‘The Little Prince‘ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a story with lots of interesting characters, and it’s quite tasking to choose to talk about some characters and leave the others out. Every character contributes significantly to the powerful lessons from this book. Let’s start with the boy (now the young man), our eyes and ears as far as this story is concerned.
The boy/young man
The boy who later becomes the young man, a grown-up. He is almost the main character in the novel- never seen anything like it. He is mostly the one with all the lessons to learn, from the little prince, of course. A proper round character, the young man, yet, quite frankly, predictable. The novel begins with a short biography of him, from when he was 6- how he was forced to give up his dreams of becoming a painter because the grown-ups just didn’t get him- they never did. The story ends, or more appropriately, the curtains are drawn when he reminisces about his encounters with the little prince- which he often does- 6 years later. How poetic. The boy only really learned to draw two things- a boa constrictor from the outside and a boa constrictor from the inside. The little prince draws him out of his shell and makes him start drawing again, and he continues drawing. The first thing the little prince tells him on stumbling upon him is to draw him a sheep, and this little guy, whom he would later learn never gives up when he starts- continues to repeat that request until he caves.
The Little Prince
The little prince, the one who hardly ever answers questions but who asks questions persistently and demands answers persistently- he simply never backs down. He is one of the two main characters; he is the protagonist, the one with all the lessons to teach, and a big part of the lessons to learn himself. A beacon of wisdom. What makes him wise is not even particularly the knowledge he has before setting off on his journey. What makes him wise is curiosity, knowing he didn’t know, and the eagerness to learn from others. A voyager through and through, he decides to leave his little planet- his three volcanoes, one which might be dead, and his beloved rose flower, to travel the planets. He meets interesting characters on each planet. Earth is recommended to him. He learns a great deal from and on earth- from the fox. The fox, how could we forget the fox? The fox which he tamed, who taught him to appreciate what he has no matter how little or inconsequential he thinks them to be because, really, they aren’t- after all, what matters is what we have been to people, mostly what we cannot see, but can only feel. The shell is just an aesthetic. The little prince learns a lot.
It is exactly on the day of his first anniversary on Earth that the little prince transforms into a star above the very spot he landed on Earth. He is resilient, persistent, curious, and thoughtful. And though he might not know this very much, he is also very funny. At his time leaving the earth, he tries to deflect, to conquer fear, mostly of the unknown, with laughter, to cheer up one of the two remarkable friends he made on earth, one of the experiments who later becomes a huge success- the fox was the first- but, he fails at that, sort of, as the boy is not buying any of that, but he has no choice, now, he has only the memories, his drawings and only the memories from his drawings to relish, and these were and remain invaluable.
The flower with four thorns
The little prince’s beloved flower, the one he left to journey through the planets, the one who saw herself as all the beauty there is- the very proud and vain flower! The little prince tends to her until the very moment he leaves, but not before she manages to squeeze out some humility from her astronomical pride, to tell the little prince she loves him. This, of course, shocks the little prince. He wastes no time and takes what he can get before her pride kicks in again.
The king on his little planet
The ‘I order you to’ king. This is because even for the obvious things, things that are wont to happen, he prefers to give orders. One could say, ‘I want to blink,’ and his response would be, ‘I order you to blink,’ as if that was not going to happen anyway. Hilarious. He is a very funny character, not intentionally, though, because I am not sure he is aware of the hilarity of the things he says. Something reasonable comes from him anyway. He says that for an order to be obeyed, it has to be reasonable. For someone who lives in his own head, that dreamland of his, that is unexpected. The dude sure knows his limit. That is exactly why he tells the little prince to stay till night if he wants to see the sunset.
This one guides travelers. He participates in everything and participates in nothing all the same. Master of routine and boredom. His work is to guide people traveling by train. If people could stand to sleep, he might as well be sleeping through half of his duty, because the muscles and senses remember, and he does basically the same thing every day.
This one would rather sleep, but he just has to work. So, he does it grudgingly. He is also rigid and stagnant because even though a better alternative is suggested by the little prince, he insists that that is the way things are done.
One of those is the little prince who meets on one of the planets. The little prince is impressed at first until he categorically states that he works indoors and leaves the explorers to do most of the work. And with an ego bigger than Texas, he doesn’t see the problem there. And he proudly says that before putting the information gotten, down, he makes it a duty to give the explorers a hard time about their discoveries.
A businessman, penny wise, pound foolish. He lives in his own bubble, reciting numbers, counting, and monetizing things that aren’t his or anybody’s, as a matter of fact, to monetize.
The little prince’s flower
The little prince spends only a short time with this character. However, it is worthy of note that the flower’s ignorance made the little prince- who almost always has something to say- speechless. It is this flower, whom the little prince considers not quite pretty, that goes completely off point when asked where the men on earth stay.
The grown-ups (in general)
The grown-ups the boy encountered, the beings the little prince encounters on all the planets he visited (except the earth), are all grown-ups- the merchant, the tripler, the geographer, and so on. Collectively main characters in the novel are the ones who never really understood, the ones who would rather you talk to them about golf, than painting/paintings, because to them, the former is a matter of consequence and the latter isn’t. The ones who would buy a pill in order not to go thirsty, only to wish to spend the saved time by the freshwater spring, the ones whose lack of understanding and unignorable limitations, the ones who stifled the boy’s dream of becoming a painter- the short-sighted ones. It is an adult who thinks himself to be the most handsome around, even though it was only him on his planet. The grown-ups, the ones the children wish never to be like, but would likely grow up to be like. Thankfully, not for the boy, thanks to his unforgettable encounter with the little prince in a desert in Africa. We should all endeavor not to be like the grown-ups, not to lack understanding like them, because that is not the way to live.
Who are the two main characters in The Little Prince?
The two main characters in the story of ‘The Little Prince‘ are the narrator- the boy/young man and the little prince. These two characters form the center of attention and attraction as far as the story is concerned. The first meeting is when the little prince rudely wakes the young man up with a demand. The young man would later learn that this attitude was ingrained, that the little prince just never relents, and that he is basically a walking and talking bag of curiosity.
What does the young man do for a living?
The young man flies aircraft for a living. As a boy, his wish was to become a painter. However, the grown-ups, in their usual fashion, kill that hope. To them, the less important things, the frivolities, are the matters of consequence. It is the grown-ups that put that light out. The grown-ups, the ones who think they know it all, the ones who rarely understand.
Which character shocks the little prince the most?
It has to be the flower, her response to where men can be found, threw the little prince off balance, so much so that he becomes speechless. Now, that is odd for that chap, because he almost, always has something to say. For the little prince to shut up, it means that he was dumbfounded. That is the only scene in the book where the little prince throws away his curiosity and runs for his dear life.
Excluding the earth, out of all the planets visited by the little prince, which one fascinates him the most?
Apart from the earth, the lamplighter’s planet fascinates the little prince the most, and that is because of how many sunsets it has. The geographer’s planet was also interesting to him. The interest was not in the geographer, for the little prince found out that others did most of the work while he assumed the role of an armchair critic. His time there was interesting as it was the geographer who ended up recommending that he visits the Earth. His reason was that the little prince would find so many people on Earth. It is during the little prince’s time on earth that he mostly fulfills his purpose. It is also on Earth that he transitions.