Childhood

The inquisitive prince

The world of children is very important in the novella The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The little prince comes from another planet and thus looks at the world with different eyes. The little prince has a childlike impartiality. He knows neither social differences nor what 'admire' means . He does not condemn anyone, but assesses the adults according to his childish criteria and merely wonders about them. Thus, during the visits to the planets, he notes: "The grown-ups are certainly altogether extraordinary" (47%).

The little prince tries to understand the adults better with the help of the many questions he asks. He does not hesitate to ask the adults questions about the world and to insist on these questions until he gets an answer. He is curious and inquisitive.

The little prince's train of thought is often very practically oriented. For example, he desperately needs a sheep that can eat small baobabs. To protect the prince’s rose from the sheep, the pilot has to draw a muzzle. 

For the little prince, the question of why roses actually have thorns is of great importance, since they still cannot protect themselves from tigers with them: "On matters of consequence, the little prince had ideas which were very different from those of the grownups." (47%).

The curious children

Unlike adults, children know where they are going and know the nature of friendship: "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..." (76%). Children are thus satisfied when they own a cheap doll made of scraps of cloth.

 The doll becomes valuable for them as they spend time with it and make friends with it. For the children, this doll cannot simply be replaced by another doll either, as they devote themselves to it completely and feel responsible for it. That is why they cry when the doll is taken away from them.

The children appear curious in the book: they are interested in their surroundings. In contrast to the grown-ups, who yawn or sleep on the express trains , the children press their noses against the window panes to see as much of the outside world as possible.

 While the adults are concerned only with themselves, with numbers or illusions, the children as well as the little prince live in the present. For this reason, Saint-Exupéry writes that children must have a lot of patience w...

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