The following lines from Chapter 21 of the children΄s tale “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery(1900-1944), describe the conversation between the “wise” fox and an “alien” boy,the little prince,explaining to the young boy the true meaning of life.The French writer in this story has used the personality of the “alien” boy to present us with many truths about our lost innocence and the opportunities we still have to come to respect once again the “sanctity” of life. The illustrations in the book are the writer΄s.
And he(the little prince) went back to meet the fox: “Goodbye,” he said. “Goodbye,” said the fox .”And now here is my secret,a very simple secret:It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” “What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” “It is the time I have wasted for my rose…” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember. “Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox.”But you must not forget it.You became responsible forever, for what you have tamed.You are responsible for your rose…” “I am responsible for my rose,”the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Antoine de Saint Exupery(1900-1944) was born in Lyon, France, to an old family of provincial nobility.In 1920, he entered the famous”Ecole des Beaux-Arts” in Paris to study architecture,but in 1921 he began his military service where he was soon trained to become a pilot. It was his love of flying that mostly influenced his life but also his later writings which made him famous.He became one of the pioneers of international postal flights, providing him with the opportunities to come into contact with other cultures,especially those of North Africa and South America.The many flights he undertook as a professional pilot instilled in him a “global” sense of the world which went counter to that epoch΄s ethnocentric ideals.Most of the books he wrote concerned his many travels by plane,but his most famous work was a children΄s tale,”The Little Prince”(1943),which was also intended for an adult readership. “The Little Prince” offers us a critical look of our world through the mind and soul of an “alien” boy,whose inquisitive mind and heart full of humility and love for the universe bring us closer to the human folly and potentials of modern society.