The little prince: analysis of the work, summary

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The little Prince is a famous book of European children's literature. It narrates events experienced by a boy from asteroid B 612. After a plane crashes in the Sahara desert, the pilot befriends this wise child, who can see what adults are unable to.

The work has chronological time and a character narrator. It presents lonely characters in search of meaning for their lives. Published for the first time in 1943, this book presents fantastic elements and seeks to value the simple things in life.

Read too: Sítio do Picapau Amarelo — famous series of children's books that is part of Brazilian literature

Topics in this article

  • 1 - Summary of The Little Prince
  • 2 - Analysis of the work The Little Prince
    • → Characters from the work The Little Prince
    • → Time of the work The Little Prince
    • → Space for the work The Little Prince
    • → Plot of the work The Little Prince
    • → Narrator of the work The Little Prince
  • 3 - Characteristics of the work The Little Prince
    • → Structure of the work The Little Prince
    • → Literary style of the work The Little Prince
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  • 4 - Moral of the story of The Little Prince
  • 5 - Historical context of the work The Little Prince
  • 6 - Who was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince?

Summary about The little Prince

  • The little Prince is a classic of children's literature that narrates the friendship between a boy and an airline pilot.

  • The little prince comes from asteroid B 612, and meets the pilot in the Sahara desert.

  • The work talks about love, friendship and childish wisdom.

  • This children's book has continued to be successful since its publication in 1943.

  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The little Prince, born in 1900 and died in 1944.

Analysis of the work The little Prince

Characters of the work The little Prince

  • The pilot

  • The little Prince

  • The Rose

  • King

  • The vain

  • The drunk

  • The business man

  • The lamplighter

  • The geographer

  • The serpent

  • The desert flower

  • The Fox

  • The key keeper

  • The seller

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Work time The little Prince

The book has chronological time. When the storyteller He begins to tell about his meeting with the little prince, he informs that it happened about six years ago, but does not specify the date of the narration. Furthermore, in the days he spends with the boy, the little prince tells him facts that preceded his arrival. the land.

Work space The little Prince

The pilot's story takes place in the Sahara desert. Furthermore, the little prince tells of events that occurred on asteroids (or planets), before he arrived on Earth.

Plot of the work The little Prince

When he is six years old, the narrator is impressed by an engraving he sees in a book. It's from a boa constrictor that is swallowing a beast. This inspires him to make his first drawing. He shows the drawing — a boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant — to the adults, but none of them can understand the image and they only see a hat.

Drawing of the boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant, one of the classic images from the book “The Little Prince”.
Drawing, made by the narrator, of the inside of the boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant. Adults, who only saw the outside of the drawing, saw a hat.

The narrator then abandons interest in drawings, since adults say that the best thing is to study geography, grammar, etc. When it grows, learn to fly planes. One day, his plane crashes and he crashes in the Sahara desert.. The water he has will only last eight days, that's how long he has to try to repair the plane.

After the first night in the desert, When he wakes up in the morning, there is a blond boy, dressed like a prince, who wants the pilot to draw him a sheep. As he doesn't know how to draw sheep, the man draws the same picture of the boa constrictor from his childhood. And what a surprise when the boy says that he doesn't want an elephant on a boa constrictor, but a ram.

Illustration of several sheep and a box with three holes, drawings from the work “The Little Prince”.
The pilot drew several sheep before making a drawing that the little prince approved.

All the pilot has to do is draw a sheep several times, without the boy's approval. Until the man draws a box with three holes and says that the sheep is inside. It's just what the little prince wanted! The boy says that the place where he lived was very small.

Although he does not reveal the name of his little planet, the pilot will later conclude that it is asteroid B 612. The boy wants a sheep to eat small baobabs, because there is an infestation of baobabs on his planet.. Because the planet is small, it could crack if the baobab roots grow.

Illustration of the little prince, looking at the sky with a telescope, next to the rose that demands all his care.
On the little prince's planet, there is a rose that demands all his care.

After the boy wants to know if ram eats flowers, particularly roses, as there is a rose on his planet, which requires all the care of the little prince. She is a vain and manipulative rose, who made many demands on the boy, as if he were obliged to take care of her.

Suffocated by that love, he decided to leave, with the help of wild birds that emigrated. Until arriving on Earth, the little prince met some characters. The king of asteroid 325 was dressed in purple and ermine. As the boy yawned before the king, the monarch warned him that this act was against etiquette and forbade him to yawn.

The boy said he couldn't help it since he hadn't slept. Then the king ordered him to yawn. He was an authoritarian king of a tiny planet. When the boy wanted to leave, the lonely king offered him the position of minister. As the boy insisted on leaving, the king, so as not to be contradicted, declared that the boy would be his ambassador.

On the next planet, there lived a vain loner, who thought the little prince was there to admire him. The resident of the next little planet was a drunk, and this contact made the boy become melancholy. On the fourth planet, he met the businessman, who was busy accumulating wealth.

The fifth little planet, the smallest of all, was barely big enough for the lamp and the lamplighter, who obediently followed the rules of turning the lamp on and off. The next planet was larger and inhabited by a geographer. On his advice, the little prince decided to visit planet Earth.

The first being he encountered here was a serpent in the desert, who spoke in riddles and said that he could help the boy if he wanted to return home.. Then he found a flower. Afterwards he walked through mountains, saw snow and also found some roses in a garden.

The little prince sitting next to his fox friend, both admiring the sunset.
On Earth, the little prince met a fox, who became his friend.

He then met the fox, who taught him the meaning of the word “captivate”.. So, captivated by the little prince, the fox wanted to cry when he left. Then the little prince met a train station keykeeper and a salesman. It is on the eighth day in the desert that the pilot hears the boy tell the story of the seller of pills that quench thirst.

The little prince walking through the Sahara desert with the pilot (narrator).
The little prince walking through the Sahara desert with the pilot (narrator).

That day, the water runs out. Unable to repair the plane, the pilot tells the boy that they are going to die of thirst, but the little prince doesn't seem to understand what that means. They walk in search of a well and, at the end of the night, they find one to quench their thirst. It is when the pilot discovers that it is one year since the boy arrived on Earth.

What's more, he's looking for the serpent that promised to take him home. When the little prince finds her, he lets the serpent bite him and thus dies.. He believed that, in this way, he would return to his planet. Finally, the pilot manages to repair the plane and also returns home, and never forgets the little prince who captivated him.

Narrator of the work The little Prince

The work has a narrator character, a pilot who, after crashing in a desert, meets the mysterious little prince.

Features of the work The little Prince

Structure of the work The little Prince

The book has 27 chapters, as well as illustrations made by the author himself, but attributed, in the work, to the pilot and narrator of the novel.

Literary style of the work The little Prince

The little Princeis a children's book of French literature. So it doesn't fit in no period style. It thus presents typical characteristics of children's literature, such as:

  • simple language;

  • fantastic elements;

  • reflections;

  • illustrations.

Moral of the story The little Prince

Despite being a children's book, the work has a certain depth. She talks about the difficulty that adults have in living simply and the ability of children to see reality without prejudice. Therefore, There is no explicit moral in the work. However, the most famous phrase from this book can serve as a moral of the story:

"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

Also access: What is the story of fairy tales?

Historical context of the work The little Prince

As the narrator does not indicate the exact date of the events — which gives the work a timeless and, therefore, universal character —, the narrative does not have a historical context.

In turn, the historical context of the work's production is the beginning of the 1940s. After all, the book was first published in 1943, during World War II (1949-1945).

Who was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The little Prince?

The writer Antoine de Saint-Exupérywas born in the French city of Lyon, on June 29, 1900. He is one of the most famous European writers of children's literature, as his book The little Prince has been a publishing success for decades. The author made his first flight when he was approximately 12 years old. Later, became a military pilot.

French note stamped with the face of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of “The Little Prince”.
French note stamped with the face of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The little Prince.

He then worked at an aviation company, where he was responsible for air mail. He also served as a seaplane test pilot. He even bought a private plane. During his life as a pilot, he suffered several accidents. On July 31, 1944, the plane he was piloting disappeared during a war mission..

Image credit

[1]Faro Editorial (reproduction)


FONDATION ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY. The chronology. Available in:

SAINT-EXUPÉRY, Antoine de. The little Prince. Translated by Ivone C. Benedetti. Porto Alegre: L&PM, 2015.

Would you like to reference this text in a school or academic work? Look:

SOUZA, Warley. "The little Prince"; Brazil School. Available in: Accessed September 19, 2023.

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