The Little Prince (French: Le petit prince), published in 1943, is French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's most famous novel, which he wrote in the United States while renting The Bevin House in Asharoken, New York, on Long Island. The novel includes a number of drawings by Saint-Exupéry himself, which are reproduced in most versions.
The book has been translated into more than 160 languages and, to date has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. It is one of the top 50 best-selling books. It has been adapted into a movie musical by Lerner and Loewe, two different operas, as well as into an animated series. It is often used as a beginner's book for foreign language students.
Ostensibly a children's book, it makes several profound and idealistic points about life and human nature. In it, Saint-Exupéry tells of his being stranded in the Sahara Desert, thousands of kilometers away from inhabited places, where he meets a young extra-terrestrial (though entirely human-appearing) prince. In their conversations, the author reveals his own views about the follies of mankind and the simple truths that people seem to forget as they grow older. The essence of the book is contained in the famous line uttered by the fox to the Little Prince: "On ne voit bien qu'avec le cur, l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." (It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye). There are also two other main points in the book, both spoken by the fox. They are: "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed" and "It is the time you have spent for your rose that makes your rose so important".
Throughout the book the children's view on the world, on the main points of the human life and relations between people, which is represented by the Little Prince and partially by the narrator, is set off against the "grown-ups" revealed in memories of the narrator and in the characters, met by the Little Prince on asteroids. But the author underlines, that the "'grown-ups' are like that. One must not hold it against them. Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people."
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