详细内容

张露露 毕业论文

 

说明: 学院标志(全称横版)

本科毕业论文(设计、创作)

 

 

题目:    AN ANALYSIS OF THE SYMBOLISM OF     

                  THE LITTLE PRINCE             

      浅析《小王子》中的象征主义            

学生姓名:      张露露      学号:   120103086     

所在院系:    外语学院     专业:      英语      

入学时间:      2012               9         

导师姓名:     吴正英      职称/学位:讲师∕硕士

导师所在单位:          安徽三联学院                                         

完成时间:       2016               5       

 

 

安徽三联学院教务处  制

 

 

                       

 

an analysis of the symbolism of the little prince

                           

                          

                          

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the School of Foreign Studies of Anhui Sanlian University by Zhang Lulu

 

 

 

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts 

 

 

Under the Supervision of Lecturer Wu Zhengying

                                       

                                                                           

Hefei, Anhui

May 2016

 

 

 

 

AN ANALYSIS OF THE SYMBOLISM OF

THE LITTLE PRINCE

 

Zhang Lulu

School of Foreign Studies

Anhui Sanlian University

Hefei, Anhui, 230601

 

Abstract

The Little Prince, written by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, has won  popularity among both children and adults since it has been published. This novel is written in childlike tone, but has profound symbolic meaning. The writer made symbolic use of the objects in this novel, giving them double meanings or even multiple meanings. It is an excellent fairy tale, and also a philosophy book that inspires them from many aspects. This thesis tends to analyze the symbolism reflected from this novel by utilizing the method of documentary and the combination of theory of literature and history. This thesis divides the objects that have symbolic meanings into four types, including the objects on the planet the prince lives, the six men the prince encounters on the trip, the things on the Earth, and finally the symbolic meaning of the whole novel. And then it reveals the social significance and inspiration of humanity reflected from the simple symbolic expressions in The Little Prince.

 

Key Words: The Little Prince; symbolism; Antoine de Saint-Exupery; grownups and children

 

 

 

浅析《小王子》中的象征主义

张露露

外语学院

安徽三联学院

安徽,合肥, 230601

 

     

法国作家安东尼·德·圣埃克苏佩里的《小王子》,从发表以来便深受老少欢迎。这部小说虽以儿童的天真口吻写成,却饱含深刻的象征性意义。作者通过运用象征,赋予小说中的事物双重意义甚至多重意义。这是一部精彩的童话,更是一部给成人多方面启发的哲学巨作。本论文运用文献法和文史论相结合的方法   分析《小王子》中的象征意义,将《小王子》中具有象征意义的事物按四类进行详细剖析:小王子星球上的事物、小王子星际旅行途中遇到的六位成人、小王子在地球上的际遇以及整部小说的象征性意义,继而揭示掩盖在该小说象征性的简单言语下的深层社会意义和人性启发。

 

关键词:小王子;象征主义;安东尼·德·圣埃克苏佩里;儿童与成人

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

I feel deeply grateful to all the people who have assisted me in finishing this paper. Much of my success in completing this thesis owes to the support of these wonderful individuals.

My profound respect and gratitude first and foremost goes to my supervisor Mrs. Wu Zhengying, who has guided me and helped me all along my writing of this paper with great patience and understanding. I cannot thank my supervisor enough for her constructive suggestions and careful reading and amendment of the manuscript all through the whole writing process. It is her enthusiasm that has inspired my enthusiasm for this field now.

I would like to express my appreciation to all my teachers who have enlightened me and taught me a lot, and also helped me to be a competent college student.

My special appreciation goes to my friends and roommates. Thank for their encouragement and accompany throughout the four years’ campus life.

I am indebted to those people who have given a hand to me on my way to the academic fulfillment and achievement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

1. Introduction.................................................................................................................. 1

1.1 Introduction of the Author and The Little Prince................................................... 1

1.2 The Review o f Research Status on Related Topics............................................... 2

1.3 The Structure Arrangement and Significance of the Thesis.................................... 3

2. Introduction of Symbolism........................................................................................... 4

2.1 Meaning of Symbolism........................................................................................... 4

2.2 Significance of Symbolism...................................................................................... 5

3. Analysis of the Symbolism in The Little Prince........................................................... 5

3.1 Symbolism Reflected from the B-612.................................................................... 5

      3.1.1 Baobab Trees………………………………………………………………5

      3.1.2 The Rose…………………………………………………………………..6

3.2 Symbolism Reflected from the Travel of Six Planets............................................. 7

3.3 Symbolism Reflected from the Earth...................................................................... 8

      3.3.1 The Snake………………………………………………………………….8

      3.3.2 The Fox……………………………………………………………………9

3.4. Symbolism Reflected from the Whole Novel...................................................... 10

      3.4.1 The “I” and the Prince…………………………………....………………10

      3.4.2 The Death of the Little Prince……………………………………………10

4. Significance of the Symbolism in the Novel............................................................... 11

4.1. Prosecution of the Human Society...................................................................... 11

4.2. Innocence of Child World.................................................................................... 11

4.3. Absurdity of Adult World................................................................................... 12

5. Conclusion.................................................................................................................. 13

Bibliography................................................................................................................... 15

 

 

 

1. Introduction

This thesis interprets the symbolism in The Little Prince from the perspective of three parts — the B-612, the travel of six planets, and the Earth. By analyzing the deep meanings under the symbols can it not only help English learners better understand the real thought of the novel, but also help the readers to get more inspiration from the novel.

1.1 Introduction of the Author and The Little Prince

The Little Prince was a fairy tale published in 1943. The author of this book, Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a writer and also a pilot. During his lifetime, Antoine loved freedom and adventure, and hated to be restricted. He devoted his life to aviation business, and became an airmail pilot opening the new routes from Toulouse, France to Casablanca and Dakar, Africa when he was 27 years old.

Antoine de Saint –Exupéry experienced two world wars and a global economic crisis during his lifetime. He tasted the cruelty of wars, the depression of economic crisis, and the turbulence under the Capitalist. He was drafted into the army during the World War Two and finally lay down his life for his country. Maybe it’s that he often overlooked the earth from the high sky that made him have different perspectives and understandings about life and human beings. He found that human just lived on a planet that was comprised of mountains, ocean, sand, and human civilization was so fragile that it could be destroyed by earthquake, storm and volcanic eruption in a flash.

Antoine’s great reputation comes from The Little Prince – the most widely circulated fairy tale in the 20th century. The narrator of the novel is a pilot. At the beginning of the novel he tells the readers that grown-ups are too realistic that he can click with no one in the adult world. Therefore he decides to become a pilot which eventually causes a crash in the Sahara desert.

In the desert, the pilot encounters the little prince who is from B-612, a small planet which can just accommodate a man. The little prince asks him to draw a little sheep. Out of his great expectation, the little prince is satisfied with the painting the pilot drew for him. When the little prince lives in B-612 before his trip, the everyday work of the little prince is to take care of the whole planet, he has to uproot the baobab trees because they are constantly attempting to take roots there. He falls in love with a vainglorious rose, who hurts the prince deeply that makes him determine to leave the planet to see the rest of the universe and expands his horizon. Before he arrives at the Earth he has visited six planets, on each of which only a grown-up lives. A geographer on the last planet recommends him to visit the Earth which "has a good reputation".

The little prince comes across a lovely fox. The fox requests the little prince to tame him. The fox tells him that his rose is unique because she is the one he loves. On some level, the little prince has tamed the flower and that's why the prince now misses her. The pilot later finds the little prince is discussing his return home with the snake. The next morning the pilot is unable to find the little prince’s body when he tries to look for the prince. The story ends with a drawing of the landscape where the pilot and the little prince met and where the snake killed off the prince. The pilot finds the stars are different for him after he meets the little prince, because the prince lives among them. At last, the pilot expresses his precious memories with the prince.

1.2 The Review of Research Status on Related Topics

Since the establishment of symbolism, it has attracted a large number of researchers to study language phenomena ranging from the acquisition of language to the different kinds of discourse both in China and abroad. To be specific, there are 13249 theses studying The Little Prince according to the statistics of cnki.net. And 1317 of these theses study the symbolism of The Little Prince in different ways. These theses mainly analyze the theme by dividing the symbols into several kinds such as animal symbols, planet symbols, nature symbols etc. Symbolism can be seen everywhere in The Little Prince. For a better understanding of research status on the related topic, we introduce some impressive opinions in details.

Hu Yulong reveals that the symbols the writer uses all derive from daily life. He classifies the symbols into three kinds. The first kind is apparent and direct for it stems from our life; the next kind of symbols needs to read and think carefully; the last kind has profound meanings that need to explore the background of the text (胡玉龙 2012). Li Qianjun divides the symbols in The Little Prince into four categories — human beings, animals, plants, and the nature. The king, merchant, vainglorious man, geographer, lamplighter are in the group of human beings; animal symbols include the fox, snake; plant symbols include the rose and baobab trees; the nature symbols are echo, well, and so on (李千钧 2005). Liu Xianglin discusses the symbolism in The Little Prince from the perspective of religion. The sheep drawn by the pilot is actually the symbolization of God and the snake is His assistant(刘湘琳 2011).Chen Yongwei points out that The Little Prince is the symbolization of the author’s childhood. He attaches importance to the symbolized meaning of the grown-ups in the novel and the responsibility of human, and also emphasizes the purity and innocence of children (陈永伟 2014).

The symbolism in The Little Prince has been fiercely discussed and researched. Most of these researches attach importance to dividing the symbols into several kinds or a single perspective of symbolic meaning rather than a comprehensive analysis. How does the author successfully express the meaning to readers and in what ways? This thesis tends to analyze The Little Prince comprehensively from the perspective of symbolism in this novel not only by understanding the real meaning under the symbols but also by pondering the deep meaning and significance of the whole novel and introspection of adults and children based on the previous research.

1.3 The Structure Arrangement and Significance of the Thesis

This thesis is comprised of five chapters. As for the first chapter, it is the introduction of The Little Prince and its related information. The first part of the first chapter introduces the author and summarizes the novel. Then it discusses the review of research status on related topics, and analyzes the structure arrangement and significance of this paper. Chapter two is the introduction of symbolism, including its meaning and using principle. As an essential branch of the modernist literature, symbolism gives double- level to The Little Prince. It’s an crucial element that deepens this novel and lets this novel thought-provoking. Chapter three is the core part of this thesis which makes an elaborate analysis from the perspective of symbolism. It contains four subcategories—the symbolism reflected from the B-612, the symbolism reflected from the prince’s travel of six planets, the symbolism reflected from the Earth, and the symbolic meaning of the whole novel. It emphasizes the analysis of the baobab trees and the rose in the first subcategory. The next subcategory analyzes the inhabitants on each of the six planets, including the king, vainglorious man, drunkard, merchant, lamplighter, and the geographer from the perspective of symbolism. In the forth chapter, it discusses the significance of the symbolism in The Little Prince in the aspects of the prosecution of the human society, the innocence of child world and the absurdity the adult world. The last chapter is a conclusion of this paper.

By analyzing the symbolism in The Little Prince comprehensively can we understand the symbolic meaning under the symbols, realize the significance of the whole novel, and also reveal the social significance and inspiration of humanity reflected from the symbolism in The Little Prince.

2. Introduction of Symbolism

T.S. Eliot once observed, “the only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an ‘objective correlative’, in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion” (T.S. Eliot 2015). It shows the function of symbolism and the relationship between a symbol and its correlative meaning.

Just as a dove represents for peace and scales symbolize justice, symbolism employs “objective correlatives” as symbols to suggest ideas, developments of works, and especially the real thoughts in the depth of the author’s heart. It carries particular conventional meanings by the systematic and creative application of arbitrary symbols, and makes a work more profound, meaningful and thought-provoking.

2.1 Meaning of Symbolism

Symbolism is the writing skill of using symbols. Stemmed from the French symbolism literature in the middle of 19th century, it arrives to Europe and the United States in the early 20th century, and it is also an essential branch of the modernist literature. Symbolism is often presented through allegory in fictional narrative. It gives a unique correspondence between the literal object and its allegorical counterpart.

Symbolism has different forms. Generally, it is an object representing another to give it an completely different, more significant and much deeper meaning. Sometimes, however, an action or a word spoken by someone may have a symbolic meaning. For instance, “rose” is a symbol of love. By the same token, the action of someone’s sending a rose to you may stand for a symbol of someone loves you.

2.2 Significance of Symbolism

“Just as characterization and dialogue and plot work on the surface to move the story along, symbolism works under the surface to tie the story’s external action to the theme”(张伯香 2010). As generally used in literary study, a symbol indicates a connection between the common sense of reality and a spiritual or moral order.

Symbols shift their meanings in accordance to the context they are applied in. A “chain” may stand for “imprisonment” as well as “chain”. Hence, symbolic meaning of an object or an action is understood by where, when and how it is used. It also depends on who reads them.

In our minds, allegory is the simplest way of enriching a theme, but it is also the simplest because it makes things too easy for readers to understand. The excellent works of literature are those in which an element of mystery remains—those which lead themselves to a variety of interpretations.

In literature, "symbolism" refers to the employment of abstract concepts as the method of obfuscating any literal interpretation, or allowing more applicability of works to give more suggested meaning than literally described. In fact, many writers, most authors of fiction treat symbolism as a rhetorical device central to the content of their works. David Herbett Lawrece, for example, once endowed his short story The Shadow in the Rose Garden multiple meanings by the repetitive use of the words “A shadow seems to go over her”(David Herbett Lawrece 2008)to make symbolic use of the rose, shadow, and other objects in his work.

3. Analysis of the Symbolism in The Little Prince

3.1 Symbolism Reflected from the B-612

3.1.1 Baobab Trees

When the little prince lives on his own planet B-612, his daily work is to take care of the planet. He has to pull out the baobab trees that are ceaselessly attempting to take roots there. Baobab trees are mentioned more than once in the novel. It undoubtedly symbolizes dangers needed to be removed promptly. “There were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. …If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it”(Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Baobab trees also symbolizes the deep meaning— Human should protect the Earth and eliminate harmful planets. It also symbolizes the internal cause of alienation of human beings. Everyone has bad factors and good factors, and it will turn to the bad side if you indulge in bad side and restrict the good factors from developing. Human should be absorbed in love, friendship, protecting environment, developing imagination, creation, and inhibited blindness, conservation, and the lust for dominant and possession.

3.1.2 The Rose

The little prince falls in love with the rose who appears not to return his love due to her vain nature. Relationship between the little prince and the rose with just several sentences reveals the tenderness of the little prince. “She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me…But I was too young to know how to love her” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). This rose is his love. He can’t help admiring her when confronts her charm and gorgeousness while the rose tortures him with vainglory and thorn. Therefore he decides to leave her.

Their love illustrates that it needs understanding, trust, care, giving and responsibility to love others. The writer also has a reason to choose volcano as the place where the rose lives. The birth place of Antoine’s wife is famous for volcano. This shows the love and conflict between Antoine and his wife. Many people in the real world break up because of conflicts and dignity, but they don’t realize the fact that they love but distrust each other, the fact that “I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. I ought never to have run away from her” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). That is to say, she sees grumble and anger as a test to convince herself to believe love and then reassures herself. The negligible “thorn” is just a delicate protection to herself. The little prince misses the rose and understands the true essence of love after he has left. Just like what refers in the novel, “I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little strategies. Flowers are so inconsistent” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014).

3.2 Symbolism Reflected from the Travel of Six Planets

The little prince visits six planets after he leaves his planet. Six different strange men live on different planets. These six men represent the adult world that can’t be understood by the little prince. Antoine reveals the ugliness and absurdity of adult world by exaggerating the characters of these six men.

The king, living in the planet No.325, is the first one the little prince meets. Undoubtedly he is the symbolization of political rights. He is autocratic and only cares about his rights and doesn't allow his command to be disobeyed. This king is so intoxicated in rights and power that he looks impressive but worthless. All of these are valueless to the little prince. It tells us the hypocrisy and capability of power rationally. The writer designs the plots and characters’ language elaborately to convey his intense denying, satire and critique toward power enthusiasts.

The vainglorious man appearing after the king is the symbolization of thousands of vainglorious men. He raises his queer hat to salute to everyone who applauds to him. The little prince admits that he is the most handsome, elegantly dressed, rich, and wise man on his planet, but he is the only human on his planet. Although the prince admires him, he doesn’t know the reason why the man is so happy. It makes the little prince exclaims that “grown-ups are so impenetrable” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014).

The third one on the third planet is a drunkard. He indulges in excessive drinking just to forget the shame of excessive drinking, which makes the little prince deeply unpleasant. He is the symbolization of absurdity.

On the forth planet lives a merchant who is so busy that he has no time to rise up his head although he has lived there for 54 years. He keeps calculating the number of stars, and convinces that he would occupy these stars as long as he locks the data in his drawer though he has nearly forgotten what he wants to occupy is stars. He calls stars as golden particles. These little golden particles which make no sense to him attract him. It symbolizes the greed and ignorance of human beings. The absurd logic is a metaphor of profound philosophy: The society where money is the first priority deviates from human nature. Venality makes life meaningless. The merchant’s behavior is of no use to the stars in the sky, so is the merchant. It’s even inferior to the relation between a rose and the little prince – The little prince loves the rose, and so does the rose.

The little prince meets a lamplighter in the fifth planet. He is the only grown-up with whom the little prince thinks that he can make a friend. The lamplighter is a complicated figure. He acts ridiculously, but has spirit of utter devotion. Just for conformism, his lacking of independent thinking and being busy all day alone are the best symbolization of human being’s blindness.

The last one is a geographer. He seems to be knowledgeable but has never investigated the planet he lives and knows nothing about it. He exhorts the little prince to visit the Earth because of its fame. This knowledgeable, lofty and ivory-towered geographer is just the symbolization of human being’s dogmatism.

These six men show the ugliness and absurdity of adults. Their behaviors are elusive to the little prince. This is the apparent contrast between grownups and children.

3.3 Symbolism Reflected from the Earth

The little prince goes to the Earth under the geographer’s proposal. He lands on the Sahara and encounters different animals and scenes.

3.3.1 The Snake

The first one the little prince meets after his arrival at the Earth is the snake. The consistent image of snake is mystery and dangerous. Snake is the most cunning animal among all the living things in the field created by Jehovah. It tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. For one thing, it brings wisdom, life and higher knowledge. For another thing, it has dual personalities and is the representation of live and death. In western, snake symbolizes mysterious force and while in The Little Prince, besides a horrible and alluring Death, it also symbolizes goodness and benevolence. The little prince doesn’t believe in the snake. “You are not very powerful. You even don’t have any feet…You’re no thicker than a finger…” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). But the snake tells him, “ But I am more powerful than the finger of a king… I can carry you farther than any ship could take you” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). The snake in The Little Prince is just like a final adjudicator. “Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014).  It helps the little prince to return to his planet and his beloved rose’s side with its venom. He adopts the easiest way to return home. The evil snake thinks the prince “is innocent and pure, and …comes from a star” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). His death symbolizes the integration of pure heart and holy desert, his detachment from absurd and complicated world, and also a beautiful beginning of life.

3.3.2 The Fox

Foxes is stereotyped as cunning animals. In this novel the little fox is the little prince’s spiritual mentor, and the embodiment of wisdom. The fox requests the little prince to tame it. “It means to establish ties” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014).  In other words, it produces intersection between irrelevant people and animals, and makes each other unique through understanding, communication and intercourse.

Before taming, the two sides have no relationship. “But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Life becomes different. The little prince tames the fox under the fox’s guidance. The fox gets the true essence of love — True love is accompanied by giving and duty. The fox splashes the sunlight of wisdom and enlightens the little prince on the difference between similarity and uniqueness, the essential relationship between love and duty with simple and lucid language. The little prince leaves the rose out of conflicts and returns with his soul out of his miss toward the rose. “It is the time you waste for your rose that makes your rose so important” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). He learns to tame from the fox. “I am responsible for my rose” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Finally he determines to use venom to get back to his planet to be the guardian of rose and love. The heart of the little prince is as pure as his love.

3.4 Symbolism Reflected from the Whole Novel

3.4.1 The “I” and the Prince

Grown up in a prominent, upper-class family, Antoine misses the happy life of his childhood. As he enters adulthood, pilot career gives him the chance of overlooking the earth from the high sky which makes him have different perspectives and understanding about life and human beings.“I”, the pilot in this novel can be regarded as the author himself. They are both pilots, and the pilot’s childhood memory is the author’s memory in some measure. The little prince and “I” are integrated. The prince is not only the one the pilot encounters, but also the pilot himself in his childhood. At the beginning of this novel, the pilot narrates that “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Grownups cannot understand what the young pilot thinks which caused the pilot to give up his painter’s career and “chose another profession, and learned to pilot airplanes” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014).

The little prince is a mysterious person, living on the planet that is far away from human society and not constrained by outmoded conventions, and is the legendary image of light-hearted and simplehearted child. There is no difference between poverty and richness, no discrimination, no lust for money and power, no hatred in the little prince’s mind. His travel around planets is the witness of the pilot’s secular experience. “grown-ups are so impenetrable”(Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). It’s the thinking of the little prince, and also the author himself. The loss of love and growing up of the prince are also the ups and downs in love of the author.

3.4.2 The Death of the Little Prince

The little prince finally goes back to his own planet under the viper’s help. “ I did not find his body at daybreak. It was not such a heavy body...” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Maybe the little prince goes back with his soul, but we know that the little prince is already dead. His death symbolizes his detachment from the absurdity and intricacy of the world, and a beginning of a new beautiful life. It also symbolizes that how a pure heart is devastated by this materialized world.

 On the one hand, the little prince is tempted by the outside world to begin the travel of finding truth initially. After undergoing numerous ordeals, he finds the darkness and distortion of the outside world. Just like what has the little prince repeated for many times, “grown-ups are so impenetrable” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Friendship, love and sincerity are destroyed. Nobility and purity are tarnished. He is frustrated and decides to leave the Earth peacefully. The death of the little prince suggests his rejection toward the scars and stains of human society. It’s the author’s  prosecution toward modern civilization.

4. Significance of the Symbolism in the Novel

4.1 Prosecution of the Human Society

The Little Prince was created during the World War Two when the anti-Fascist War was over, but the egoistic American world arrived in quick succession. After the end of World War Two, war-devastated countries made great efforts in healing scars of war and developing economy at the cost of destroying the environment. Human in that time neglected the spiritual value and regarded money as the first priority. Human must be responsible for the Earth. That is why the little prince is afraid of the rose’s being eaten by the sheep, and takes roots of baobab trees.

In fact, we can regard the nifty dedication written to Leon Werth as the key of this novel for “I correct my dedication: To Leon Werth when he was a little boy” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Antonie sent this book to his best friend who was an adult but still had a child heart and understood the toughness of life. He had to transmit his thought to those immature grownups. The boa constrictor swallows the elephant just like the Fascist’s maniacs attempt to conquer the world. But grownups can not realize it. It has symbolic meaning in enlightening human that the Earth is small and flowers are fragile. All these let us know the importance of being responsible and it needs our joint effort to rescue the Earth.

4.2 Innocence of the Child World

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well...” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Maybe we can interpret this sentence as — This spring is the sincerity and purity hidden deeply in our heart.

“Only the children know what they are looking for” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Children are to enjoy the sightseeing outside the window while grown-ups are sleeping rather than finding joys and beauty. “They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry…” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Children tend to spend time on the one they love.

Just like children, the prince pursues love, does what he thinks is useful, knows what he wants to do, and sees the world with clean eyes. “If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I like, I would walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). Innocence is children’s inherent character, and it engraves in children’s value. Adult world is elusive to children. Innocence is as unreachable as the stars in the sky for grown-ups after thousands of years’ polish. There is no income discrepancy, no material benefits, as well as enmity and greed. He is just one of the thousands of pure children that are ignorant of tricks, discrimination, injustice and vanity.

4.3 Absurdity of the Adult World

The vainglorious man asks others to take off hats and applaud; The drunkard indulges in excessive drinking to forget the shame of excessive drinking; The geographer has never gone out to inspect; The stubborn lamplighter is in charge of light lamp. They have a common feature – They have already forgotten true beauty of life and are always busy for superficial things just like most other adults do. They ‘re mirrors of adult world. Blindness, vanity, power, greed, dogma… are all the outcome of human society.

“The Earth is not just an ordinary planet. One can count, there are 111 kings(not forgetting, to be sure, the Negro kings among them), 7000 geographers, 900,000 businessmen, 7,500,000 tipplers, 311,000,000 conceited men – that is to say, about 2,000,000,000 grown-ups” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). It is conceivable that how many unbearable grownups live on the Earth. The prince meets a businessman and a switchman. The switchman tells the prince how passengers keep rushing from one place to another, never pleased with where they are and knowing what they are after. Only children bother to look the scenery out of the windows. And the merchant is very enthusiastic about introducing his product – a pill which removes thirst and saves people fifty-three minutes each week. But the prince would rather to use the time to walk and look for a well.

“The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They adore figures, and that will please them” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery 2014). They would rather make complicate calculations with series of number than believe in others. They are eager to occupy big space without knowing how small they are. Just like the merchant keens to calculate the amount of stars, they are eager to possess as many things as they cannot count though those things are actually useless to them.

Grown-ups always immerse in their own world and are always busy for superficial and meaningless things. These poor wretched bodies have lost themselves in secular world. What an absurd adult world it is!

5. Conclusion

It can be seen that symbolism plays a vital role in The Little Prince.

The rose symbolizes love, and therefore the prince and the rose reflects the author and his wife. The “tame” which the fox teaches the little prince symbolizes duty and friendship. Besides these, there are also many other objects with deeply symbolic meanings in this novel. For example, the desert the prince lands on symbolizes pure land,and the echo the prince hears around the sharpened peaks of rock symbolizes implacability and indifference of human society. Animals and plants in the novel all have plentiful and profound symbolic meanings. The novel gracefully reveals the truth of life, love, duty and goodness with childish language and fantastic plots by using symbolism.

The author keeps on raising questions to show his hesitation and frustration by using the little prince's tone. Just seeming to trace the path of little prince and run to the pure land of soul, Antoine disappeared while executing his last flight mission,. Nowadays, it also embodies its practical significance when we interpret the harmony of society and human beings by reading this novel – touches mind-numbing people, guides us to insight into the truth and reviews those we once possessed and lost, introspects ourselves, and then grasps the direction of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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