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American Literature

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Free «American Literature» Essay Sample

1. The most famous work of the French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the novel The Little Prince in accordance with the words of the author embodies his personal philosophy. No doubt, the roots of the writer’s philosophy imagination lie in the events of his personal life. Thus, the dialogues between the pilot and the Prince can be perceived as the reflection of life values, the writer’s perception and experience, accumulated over the years. Some literary critics argue (Gopnik) that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry himself was the prototype for the Little Prince.

However, on the other hand, the pilot, who was in the middle of the desert with the Prince, is also the writer. In 1935, he and his friend André Prévot crashed and accidentally arrived in the Sahara. Thirsty, they had seen hallucinations and mirages. This event served as the incitement for creation the imaginary background of the novel scenes. In this case, the conversation with the Prince is a kind of internal dialogue that opens the experiences, thoughts and reflections of Exupéry through the perception of the world by the main hero.

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The planets, which the Little Prince visits, amaze him by their senselessness and the actions of those who inhabit them. It is a direct reference to the author’s perception of some sides of human life, which do not have any sense such as the man, who eternally counts the stars or the drunkard (De Saint-Exupery 2010). They strive for the things, which will lose any importance in the near future and already have no specific meaning. The Little Prince, investigating the world and looking for a friend, finds him only in the persons of the fox and the pilot. It reminds the readers about the specific kind of loneliness for all of us, and the author’s too.

Moreover, Exupéry explores his complex relationship between him and his wife Consuelo, embodied in the image of Rose. The Little Prince, even after the disappointment, experienced by him, through the seeing of shrub roses growing on the Earth, regains the faith in the uniqueness of his Rose thanks to Fox, who says, “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes” (De Saint-Exupery 48). According to some researchers, André Prévot, a loyal friend of the writer, became that character.

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As for the death, Exupéry claims that some parts of the person die irrecoverably with the death of his friend or with someone close to the person: “It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important” (De Saint-Exupery 48). He refers to it in the same philosophical manner, imagine it as another life, the life after the death, in the existence of which the majority of children believe, including the Little Prince.

2. The novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis continues to be one of the most widely read and popular children’s literary works. In addition to the fascinating story, described by the author, the controversies surrounding the Christian line of the novel do not cease. Thus, a great number of scholars and critics argue (McGrath 2013) that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a direct allegory to the biblical characters. Moreover, as a proof of this, the novel itself tells the story of “the two sons of Adam” and “Eve’s two daughters,” that is, about the main characters – four siblings (Lewis 32).

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Thus, according to the Christian interpretation, the brave lion Alan represents a figure of Christ, which saves others in a natural way and consciously becomes a victim. The middle son, Edmund, being dissatisfied with own life and the power of the older brother over him, betrays Alan and all the other for the sweet Turkish delight (as in the story of Christ and the 30 pieces of silver). Here, the White Witch is a reflection of the satanic power that tempts the lion to betrayal. Such treachery can only be corrected by a sacrifice of the lion. Moreover, it should be noted that Alan does it obediently and humbly as Christ who went to Golgotha. At the same time, two girls (as Maria and Magdalena) surround the place. After, Leo is reborn (as Christ’s resurrection) but the novel refers the readers to the “deep magic”(Lewis) which helped such resurrection to happen, not explaining the details or causes of this action. Here, one can speak about self-sacrifice, resurrection and redemption, which is replete with history. However, on the other hand, the writer never openly talked about his novel in direct connection with the Bible. In addition, according to his own admission, he was never fond of biblical scenes either in childhood or in adulthood.

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However, other literary critics (Toynbee) insist that the children’s novel is the epitome of northern saga where the eternal conflict between good and evil is developing with the growth of the story. Additionally, one may assume that writer did not originally conceive his story as a Christian retelling, as the Bible is universal and the most complete collection of storylines, characters and situations. That is why it is impossible and unnecessary to seek the true motives of the author because every reader will find in the novel reflection of what he wants to see.

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