers to reflect on the beauty of innocence, imagination, and the search for meaning.