Since the story of The Little Prince is written in the form of a fable, or allegory, the characters do not have names, but are rather "I" and "he." Others are generic: the astronomer, the geographer, the king, the businessman, the lamplighter, and so on. As in allegory, they represent one phase of human life. The king is authority; the lamplighter, devotion to duty; the businessman, greed. The flower is a coquettish woman, nevertheless beloved by the Prince; the serpent is death; the fox, true to his literary image, represents ruse. Most of the secondary characters appear only in brief scenes, in dialogue form, but their meaning is very clear.
The only characters that appear throughout the work are the narrator, who is lost in the Sahara, and the Little Prince. They are kindred spirits, both with the spirit of simplicity, a great love of human nature, and a desire for the ideal. The narrator as a child had drawn pictures misunderstood by adults, as the Prince does when he comes to earth. Both love the world beyond them; the narrator loves his plane because it brings him beyond himself to other regions on earth. The Prince gives up his life to return to his planet in another world, which he left in order to seek for friends. There is an immediate bond between the two, and between them and the reader. The author's illustrations, which accompany every edition, help to convey this warmth, but it is the immediacy of the characters which is most...
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