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The narrator of The Little Prince is
an adult in years, but he explains that he was rejuvenated six years
earlier after he crashed his plane in the desert. He was an imaginative
child whose first drawing was a cryptic interpretation of a boa
constrictor that had swallowed an elephant. Eventually, he abandoned
art for the grown-up profession of pilot, and he lives a lonely
life until he encounters the little prince. He serves as the prince’s
confidant and relays the prince’s story to us, but the narrator
also undergoes transformations of his own. After listening to the
prince’s story about the knowledge the prince has learned from the
fox, the narrator himself learns the fox’s lessons about what makes
things important when he searches for water in the desert. The narrator’s
search for the well indicates that lessons must be learned through
personal exploration and not only from books or others’ teachings.
Both the narrator and the prince are protagonists of
the story, but they differ in significant ways. Whereas the prince
is mystical and supernatural, the pilot is a human being who grows
and develops over time. When the narrator first encounters the prince,
he cannot grasp the subtle truths that the prince presents to him,
whereas the prince is able to comprehend instantly the lessons his
explorations teach him. This shortcoming on the narrator’s part
makes him a character we can relate to as human beings more easily
than we can relate to the otherworldly, extraordinarily perceptive
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Little Prince!