“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince
Do you know what makes a classic, a classic? Let me tell you. It’s in their ability to withstand the test of time. It’s in their power to convey life lessons through a couple of words. It’s in their nature to always surprise a reader who wishes to reread it. Le Petit Prince, with only 97 pages, is a book that defines classics. I was too young the first time I’ve heard about the Little Prince’s story. I had little recollection of his adventures and the words of wisdom he had told us. Reading this novel with the mindset of an adult in his early 20s definitely gives Le Petit Prince the opportunity to blow my mind. But how does he do it? Simple. He comes from a small little planet far, far away and lands on Earth with all his innocence and purity. He encounters a stranded pilot in the middle of the dessert and from that point on, the most amazing anecdotes are exchanged.
I felt several chills go up my spine throughout the novel as memorable quotes presented themselves in beautiful fashion. I’ve only had the chance to read this exquisite masterpiece in French, and do hope to get my hands on an English version just for the sake of appreciating both languages. Nonetheless, the version I had was beyond extraordinary and definitely succeeded in throwing magnificent lines right across my face. It’s quite enchanting how the messages are conveyed and how the novels beauty was accentuated with the water color drawings. Every time I flipped through a page, I felt like I was going to get drowned in truths and maxims. I actually had no clue where this novel was going to go, but when the book started to talk about how weird adults are, I just felt absorbed, mesmerized and connected.
There are various—innumerable, in fact—lessons throughout the book. One of my favorite lesson is about adults and numbers. Oddly enough, throughout my life, this has fascinated me in more ways than I can imagine. Numbers always seemed to blind people. I have always felt like they drained any capability among adults in making solid beliefs without the use of numbers. Without numbers, people weren’t able to build facts and appreciate. The other memorable moment is, of course, with the fox. His little secret couldn’t have hit the mark with such accuracy. If there’s one line that any one who reads this book should marinate in, it’s the very quote at the top of this review. It’s pure innocence makes you realize that some things slowly die in us, and it is only you who can decide on keeping it alive.
I like to think that this novel was about the death of childhood; or at least the deeply hidden child within most adults nowadays. I’ve always believed in the importance of keeping that little spark that once suffused every kid alive. It’s by keeping that very inquisitive nature, that desire to discover and find beauty in the smallest things that, I believe, will make every person a lot more alive. The ending of Le Petit Prince will forever be a gloomy one, but it won’t be one that was executed in vain. For, this novel, has reinvigorated the child in me and gave me the brighter perspective of life that every routine-filled adult should envision. If you think you know everything about the Little Prince and all the wonderful things he discusses about, then I beg you to go through this novel again. For children book, the amount of philosophy that it captures is simply mind-boggling.
They say every book is an experience of its own kind. Well, let me tell you that this one is one hell of an experience.
If you haven’t given this a shot, I urge you to do so.
Did you read Le Petit Prince yet? What did you think about it?
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