The symbols are one of the most important stylistic devices in the work The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Symbols give a deeper meaning to certain objects or actions. The secret of the fox states that the essential is invisible to the eyes. Pointing out the symbolic character hidden in certain objects or deeds is one of the main purposes of the narrative. Thus, symbols are among the essential means of the narrative. In the following, selected symbols will be briefly explained.
The snake: life and death
One of the most important symbols is the snake. It can stand for both life and death. Snakes are often characterized as twofaced, false, poisonous, deceitful, and treacherous. For the little prince, their poison means earthly death, but at the same time the snake enables him to return to his home planet. Snakes can thus also stand for a new beginning. This can be explained, for example, with the snake shedding its own skin to grow a new one, which symbolizes rebirth.
The serpent also plays an important role in the Bible. It is described as a deceitful animal because it tempts Eve to eat a forbidden fruit. In the work The Little Prince, on the other hand, it is not easy to determine whether the snake is either good or evil.
The snake politely meets the little prince and offers him help. He is wise and speaks in riddles, which may mean that he often has an ulterior motive when he wants to help someone. But he keeps his promise and kills the little prince with his poison without making him suffer.
The rose: love and beauty
The rose, which the little prince loves, symbolizes femininity in the work. It is a symbol of love and beauty. The little prince's rose is the central symbol in the tale. While still on his planet, the little prince does not recognize her love for him or his love for her. Confused by her behavior, he flees his planet. Only on his journey does he understand the mystery of love and trust.
The roses are the central symbol of love. A rose can stand as much for passion, desires, and seduction as for heavenly delight and perfection. In its bloom, the rose is the symbol of beauty and vitality, but in its rapid fading it also stands for ephemerality. We should also bear in mind the contrast between the hard thorns and the delicacy of the petals.
Autobiographically, the rose is often interpreted as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's mother or as his wife. The author had a close relationship of trust with her. He also called his wife, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, his rose.
The baobabs represent evil forces that threaten to destroy the little prince's planet. The little prince advises to nip these dangerous shoots in the bud if possible and uproot them.
On a metaphorical level, the baobabs represent unpleasant elements in our own nature - if we don't recognize them and eliminate them early, they will take firm root and destroy who we are
The Stars: Longing
The stars also have a symbolic meaning. For the little prince, it is beautiful to look at the starry sky because he knows that his rose lives on one of these stars. The stars thus stand for the longing that the little prince feels for his rose: "The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen." (80%).
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