The Little Prince Thesis Statements and Quotes

Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for “The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupéry that can be used as essay starters. All four incorporate at least one of the themes found in “The Little Prince" and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of “The Little Prince" in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.

Topic #1 Relationship between the narrator and the little prince

The pilot who’s stranded in the desert due to a mechanical failure in his plane is predisposed to having a relationship with the little prince who happens along. Having had his own childhood stifled by the adults in his life who couldn’t tell a hat from a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, the prince’s logic makes a kind of sense to him. After several unsuccessful attempts at drawing a figure of a sheep for the little prince to take back to his asteroid, he finally succeeds when he draws a box with a sheep hidden inside, exactly what the prince desired. Throughout the book the sympathy between the pilot narrator and the prince is developed. Choose two to three other instances in which the pilot responds to the little prince by meeting him on the level of a child that they can both relate to.

Topic #2 Asteroid B-612—Society and acceptance

After some thought, the pilot figures out that the Little Prince had probably come from Asteroid B-612, one no larger than the size of a house. But how this asteroid came to be known to the wider world is when it was first introduced to Europe by a Turkish astronomer. When the astronomer presented his findings to a European International Astronomical Congress, no one believed him! He was dressed in Turkish clothing. “Grownups are like that," commented the pilot, who was echoing something the Little Prince might himself have said. When the astronomer returned again dressed as a European, the asteroid was admitted into the records. Much of the book explores the differences between what grownups accept as reality over the much less judgmental things that children do. Write an essay giving examples from the story of things that are real to the little prince with regard to what is real to adults.

Topic #3 Taming

One of the most significant episodes in the book is when the Little Prince meets the fox. The fox describes his simple life—chasing chickens—and running from fox hunters. But he teaches the prince a lesson to take back to his planet, and at the same time, he helps him understand his rose. When the fox asks the Little Prince to “tame" him, the prince has no time, since he has many more things to explore and learn. The fox says the only way you can really know something is to tame it, become friends with it. So the prince develops a relationship with the fox. Ultimately the fox is tamed, but becomes hurt when the prince must leave. Taming is not without pain. Examine some of the relationships within the story where characters become “tamed" but then face a loss when the two part.

Topic #4 The Rose

Perhaps the most significant relationship the Little Prince has in the book is with the rose. Her personality is described, and it’s not very flattering. She is vain and demanding, and unaware of her own fragility, insisting that her thorns are enough to protect her. She relies on the prince to water her and cover her with a glass globe to keep out the cold at night. And she seems very unaware of the imposition of her own needs. But the fox demonstrates to the Little Prince as to how she is special to him, special among all the roses in all the world. The little prince is at first stunned on earth to see the trellis of many, many roses, all of which look exactly like his rose, whom he had thought to be the only one in the universe, but the fox teaches the prince that, despite these other roses’ looks, his rose is unique because he has tamed her. Write an essay about exactly what the prince does to tame his rose and how this creates between them a special bond and responsibility.

The Little Prince Quotes

This list of important quotations from “The Little Prince" will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements on our paper topics by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “The Little Prince" listed here correspond, at least in some way, to possible paper topics on “The Little Prince" and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned.

“But he would always answer, ‘That’s a hat.’ Then I wouldn’t talk about boa constrictors or jungles or stars. I would put myself on his level and talk about bridge and golf and politics and neckties. And my grown-up was glad to know such a reasonable person.

In this quote the pilot, as a little boy, must conform to adult ideas and ways in order to grow up and function in adult society. No reasonable adult can be expected to see something shaped like a hat to really be an elephant inside a boa constrictor, but what separates Exupéry’s pilot (often thought to be based on Exupéry himself) is that he has not forgotten the logic of a child. He can accept that the little prince prefers a drawing of a box with a sheep inside over the poorly-shaped sheep in his original drawings.

“’It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . People have forgotten this truth’ the fox said, ‘But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .’"

The fox teaches the Little Prince the meaning of friendship, how it is developed, and how it transpires. The fox allows the prince to tame him, in fact, but he also reminds the prince that “taming" comes with dangers that adults have forgotten. With taming comes responsibility. Without perhaps knowing it, the Little Prince has invested himself in the rose, and now he owes himself to her because he had accepted, even created, the responsibility of caring for her. Now he is bound to her forever and must eventually return. The rose’s character flaws are irrelevant.

“Goodbye," said the fox. “Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . ."

The fox in this quotation is putting into words what the story has already demonstrated through the early episodes. One good example is the sheep drawn inside the box. First of all, to the Little Prince, even the poorly drawn sheep are still real sheep, sufficient to eat the baobab trees on his tiny asteroid. But the best one is the one drawn invisibly in the box. Later the quotation becomes even more apt when the fox teaches the Little Prince about taming. The nature of the relation between the tamer and the tamed is not visible, yet it is more real than anything that is. At this point the prince clearly his rose clearly through his heart, unique no matter how many other roses look like her.
“When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful."

In this quote the book acknowledges the profound beauty found in everyday life. Even the seemingly simple job of a lighting a street lamp, the act is not deemed worthy, but the act itself is beautiful. And things that are beautiful are “truly useful." There is a relationship between the useful and the beautiful.

“’All men have the stars,’” he answered, “’but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them—‘”

Much of The Little Prince is about the making of meaning. The “making of meaning" of the sheep within the box, the “making of the meaning" of the rose, even the meaning of death. The geographer “makes meaning" from the bits of information he receives from travelers. In this quote the Little Prince describes the meaning of stars, and most importantly, he implies that truth itself is its own meaning.

“I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman. He had never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved any one. He has never done anything in his life but add up figures."

In this quote the Little Prince notes how humans become so involved in “getting and spending," in the words of Wordsworth, that they fail to live, to experience love, to experience life. This living life fully often is replaced by worldly, grownup things when children grow up.
“If you were to say to the grown-ups: ‘I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,’ they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have to say to them: ‘I saw a house that cost $20,000.’ Then they would exclaim: ‘Oh, what a pretty house that is!’"

According to the Little Prince, grownup thinking equates attractiveness based on monetary values. To them, a house is not comprised of beautiful elements, like “rosy brick" and “geraniums" and “doves." Rather it is the price tag that determines the beauty, not intrinsic beauty.

“All humanity could be piled up on a small Pacific islet. The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They imagine that they fill a great deal of space. They fancy themselves as important as the baobabs. You should advise them, then, to make their own calculations. They adore figures, and that will please them."

On his first setting down in Earth’s desert, the Little Prince learns that humans are scarce compared to other things and other life on the planet. This is very different from what they imagine. Comparing humans to the baobab trees on his asteroid is not a compliment, and saying that humans imagine themselves such isn’t either. Baobab trees are like weeds that must constantly be uprooted before they take over the asteroid. The Little Prince is saying that humans are much less important than they think. But numbers, all important to grownups, that’s how humans calculate their worth.

“I shall look as if I were suffering. I shall look a little as if I were dying. It is like that. Do not come to see that. It is not worth the trouble…"

The Little Prince says this to the Pilot before descending into the desert at the end to meet the snake. Even death means something different to the child than to a grownup. In the wisdom of the Little Prince, dying is just moving on to another place, in this case, going back to his asteroid. There is no need for the pilot to witness something that looks like suffering and no point in sadness.

“But he would always answer, ‘That’s a hat.’ Then I wouldn’t talk about boa constrictors or jungles or stars. I would put myself on his level and talk about bridge and golf and politics and neckties. And my grown-up was glad to know such a reasonable person.

In this quote the pilot, as a little boy, must conform to adult ideas and ways in order to grow up and function in adult society. No reasonable adult can be expected to see something shaped like a hat to really be an elephant inside a boa constrictor, but what separates Exupéry’s pilot (often thought to be based on Exupéry himself) is that he has not forgotten the logic of a child. He can accept that the little prince prefers a drawing of a box with a sheep inside over the poorly-shaped sheep in his original drawings.

“’It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . People have forgotten this truth’ the fox said, ‘But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .’"

The fox teaches the Little Prince the meaning of friendship, how it is developed, and how it transpires. The fox allows the prince to tame him, in fact, but he also reminds the prince that “taming" comes with dangers that adults have forgotten. With taming comes responsibility. Without perhaps knowing it, the Little Prince has invested himself in the rose, and now he owes himself to her because he had accepted, even created, the responsibility of caring for her. Now he is bound to her forever and must eventually return. The rose’s character flaws are irrelevant.

“Goodbye," said the fox. “Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . ."

The fox in this quotation is putting into words what the story has already demonstrated through the early episodes. One good example is the sheep drawn inside the box. First of all, to the Little Prince, even the poorly drawn sheep are still real sheep, sufficient to eat the baobab trees on his tiny asteroid. But the best one is the one drawn invisibly in the box. Later the quotation becomes even more apt when the fox teaches the Little Prince about taming. The nature of the relation between the tamer and the tamed is not visible, yet it is more real than anything that is. At this point the prince clearly his rose clearly through his heart, unique no matter how many other roses look like her.
“When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful."

In this quote the book acknowledges the profound beauty found in everyday life. Even the seemingly simple job of a lighting a street lamp, the act is not deemed worthy, but the act itself is beautiful. And things that are beautiful are “truly useful." There is a relationship between the useful and the beautiful.

“’All men have the stars,’” he answered, “’but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them—‘”

Much of The Little Prince is about the making of meaning. The “making of meaning" of the sheep within the box, the “making of the meaning" of the rose, even the meaning of death. The geographer “makes meaning" from the bits of information he receives from travelers. In this quote the Little Prince describes the meaning of stars, and most importantly, he implies that truth itself is its own meaning.

“I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman. He had never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved any one. He has never done anything in his life but add up figures."

In this quote the Little Prince notes how humans become so involved in “getting and spending," in the words of Wordsworth, that they fail to live, to experience love, to experience life. This living life fully often is replaced by worldly, grownup things when children grow up.
“If you were to say to the grown-ups: ‘I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,’ they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have to say to them: ‘I saw a house that cost $20,000.’ Then they would exclaim: ‘Oh, what a pretty house that is!’"

According to the Little Prince, grownup thinking equates attractiveness based on monetary values. To them, a house is not comprised of beautiful elements, like “rosy brick" and “geraniums" and “doves." Rather it is the price tag that determines the beauty, not intrinsic beauty.

“All humanity could be piled up on a small Pacific islet. The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They imagine that they fill a great deal of space. They fancy themselves as important as the baobabs. You should advise them, then, to make their own calculations. They adore figures, and that will please them."

On his first setting down in Earth’s desert, the Little Prince learns that humans are scarce compared to other things and other life on the planet. This is very different from what they imagine. Comparing humans to the baobab trees on his asteroid is not a compliment, and saying that humans imagine themselves such isn’t either. Baobab trees are like weeds that must constantly be uprooted before they take over the asteroid. The Little Prince is saying that humans are much less important than they think. But numbers, all important to grownups, that’s how humans calculate their worth.

“I shall look as if I were suffering. I shall look a little as if I were dying. It is like that. Do not come to see that. It is not worth the trouble…"

The Little Prince says this to the Pilot before descending into the desert at the end to meet the snake. Even death means something different to the child than to a grownup. In the wisdom of the Little Prince, dying is just moving on to another place, in this case, going back to his asteroid. There is no need for the pilot to witness something that looks like suffering and no point in sadness.

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