The Little Prince (French]: Le Petit Prince is a novella by French aristocrat, writer, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was first published in English and French in the US by Reynal & Hitchcock in April 1943, and posthumously in France following the liberation of France as Saint-Exupéry’s works had been banned by the Vichy Regime. The story follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and address’s themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. Despite its style as a children’s book, The Little Prince makes observations about life and human nature.
The Little Prince became Saint-Exupéry’s most successful work, selling an estimated 140 million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the best-selling and most translated books ever published. It has been translated into 301 languages and dialects. The Little Prince has been adapted to numerous art forms and media, including audio recordings, radio plays, live stage, film, television, ballet, and opera.
The narrator begins with a discussion on the nature of grown-ups and their inability to perceive especially important things. As a test to determine if a grown-up is enlightened and like a child, he shows them a picture that he drew at the age of 6 depicting a snake which has eaten an elephant. The grown-ups always reply that the picture depicts a hat, and so he knows to talk of “reasonable” things to them, rather than fanciful.
The narrator becomes an aircraft pilot, and, one day, his plane crashes in the Sahara, far from civilization. He has eight days of water supply and must fix his airplane to be saved.
In the middle of the desert, the narrator is unexpectedly greeted by a young boy who is nicknamed “the little prince”. The prince has golden hair, a loveable laugh, and will repeat questions until they are answered. Over the course of eight days stranded in the desert, while the narrator attempts to repair his plane, the little prince recounts the story of his life.
The prince has since visited six other planets, each of which was inhabited by a single, irrational, narrow-minded adult, each meant to critique an element of society. They include:
- A king with no subjects, who only issues orders that can be followed, such as commanding the sun to set at sunset.
- A narcissistic man who only wants the praise which comes from admiration and being the most-admirable person on his otherwise uninhabited planet.
- A DRUNKARD WHO DRINKS TO FORGET THE SHAME OF HIS DRINKING.
- A businessman who is blind to the beauty of the stars and instead endlessly counts and catalogues them in order to “own” them all (critiquing materialism)
- A lamplighter on a planet so small, a full day lasts a minute. He wastes his life blindly following orders to extinguish and relight the lamp-post every 30 seconds to correspond with his planet’s day and night.
- An elderly geographer who has never been anywhere, or seen any of the things he records, providing a caricature of specialization in the contemporary world.
The men the Prince meets on his journey to Earth are all men who have been reduced to functions. The Businessman, the Astronomer, even the poor Lamplighter, have become their occupations, and gone blind to the stars. In “The Little Prince” it is shown to us as comic fable rather than realistic novel. The world conspires to make us blind to its own workings; our real work is to see the world again. As I see it this is for all intent and purpose our story. These six men are lost inside of themselves.
The one of the six I want to focus on is the DRUNKARD. Read this quick one page and see if you can see you in it. Chances are that anyone one in recovery from anything can relate and those in need of recovery will internally work overtime to prove to themselves that this is just a kid book and has nothing to do with them. EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES.
The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection. “What are you doing there?” he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.
“I am drinking,” replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air. “Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince. “So that I may forget,” replied the tippler. “Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him. “Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head. “Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him. “Ashamed of drinking!” The tippler brought his speech to an end and shut himself up in an impregnable silence. And the little prince went away, puzzled. “The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd,” he said to himself, as he continued his journey.
For sex and love addict’s maybe it’s a porn stash or it might be an address book with names and numbers of prior lovers or just a list of would of, could of or should of’s. Writing erotica, reading erotica, saving intimate apparel that is not your and never was. Maybe it presents itself in countless waisted hours online between Tinder and Match looking for either Ms Right or Ms Right Now believing that either the next one would save you or at least abate the pain as you are simply losing your life while slipping into the abyss of shame, guilt, and unmanageability. Not a pretty picture for sure.
CAN YOU SEE IT? Or is this just a children’s book? If you’re not sure you might want to take a look under the hood. We are here at No More Secrets (NMS). No need to drown in the shame and isolation. There is another way. Contact me because the one thing I’m sure of is that this disorder is not a stage and a phase like acne, this will only get worse if left untreated. Remember misery is optional.