Who is Little Prince and what happened to him are the questions on which we all seem to know the answer. We know that the little prince is a symbol of a child within us that we lost touch with during our growing up. However, we are also aware of his sad fate. At the end of the book, the little prince decides to go back to his little home planet and be with his beloved flower. But his body is just too heavy for such a long road therefore he decides to get rid of it and allows the venomous snake to help him with his bite. People observe this as an act of suicide. But is that really so? What really happened to the little prince?
The True Fate of Little Prince
The true fate of the little prince is the question depending on the way we choose to approach his identity. Interpretations are numerous as readers of this book that was translated to over 300 languages. There are three most usual ways of determining his identity:
- Child within us
- Jesus Christ
- Real Boy
What Happened to the Child Within Us?
If we approach the little prince as the child within us the book explicitly states what happened to the mischievous rascals we once used to be. The kid moved aside to make place for some new person that was capable of doing what needed to be done in order to fit in the world of grown- ups. The little prince appears to the writer only after he crashed in the desert without a living soul for miles and miles around.
The boy approaches him with the request to draw him a sheep. The mere request is completely unconnected to their current situation featured by potential dehydration and death. The lack of connection with reality implies the imaginative spirit of a child that exceeds the circumstances of material world. However, that spirit can’t survive inside societies.
The little prince is the first person capable of recognizing the writer’s drawing of hat is in fact a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. During their eight days, how much it takes for the writer to fix his plane, little prince recounts his life story and tells it to his new friend. And then, when they are ready to go, prince is bitten by a poisonous viper and dies. However, it is the boy who allows and even asks for snake to bite him.
This part motivated many people to make a whole “Little Prince” story about suicide. However, it is far from so. Little prince is feeling sad because he is far away from the rose he loves. All he wants is to get back to it. And in order to do so he must remove himself from his heavy body so he could travel back to his star – go back to where he came from. When allowing the snake to bite him he does not think about death at all – only about reunion. And it happens right after the writer has fixed the plane.
Such timing is no coincidence at all. Because, as we said, the child within us we lost contact with moved aside to make place for a new person capable of fitting in the requests of every-day life. The grown up and the child just can’t live and control one body at the same time. So, when the writer is ready to go back to his old world the little prince is gone. Even his body inexplicably disappears and can’t be found.
Little Prince as Jesus Christ
Letting the poisonous snake bite you with having nothing on your mind but a reunion makes the boy’s perception of existence very interesting. Such a way of thinking produced the theory that the little prince is actually a symbol of Jesus Christ. Antoine de Saint-Exupery was from catholic family.
During World War One he and his little brother Francois were attending Marianist college Vila Saint Jean in Fribourg Switzerland. College Villa Saint Jean was a catholic private school where his younger brother caught and later died from rheumatic fever. It is the place where he started learning about Jesus and adopting certain philosophies that could have affected his writing as well.
The Little Prince’s eagerness to be bitten by a snake speaks of his belief in the life after death. But if we go little deeper we will see that little prince does not think of death at all. It is because he doesn’t know for death or believe that death doesn’t exist at all. The departure from the body is merely a stage into elevating and uniting with what we once were. This makes him very similar to Jesus Christ and proposes that Antoine could implicitly state through his novel that the boy from the desert was actually his encounter with savior.
Little Prince Was Real Boy
Third theory suggests that the Little Prince was a real boy. This theory is elaborated in the novel Chasing Little Prince, the first part of saga about the boy who shook the world. The story surrounds Sara, the lady of the night who believes that writer really met the prince in the desert during survival fight that ensued from one of his many plane crashes, and is determined to find him.
The most interesting crash happened on December 30, 1935. Together with his mechanic-navigator Andre Prevot, Antoine tried to break the speed record in Paris-to-Saigon air race and win the prize of 150 000 francis. However, after more than 20 hours in the air, as they were getting closer to the Nile Delta, their plane wrecked in the desert.
They had fluids for only one day and their maps were primitive and ambiguous so they had no way to establish where they were. After four days of roaming over the sand they stumbled upon Bedouin who administered the native rehydration treatment over them and saved their lives.
But before being founded by the guy on camel they encountered a boy. The real little prince. He was from one of the nomadic tribes who wondered from his caravan and got lost in the desert. What happened to him remained unknown. However, the Bedouin stumbled upon Antoine and Andre only because he was looking for the kid. But the boy was long gone.
What happened to him remain unknown but the question that implies itself is why didn’t Andre and Antoine took him with them?
There are many answers to this question. One of them is that the hallucinations ensuing from their dehydrations were so strong that they just couldn’t distinguish what is real and what is not. In that case they could have easily met boy and neglected his existence by thinking that their mind is just playing tricks on them.
However, they could have also acknowledged the boy was real and could have taken him with them. But as tired as they were, they could have easily lost him as well. Due to their inability to keep him on eye he could have easily got bitten by a deadly snake and die. And week as they were, there was no way that Antoine and Andre could have carried his body. This encounter inspired the Little Prince to be written.