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"Le Petit Prince"

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

By Gwen Carroll Sept. 28, 2023


Translated into over 500 languages and regarded as an iconic face of French literature, Antoine de Saint-Exupéy’s “The Little Prince” is a short book recommended for children ages six and up. Despite its reading level, people around the world vouch for its deeply meaningful lessons. Christopher Barros, Foreign Language Department, is one such person.


“The Little Prince” follows the story of a young, recently heartbroken prince who leaves his beloved rose on his home planet to set off on an adventure. As he visits several planets, each individual he encounters teaches him a valuable lesson. For instance, he runs into a lamplighter, whose job of lighting a lamp every dusk and putting it out every morning sounds simple until the prince realizes that his planet’s days are one minute long. He has no time for rest, mirroring the exhaustion that comes with faithfulness to one’s job. The encounter that struck a chord most with Barros, though, was with the businessman.


“The businessman is obsessed with counting things and is convinced that he owns all the stars, which the prince cannot comprehend; he understands loving a single rose, but not owning all the roses in the world. It is an excellent critique on the selfishness of adults—since many have forgotten how to share—and on what makes something worth loving. Too many people have forgotten how to love things for the sake of it, not for how much money they can make,” Barros said.

As he read the book, Barros saw himself in the prince—both find themselves in traveling and love exploring beyond their comfort zones to encounter new people and places. The message of seeing with one’s heart, not just one’s eyes, and the beauty it unveils, especially resonated with Barros.


“One big message in the book that has always stuck with me is that the most important things are invisible to the eye. The crucial things about people are all things one cannot tell by just looking at them; to really understand somebody, one must feel, not just see,” Barros said.

The book’s lessons about the losses that come with growing up are valuable, which is why Barros reads the book with his AP French students. Having first read the book in his college years, “The Little Prince” left a strong impression on Barros. Knowing students in AP French are about to leave the nest and experience the wonders of the world, Barros uses the book as a way to teach them to never forget how to make friends and to never leave behind the child within.

 


Gwen Carroll

staff writer


Gwen Carroll is a junior and the Page Editor for Community News and Feature School. She enjoys playing rhythm games in her free time. Her favorite subject is English and is interested in psychology and law.

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