The Little Prince 3/14/2017

We began our Tuesday class with a presentation on the movie Wall-E. I really enjoyed the presentation because I became aware of the many themes I did not notice when I watched the movie for the first time. The presenters talked about perseverance, truth, friendship, and environmental concerns all represented throughout the film. The environmental issues stem from the fact that the earth has been abandoned and Wall-E’s purpose is to clean up all the garbage. The other themes I just mentioned come from Wall-E and Eve’s friendship and the adventure they go on to save Earth.

The class discussion centered around The Little Prince. We began by writing down a sentence about four characters – the prince, the fox, the rose, and a character of our choosing. We then discussed the various life lessons in the book and whether or not it is a book for children or about children.

Some life lessons and themes we agreed upon were the importance of words and communication, perceptions, and the destructiveness of selfishness. The importance of words comes from the scene where the fox is asking the prince to tame him and says, “words are the source of misunderstanding” and “anything essential is invisible to the eye”. Words have their limits and sometimes it’s difficult to understand everything through words. The theme of perception stems from the narrators description of adults and their “skewed” view of the world. The narrator and adults see life very differently, as depicted in the boa constrictor scene where all adults simply saw a hat. The destructiveness of selfishness is a lesson learned primarily from the rose. The love the little prince has for her gives her a sense of power and priority so she behaves in a selfish and vain way. It’s only when the prince decides to leave the planet that she realizes what a good thing she had. On the contrary to this, we have the lamplighter who is the most selfless character in the story.

We also discussed the different levels of understanding children and adults have. I personally think this book is for both adults and children, however, they both receive the messages differently. The life lessons speak more toward the adults because they have experienced childhood and can relate to the various themes. For children, the book is an adventurous story with many great characters. The Little Prince depicts a simple world for the children, but a realistic and impactful one to adults.

Another topic we touched on was how the author’s life comes out through this writing. Antione e Saint-Exupery was a pilot and the narrator in the book was also a pilot. We talked about how the book was written around WWII and is very different from Saint-Exupery’s other work. I thought it was interesting how this book is potentially an allegory to his life and what he was experiencing during this time.

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