On the Loss of Self in Grown-ups: A Study of The Little Prince
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The Little Prince (French: “Le Petit Prince”), first published in New York, America, in 1943, is the best-known novella among the classics of the famous French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who is also a pioneering aviator. The novella has been translated into more than 250 languages and dialects, attracting millions of readers around the world, which is said to be second only to The Bible in terms of readership. After half a century, The Little prince hasn't been buried by history, forgotten by its readers. On the contrary, it is renewed by the age, touching and inspiring people from generation to generation. The writer develops his novella in a minimalist yet subtle way using the writing techniques of symbolism, contrast, hyperbole and so on, presenting us with a book not only for children but also an allegory for all adults.

In modern society, the economy is highly developed, and the living standards of human beings have been greatly improved. People enjoy material abundance, while the feeling of happiness is fading away. The material-oriented value has taken control of human beings, and people are addicted to crazily running after wealth, fame and power, getting lost in themselves and misunderstanding the true meaning of life. 

This thesis is going to employ symbolism as theoretical foundation to analyze the symbolic meaning of the main characters of The Little Prince. Through case study, this paper tries to examine the reasons that grown-ups get lost in themselves, explore ways for them to return to their inner being and to embrace the Truth, Goodness and Beauty of life.

The results of this graduate thesis will be a supplement to the literature on the study of The Little Prince, and also be able to lighten the way back for those grown-ups who have been lost.

Key words: symbolism, loss of self, crisis of self-identity, return

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