Sadness and death


The well

The novella The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry also touches on the themes of sadness and death. The little prince prepares for his departure a year after his arrival on Earth. After finding a well together with the pilot, he meets with the snake that had offered him help upon his arrival. The well seems to have a special meaning for the little prince. It seems like the destination point of his journey on Earth.

At the well, the little prince reviews his experiences with the people and he concludes: "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart ..." (85%). Moreover, at this place the little prince asks the pilot to keep his promise and draw a muzzle for the sheep. At this point, the pilot suspects that the little prince is planning something: "You have plans that I do not know about" (86%). 

The pilot is not comfortable with this thought, because the little prince has become his friend. He remembers the teachings of the fox and knows, "One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed ..." (86%).

The empty shell

The little prince wants to return to his planet, because at this time it is exactly one year since he landed on Earth, and his planet is exactly above Earth on this day. He meets with the snake to let it bite him. The pilot is horrified to witness this conversation, "What does this mean? [...] Why are you talking with snakes?" 97%).

The little prince justifies his decision to let the snake kill him by saying that his body is too heavy to take with him. For the little prince, it is only an outer shell for which one should not be sad. He comforts the pilot by saying: "I shall look as if I were dead; and that will not be true ..." (95%).

The little prince sees his body and his spirit as two separate things. For him, his body is only the part that can be seen with the eyes; the spirit, which has a much more important meaning for the little prince, can only be recognized with the heart.

The little prince’s gift

To say goodbye, the little prince wants to give the pilot a gift: 

'In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night ... You--only you--will have stars that can laugh!’ (93%).

 Just as the little pr...

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