The Little Prince


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Themes and Colors
Relationships Theme Icon
The True and the Essential Theme Icon
Exploration vs. Narrowmindedness Theme Icon
Childhood vs. Adulthood Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Little Prince, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


Both the pilot's and the prince's stories revolve around their relationships. For the pilot, the entire purpose of writing the story and making his drawings is to remember his relationship with the little prince. The little prince, in turn, tells the story of his journey in terms of the characters he's met along the way. The chapter with the fox, in particular, emphasizes the importance of taking time to get to know someone. The…

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The True and the Essential

At the beginning of his journey, the little prince is most concerned with the truth. He leaves his planet after catching his rose telling a lie, and although they reconcile just before he departs, he decides to explore the universe in order to discover what's true. As he encounters more on his travels, however, he realizes that what's true is not always what's essential—his rose's lies were less important than the fact that he cared…

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Exploration vs. Narrowmindedness

The two main characters of the book—the pilot and the little prince—are both explorers, in a very literal sense, but also in a figurative sense. Compared to those characters that inhabit only their own tiny planets and homes, the pilot and the prince have traveled and gained more perspective on life and the universe. While the others are caught up adding sums, drinking, ruling over imaginary subjects, or completing other futile projects, these…

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Childhood vs. Adulthood

The story often compares children to grownups, depicting grownups as a group of people who have lost their sense of imagination and the ability to see what's essential. The various grownups presented throughout the story have only utilitarian concerns and are ruled by vices like pride and greed. Unlike children, they've lost the ability to understand the true value of a friendship, the beauty of a house, or the things that aren't explicitly shown in…

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Innocence is a trait that both the pilot and the little prince value. For the pilot, the little prince's innocence makes it important to protect and comfort him. For the little prince, his rose's naïveté similarly makes it important for him to return to his planet to protect her. Innocence itself serves as protection as well—when the little prince encounters the snake, the snake refrains from poisoning the boy because of his innocence.


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