The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Study Guide

The Snake

Characters The Snake

Even though the snake the little prince encounters in the desert speaks in riddles, he demands less interpretation than the other symbolic figures in the novel. The snake also has less to learn than many of the other characters. The grown-ups on the various planets are too narrow-minded for their own good, and the prince and the narrator edge closer to enlightenment, but the serpent does not require answers or even ask questions. In fact, the snake is so confident he has mastered life’s mysteries that he tells the prince he speaks only in riddles because he can solve all riddles. In a story about mysteries, the snake is the only absolute. His poisonous bite and biblical allusion indicate that he represents the unavoidable phenomenon of death.