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The Little Prince

The Little Prince


by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince Theme of Language and Communication

Meeting the prince changes the narrator’s life in a lot of ways. More than anything, this new friend helps the narrator see the world in a different light. (Who’s the real lamplighter, then?) Part of the way the prince enables the narrator to see the world differently is by pushing his new friend to define terms that most of us think are obvious and have therefore forgotten the meaning of. That way, the prince learns—and the narrator learns too—what it means to be unique, what it means to tame someone, and what it means to make a friend.

Questions About Language and Communication

  1. Why do you think there are so many drawings in this book? How would the book change if it had no pictures?
  2. Why is the prince always asking people to explain things to him?
  3. What is one reason why the narrator shows new acquaintances his Drawing Number One?
  4. How is it possible that the prince can talk to plants and animals? What language(s) are they speaking?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

If, as the fox says, one sees better with the heart than with the eyes, then it’s likely people also communicate better with their hearts than they do with their mouths.

One of the most important lesson in The Little Prince is that words aren’t very effective at conveying meaning.

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