Who is Little Prince might seem like an easy question at least when it comes to people who read the book. He is most usually defined as a symbol of a child within us that we lost during our growing up. But that is only one of many approaches in establishing the true identity of the Little Prince. To answer the question of who he was we must discover what really motivated the creation of the novel “Little Prince.”
Little Prince Vs Mary Poppins
Did you know that one of the reasons Little Prince was written is for Mary Poppins to get a competition? In the late spring of 1942, Antoine de Saint-Exupery went to Quebec where he spent a few weeks in the attempt to take some rest. There he met and hung out with a cute eight-year-old boy with blond curly hair.
The boy’s name was Thomas and he was the son of the famous philosopher Charles de Koninck who influenced Catholic philosophy in French Canada. After returning to the U.S. Antoine was still under a lot of stress and the French wife of one of his publishers advised him to write the book for kids. She was worried for his health but it is more likely that the real reason was that he wanted her husband’s publishing house to get a world-famous book for children.
In 1931, by publishing his novel Night Flight, Antoine established himself for the rising start in the world of literature. After a decade, on 14th January 1941, he was given an American National Book Award for Wind, Sand, and Stars. It elevated him even higher and all of his readers were waiting for his next hit.
The year 1942 was a perfect time to start writing another novel. It was also the time when another book from the Mary Poppins series was supposed to come out. Mary Poppins opens the door was published in 1943. There was no better time to lunch a book for children and Exupery’s publicity made him perfect to engage in such a writing venture. The Little Prince was published in early 1943 in English and French language on the territory of the U.S. According to this fact, the adorable, sad, and beautiful “Little Prince” was a competition with Mary Poppins.
Hallucination or Real Boy?
Antoine de Saint-Exupery crashed with his plane more than once. On December 30th, 1935 Antoine de Saint-Exupery accompanied by his mechanic-navigator Andre Prevot, crashed in the desert near the Nile Delta. This happened during their attempt to break the speed record on relation Parios-to-Saigon and win the air race for the prize of 150 000 francis.
They miraculously survived the wrecking. And it was an even greater miracle that they were capable to keep moving. Their maps were primitive and ambiguous, to say the least. There was no way for the two of them to establish their location. All they could do was to roam over the dunes and hope for another miracle. To make things even worse their supplies were very little.
They had little grapes, two oranges, one cake, one pint of coffee, and a half-pint of wine. They had fluids only for one day. due to the strong desert heat hallucination started very soon. At first, they had only mild mirages but as time passed products of their mind were becoming more and more vivid.
On the second and the third day two men dehydrated to that degree that they have even stopped sweating. On the fourth day, when they were on the brink of death a Saharan Bedouin on a camel stumbled upon them and administered native rehydration treatment that saved their lives. While this experience deeply affected Wind, Sand, And Stars the whole storyline of the little prince surrounds the pilot who crashed with his plane in the desert and has to fix the plane before he runs out of water.
Little Prince Was a Hallucination
One of the most usual questions related to the little prince is if the boy from the book was Antoine’s hallucination? The positive answer is very likely. Both Antoine and Andre suffered a hard form of dehydration and encountering imagined faces and people would be completely normal due to the circumstances.
However, to make the case even stronger, it is important to mention that Antoine had a younger brother Francois who died at 15 from rheumatic fever. He had blue hair and pretty much fitted the description of the little prince. In Hallucinations, it is pretty usual to see people from your past especially your beloved ones who deceased for a long time.
Little Prince – Real Boy
However, there is even a theory that the little prince was a real boy who Antoine encountered in the desert. However, he could not distinguish if the boy was real or he was hallucinating. This theory is based on a fact that Bedouin on a camel stumbled upon them. It assumes that Beduin was not alone. With him was a certain boy who looked very different than it was to be expected from someone belonging to Saharan tribes.
During his life, Antoine used to negotiate the release of downed fliers who were taken hostage by Saharan tribes. It seemed to him that the boy was a sort of hostage as well but there was nothing he could do about it as he was barely alive. When they were rehydrated Bedouin neglected the presence of any boy and it ended that way.
Little Prince Was How the Writer Said Goodbye
Little Prince ends with suicide. The boy misses his rose too much and decides to allow the deadly snake to bit him so he could go back to where he came from. His body is to heavy for such a long road and the viper’s venom is going to release him from that burden.
The disappearance of Antoine de Saint-Exupery that took place on July 31st, 1944 after he flew to his last reconnaissance mission was surrounded with controversy from the start. Many people claimed that Antoine intentionally brought his plane down into the sea. He had a drinking problem, bad health and was additionally depressed by the fact his name was slandered with Charles de Gaulle’s public implications that the writer is collaborating with the Nazis.
His health was in bad condition. He couldn’t even dress his pilot jacket by himself and wasn’t capable of turning his head over the left shoulder. When combined those factors led to the increasing in depression that the military eventually found out about. Generals even considered banning him from being a pilot.
The sad book is another indicator of the writer’s psychological state featured by sadness and nostalgia. Especially the way in which it ends It is very likely that the writer had suicidal intentions even before he started writing the little prince. The child within us and the urge to “go back from where he came from” could all be indicators of his subconsciously made decision to take his own life.
Regardless of his identity and the reasons behind his existence, the little prince is one of the best characters ever to exist in the world of literature. And from the moment it was published, the book became and stayed one of the most prominent modern classics everyone should read.