What are the themes in The Little Prince? Antoine Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince

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Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery isread as both a child's fantasy tale and as an allegory for adults that reaffirms the importance of friendship, altruism, love, and imagination.  The main theme of an individual's responsibility to another is illustrated in the narrative of the little prince from planet B 612, whom a pilot meets when he crashes in the desert.  The prince has fled the asteroid where he has lived because of the tyrannical love of his only companion, an animate rose.  Before coming to earth, the prince has traveled to six other planets where he has had various experiences.  His narrative of these experiences, while delighting children, also catalogs human weaknesses and failings, thus illustrating Saint-Exupery's themes of altruism and imagination.   For instance, in Chapter IV, the motif of the importance of the imagination is illustrated as the Turkish astronomer discovers asteroid B612, but his discovery is ignored because of his strange clothing.  Years later, when he presents his discovery again, wearing European clothing, it is accepted.  In another example, the three-petaled flower of Chapter XVI, who has spent its life in the desert, assumes that Earth is populated by very few people.  Even in the first chapter, Saint-Exupery depicts children as much more open-minded and creative in their thinking than adults.

To exemplify the theme of altruism, Saint-Exupery portrays the prince learning through his travels that he has a responsibility to the rose, and it is that, rather than any intrinic characteristic of the rose, such as beauty or goodness, that makes her special to him.  So, he returns by having a snake bite him.  For, it is only by spirit that he can make the journey back to his asteroid.

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