After the one-week spring break, our class resumed on Tuesday, March 14th. The class began with a movie presentation on Wall-E by Claire and Lindsey. Wall-E is a children’s animation film released in 2008, produced by Pixar Animation Studio and Walt Disney Pictures. Although the movie is classified as a fantasy film targeting children, it contains such realistic issues like scientific developments and sufferings by environmental disruption, which both seem to be and are expected to be actualized soon in the future (and even todays!). It reminded me that literature, even fantasies, is reflection of reality. When Wall-E was released, I was in my late teens. Disregarding my age, I watched the movie because I was a sort of fan of Disney, and loved it. However, when I think about the movie, I face myself who have had uncomfortableness for the loneliness and abandoned feeling presented in the beginning of the film and the love of Wall-E toward EVE which looks like blind and foolhardy. Somehow, such feelings like anxiety, instability, and insecurity arise from those aspects.
The class moved on as relating the friendship found in Wall-E to today’s reading, The Little Prince. Each of students were to write down short sentences or words describing each four characters in the noble: the little prince, fox, rose, and one character that personally liked. Then we brought up some main topics of the noble, listed on the white board as life lessons, adult perception, selfishness, and words. After then, students were questioned if there is a plot. Most of us agreed that there is a plot as the story is a journey of the prince and the narrator; furthermore, there is sequence and relationships between events. We also discussed that there is notable development in the relationship between the little prince and the narrator. One of the most interesting discussion questions we had on that day was “is the book The Little Prince for children, or about children?” I thought it is pretty reasonable question because many students, many of us, who are adult and read the book, mostly agreed that the book contains life lessons which may be approaching and touching grown-ups more than children. When I was young, in early teens, The Little Prince was my favorite book. It was not paperback, but had soft and fluffy cover, and cute-look and vivid illustrations (I recently realized that they were not original images drown by the author). I used to keep four-leaf clovers in that book. Well, it seems that I was attracted to the book because of other components rather than the story. I truly liked the story even when I was young, but I think I should admit that I get more thoughts from the story now more than the past, as an adult’s view. “There is different level of understanding.” However, it does not necessarily mean that I, as a grown-up, know and understand the meanings of everything better than children. What I know better is only compunction, remorse, and shame. Therefore, it is sad if one understands the story well.
I am talking about personal things too much.
After some discussions, our professor shared some background information of the author and of the time when the noble was written. I thanked for that, because I felt I got closer to the book after she explained. It just helped me to be little bit more empathetic to the author’s mind when he wrote the book and to understand aspects in the book, which are presented as cynical or critical toward human figures; while the author experienced World War 2, he might be struggling with “the disappointment in human being”, and also sought for peace.
The class also discussed about lessons in The Little Prince. One of the major life lessons in the book was, “you make your own path”. This reminded me the little prince who leaves his star and wonders around, meet new people, and learn about the world and himself. Although only one day has been allowed to talk about the noble, I personally enjoyed reading the book again and enjoyed a nostalgia which it stirred in me. Furthermore, I believe the story has given individual and personal impact to everyone in the class, which would remain longer and stronger than what we discussed in the class time.