The Little Prince
- One of the two protagonists of the story. After leaving
his home planet and his beloved rose, the prince journeys around
the universe, ending up on Earth. Frequently perplexed by the behavior
of grown-ups, the prince symbolizes the hope, love, innocence, and insight
of childhood that lie dormant in all of us. Though the prince is
sociable and meets a number of characters as he travels, he never
stops loving and missing the rose on his home planet.
in-depth analysis of The Little Prince.
A lonely pilot who, while stranded in the desert, befriends the
little prince. They spend eight days together in the desert before
the little prince returns to his home planet. Although he is discouraged
from drawing early in his life because adults cannot understand
his drawings, the narrator illustrates his own story and makes several
drawings for the little prince. The narrator is a grown-up, but
his view of the world is more like a child’s than an adult’s. After
the little prince departs, the narrator feels both refreshed and
in-depth analysis of The Narrator.
coquettish flower who has trouble expressing her love for the little
prince and consequently drives him away. Simultaneously vain and
naïve, she informs the little prince of her love for him too late
to persuade him to stay home and not to travel. Throughout the story, she
occupies the prince’s thoughts and heart.
in-depth analysis of The Rose.
the fox asks the little prince to tame him, the fox is in some ways
the more knowledgeable of the two characters, and he helps steer
the prince toward what is important in life. In the secret the fox
tells the little prince before they say their good-byes, the fox
sums up three important lessons: only the heart can see correctly;
the prince’s time away from his planet has made him appreciate his
rose more; and love entails responsibility.
in-depth analysis of The Fox.
first character the prince meets on Earth, who ultimately sends
the prince back to the heavens by biting him. A constant enigma,
the snake speaks in riddles and evokes the snake of the Bible, which
incites Adam and Eve’s eviction from Eden by luring them into eating
the forbidden fruit.
in-depth analysis of The Snake.
harmless trees on Earth, pose a great threat to smaller planets
like the prince’s if left unchecked. They can squeeze whole planets
to pieces with their roots. Although baobabs have no malicious opinions
or intentions, they represent the grave danger that can befall people
who are too lazy or indifferent to keep a wary eye on the world
the first planet the little prince visits, he encounters a king
who claims to rule the entire universe. While not unkindly, the
king’s power is empty. He is able to command people to do only what
The Vain Man
sole resident of the second planet the little prince visits. The
vain man is lonely and craves admiration from all who pass by. However,
only by being alone is he assured of being the richest and best-looking
man on his planet.
third person the little prince encounters after leaving home is
a drunkard, who spends his days and nights lost in a stupor. The
drunkard is a sad figure, but he is also foolish because he drinks
to forget that he is ashamed of drinking.
- A caricature of grown-ups who is the fourth person
the little prince visits. Too busy even to greet his visitor, the
businessman owns all the stars. Yet he cannot remember what they
are called and contributes nothing to them. Although the little
prince comments on the oddity of the grown-ups he meets, the businessman
is the only character the prince actively chastises.
- The fifth and most complex figure the prince encounters
before landing on Earth. At first, the lamplighter appears to be
yet another ridiculous character with no real purpose, but his selfless
devotion to his orders earns him the little prince’s admiration.
Of all the adults the little prince encounters before reaching Earth,
the lamplighter is the only one the prince thinks he could befriend.
The sixth and final character the little prince encounters before
he lands on Earth. Although the geographer is apparently well-read,
he refuses to learn about his own planet, saying it is a job for
explorers. He recommends that the little prince visit Earth, and his
comments on the ephemeral nature of flowers reveal to the prince
that his own flower will not last forever.
The Railway Switchman
- The railway switchman works at the hub for the enormous
trains that rush back and forth carrying dissatisfied adults from
one place to the other. He has more perspective on life than the
unhappy, thoughtless passengers his trains ferry. He agrees with the
prince that the children are the only ones who appreciate and enjoy
the beauty of the train rides.
- The salesclerk sells pills that quench thirst on
the grounds that people can save up to fifty-three minutes a day
if they don’t have to stop to drink. He symbolizes the modern world’s
misplaced emphasis on saving time and taking shortcuts.
The Roses in the Rose Garden
- The sight of the rose garden first leads the prince
to believe that his flower is not, in fact, unique. However, with
the fox’s guidance, the prince realizes that even so many similar
flowers cannot stop his own rose from being unique.
The Three-Petaled Flower
- The three-petaled flower lives alone in the desert,
watching the occasional caravan pass by. She mistakenly informs
the prince that there are only a handful of men in the world and
that their lack of roots means they are often blown along.
The Little Prince’s Echo
- The little prince’s echo is not really a character,
but the little prince mistakes it for one. When he shouts from a
mountaintop, he hears his echo and believes that Earth people simply
repeat what is said to them.
The Turkish Astronomer
- The first human to discover the prince’s home, Asteroid
. When the Turkish astronomer first
presents his discovery, no one believes him on account of his Turkish
costume. Years later, he makes the same presentation wearing Western
clothes, and his discovery is well received. The scientific community’s
treatment of the Turkish astronomer reveals that ignorance propels
xenophobia (a fear or hatred of foreigners) and racism.