A Deeper Meaning

With the use of symbolism, there is often a deeper meaning to something than you may think. Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince and Mark Osborne’s film adaptation “The Little Prince” contain a profusion of symbolism. The Little Prince and the Aviator are the two protagonists of the book and film, The Little Prince. The Little Girl was also another protagonist in the Little Prince film. Saint Exupery’s and Mark Osborne’s choice to omit the characters’ names throughout the book and the film make each of the characters symbols rather than literal characters.

After leaving his home planet and his rose, the Little Prince travels around the universe, from planet to planet, ending up on Earth. The little prince symbolizes the hope, love, innocence, and insight of childhood that every human being has inside but may not frequently show. Being a very curious and sociable child the little prince goes on to meet many characters throughout his journey but he never stops loving and missing his rose who is on asteroid B-612; his home. He often questions the way grown ups act, ‘”The grown-ups are very strange,” the little prince said to himself, as he continued on his journey.”(26)  In the film, the little prince grows up and is known as Mr. Prince. He’s not a child anymore because that was taken from him at a young age but later he starts to remember his past and who he was as a child. Still, as a grown up Mr. Prince represents the hope a grown up may have to be a child again, “ I’m not hopeless. I’m hopeful” (Osborne)

The rose has trouble expressing her love for the little prince and repeatedly drives him away. She was a very vain and naive character, who informed the Little Prince of her love for him too late to persuade him to stay instead of leaving on his journey. “So, too, she began very quickly to torment him with her vanity–which was, if the truth be known, a little difficult to deal with.”(20) She started to take advantage of the little prince. The rose symbolizes the love that cannot be expressed to someone and sometimes may leave them crippled and hurt. Throughout the whole story, the rose is always in the thoughts of the Little Prince.

The businessman is the fourth person the little prince visits on his journey. The businessman is too busy to even to greet the little prince and completely ignores him. It’s odd that the businessman cannot remember what the stars are called and contributes nothing to them but yet still owns them. In the film there is another part included that is not in the book where the businessman ends up trapping all the stars in the universe and uses them to light up his city. He says, “the inessential has become perfectly essential. How it should be for all things.” (Osborne) , because in his view the stars are useless until they are used for something more important rather than lighting up the universe. After trying to defend the little girl and himself from the businessman, the prince starts to remember his past, his childhood and his dreams. He tells the businessman, “I’m not a failure. I’m the Little Prince.” This comment really throws the businessman off guard because he was not expecting this from the little prince at all. The businessman symbolizes the people who tease you and crush your childhood dreams because they think that those dreams are meaningless and useless but these type of people cannot hold you back because if you have hope and you believe in yourself you will become who you want to be. In the film, the businessman did not hold the little prince back from becoming who he wanted to be even if he teased him.

The snake is the first character the little prince meets on Earth. He ultimately kills the prince by biting him. The snake speaks in riddles that the prince does not understand, “”But I am more powerful than the finger of a king,” said the snake.”(40) As the prince continues talking to the snake and he starts to trusts that what the snake says it true, “Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came,” the snake spoke again. “But you are innocent and true, and you come from a star . . .”(40) The snake symbolizes the troubles that may block you from discovering and knowing the truth.

The fox is the one of the characters that the prince meets on Earth. The fox asked to be tamed by the little prince before they could become friends. The whole time the fox is in some ways the more knowledgeable of the two characters, and he helps steer the little Prince toward what is important in life. Before they say their goodbyes the fox shares three important lessons to the little Prince: 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(48). The fox symbolizes the people and things that may help you truly understand who you want to be and they will lead you on the right path.

In conclusion, The Little Prince comments on the oddity of the grown-ups he meets throughout the whole story, “Grown ups are certainly very, very odd.” (Osborne) Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince and Mark Osborn’s film adaptation “The Little Prince” contain a lot of symbolism. All the characters the little prince meets throughout his journey are symbols and each character represent different people and things that are out there in the world.


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