An Author's Last Message

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An Author's Last Message

Antoine de Saint Exupery died in 1944. His death was and still is, to a certain extent, a mystery. Some say that enemy forces shot down the plane he was flying while he was on a reconnaissance mission. Others speculate that he was simply too old and out of shape to handle the newer, more advanced military aircraft. “His voluntary return to action at an age when he was too old to fly fighter planes and too fat to squeeze into the cockpit without difficulty marked his own escape from his own planet B-612” (Economist 104). One very possible hypothesis is that Antoine crashed his plane on purpose in order to escape the confines of this world. His last book, The Little Prince, supports this idea in many ways. The closer it is examined, the more it seems like a last testimony by Antoine, explaining the causes for his “suicide.” The cause of or reason for his death may never be known. However, treasure hunters have recently uncovered fragment of what they think may be his wreck (Economist 104). Perhaps in time this mystery will be solved. Until then it is left to speculation as to the causes of the death of Antoine de Saint Exupery.

In order to understand the motives and experiences that are involved in all of his books, an understanding of some of Antoine’s background is required. Born of aristocratic parents, Antoine lost his father as a small child and watched his brother die as a young teenager. As a young man he adored his mother, who spoiled him frequently. Through the years he kept in touch with her by writing letters, which portrayed the love

of her that he kept. Growing up, he often caused mischief and pulled pranks on classmates. His teachers often commented o...

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...tion of the book reveals all too possible and often startling revelations as to the disposition and mood of Antoine de Saint Exupery. A strong connection can be seen between the events portrayed in his books and the events of his life. The Little Prince gives reason for Antoine to escape this world in which he was a misfit among men.


Works Cited

Current Biography. H.W. Wilson Company. New York: 1971.

Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century. 4 vols. Michigan: Farmington Hills. 1999.

“France’s Superboy.” The Economist December 1998:104.

Kunitz, Stanley J., and Howard Haycraft, ed. Twentieth Century Authors. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company. (No Date).

Saint Exupery, Antoine de. The Little Prince. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jonovich, 1971.

“Shortlist: Words.” Village Voice July 2000: 81.
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