What happened to the Little Prince is still a matter of debate. The fate of a boy is interpreted in numerous ways. In the Little Prince stories, it is said that the snake poison didn’t kill him. The boy wakes up in the desert and continues his journey that eventually leads him to a hidden forest. However, in the sea of theories and explanations, there are two most prominent standpoints on the destiny of the little prince:
- Killed himself
- Resurrected and returned home
- Grew up
Did Little Prince Kill Himself?
After his journey over six planets, the little prince comes to earth. There he meets a poisonous snake who feels pity for the pure boy who came from a star and offers to help him go back to his home if he was to suffer too much on this harsh planet. As time passes the little prince more and more comes to understand how wrong was he for holding a grudge against his beautiful rose and decides it is time to go back to his home planet. However, his body is too heavy to make such a long road. It is why he decides to allow the snake to bite him and help him depart from his body.
Many readers consider it as suicide. He did, after all, allow to be poisoned. And to make the case stronger, while the book was being written, the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery suffered from depression and was in deep problems with drinking. And the whole story has that one big note of sadness that is highly emphasized in the little prince’s desire to watch sunsets. Some even go so far as to say that the suicide of the little prince was an announcement of the intentions the writer had for a long time.
On July 31, 1944, Antoine flew on his last reconnaissance mission to collect intelligence on German troops in the Rhone valley of France and he never came back. His body was never found. There were many speculations about his death. One of them was that he was shot down. Another hypothesis suggests that he lost control over his plane since it was much more sophisticated than the aircraft he got used to. And the last theory suggests he intentionally wrecked his plane into the sea. At the time of his last flight, his mental health was deteriorating so much that the word of his depression spread throughout the military. His commanders even considered permanently banning him from flying. The sadness of the little prince, together with these facts, supports the veracity of the claim that his mental state was capable of inducing him to commit suicide.
This approach brings Antoine and the character from his book into close relation assuming that through the little prince he stated his intentions. What is very interesting is that the boy of the little prince is never found. The same applies to the writer. This fact allows a new theory to be developed. The one that neglects suicide and speaks of resurrection.
Did Little Prince Resurrect?
As we have just said, after the snake bit him, the little prince died. However, on the next morning, the pilot could not find his body. Did the little prince actually resurrect?
An interesting point in the act of allowing the snake to bite him is that there is not a single moment that mentions the little prince thinking of death. All he thinks and speaks of is a reunion with his beloved rose. Another important note is that the snake doesn’t mention death either. It only says it will help the little prince to go back from where he came from. And since it is the place of true and pure love a new theory develops interpreting the little prince as Jesus Christ.
There are multiple items going in favor of this kind of interpretation:
- Only a child can be completely pure and innocent
- The little prince believes not in the afterlife but he doesn’t believe in death at all
- Christianity defines God as love and the little prince seeks to come back where he comes from which is his home planet where his beloved flower awaits him
These three items already allow us to spot common features between the little prince and Jesus Christ. As a Christian messiah, the little prince also goes on his pilgrimage over the desert. And eventually, after his death, the body of the little prince disappears. It all resembles Jesus’s resurrection.
And this has sense due to the fact that Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born and raised in a catholic family. The linage of his family roots back to the 5th century reaching the name of Toulouse bishop Saint Exuperius. In addition to that, together with his brother Francois who died at the age of 15 due to rheumatic fever, Antoine was going to Marianist catholic private school in Fribourg in Switzerland. This means that in one big part of his life Jesus had an important position.
Did Little Prince Grow Up?
According to the last theory elaborated in the book “Chasing Little Prince,” the little prince was a real boy who even grew up. This novel suggests that the little prince was a child from a Bedouin tribe who got lost in the desert and stumbled upon Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his mechanic-navigator Andre Prevot on December 30, 1935, when they crashed with a plane in the Saharan desert near Nile Delta. This was a true event as it was the year when Exupery decided to participate in the Paris-to-Saigon air race and break the speed record for the prize of 150 000 Francis. They wracked in the desert and miraculously survived only to face dehydration and hallucinations that ensued as a consequence of heat and lack of fluids. To make things even worse, their maps were both primitive and ambiguous so they had no slightest idea where they were going. This situation inspired the place where the action of the little prince was thanking place. the pilot crashed in the desert and had to fix his plane before his water supplies ran out.
Eventually, Antoine and Andre were saved by a Bedouin on a camel who stumbled upon them and administered the native rehydration treatment. According to “Chasing Little Prince” a Bedouin was looking for a child that got lost in the desert. The boy stumbled upon Antoine and Andre but they were not capable of taking care of him due to vivid hallucinations that didn’t allow them to differ imagination from reality.
Final Word – Child Within Us
The little prince is most often interpreted as a child within us. As we grew up the child got neglected until we completely lost connection with it. It is why the little prince dies right after Antoine fixes his plane. In order to go back to the real world and be a part of a society that has a certain set of rules and expectations, a grownup must put the child aside. But that does not mean that the child is dead. The little prince thought us that resurrections are numerous because he did not revive only after the snake bit him. He resurrected when he shoved up in the desert in the first place. There are many people claiming that Antoine was inspired by his child self when he created the little prince. The little prince is a book about love, loss, and reunion that seeks to show human beings as divinities who had lost contact with themselves.