Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote this story in reference to a time when he crashed in the Sahara Desert. He and his navigator wandered for over two days, becoming dehydrated and having hallucinations. Saint-Exupery’s favorite author growing up was Hans Christian Anderson, so inspiration for The Little Prince was based on his love for fables and the actual experience of crashing and nearly dying in the desert, noting the common thread of illusion between fables and hallucinating.
From the fable or allegorical perspective, The Little Prince is important, and was important to the author, because one of the main themes is the decreasing role of imagination (linked with childhood) in a world where knowledge is increasingly compartmentalized, and the world is governed by statistics, business and political ideologies. This novella was first published in 1943 – during the middle of World War II, where the so-called enlightened powers of the world were committing atrocities and killing each other. These actions would be illogical to someone like the little prince. The ending is vague. We don’t know if the prince has somehow been returned to his planet, if he is lost or dead. This leaves the allegorical ambiguity that the spirit of imagination, innocence and love may not be dead in the world (1943); we just might have to look for it.
Within the context of the story, if we consider Saint-Exupery to be the narrator, then the little prince is a source that gave him reasons to live.