Adder, airplanes, American, Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Aviator, bee, Consuelo, France, French, German, Lockheed Lightning, Long Island, marriage, ocean, pilot, planet, Rose, Tale of the Rose, The Little Prince, wings
In the original book review, I discussed aspects of the book written by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. See Previous publication.
However, as promised, I will now take you on a behind the scenes journey in terms of the lives of the author and his wife, Consuelo Suncin and finally the death of the author.
My reason for doing this is so we can, together, explore a possible reason for the novelist writing the story – The Little Prince.
Please bear in mind as you read on, that media only offers what it believes to be truth, even when the information it shares, is not supported by fact.
To begin with, how do any of us know for sure, ‘what actually happened’? This question would relate to anything historical. After all, historians would do honest and factual research, I hope and then proceed to write about the results that they have researched.
From an honesty perspective I can say that firstly, I have not researched in the truest sense, other than piecing together information provided on the internet, what I am about to write. Secondly, when I was a young adult, I knew all things. Today, whilst I have opinions on most things in life, I actually know very little for sure.
With this statement as a basis, I would like you to join me on a journey of attempting to discover why the author wrote the story of The Little Prince.
My discovery of The Little Prince book came about because I had read five other books that the author wrote, before I read The Little Prince. I read these books because as an aviator myself and coming from a family of aviators, I loved anything and everything concerning pilots and their airplanes. Books of other pilot’s experiences, novel or factual were to me, like pollen to a bee. Especially if I could enjoy these experiences from the safety, comfort and low cost, of flying in an armchair!
Antoine (I hope he would not have minded me using his first name – as maybe even he would agree that using his full name is a little much for non French folk to get their mouths around.) was a French nobleman. He had his first flight in an airplane when he was twelve years old. Some years later he became an air force pilot.
It would appear that Antoine, was a great party lover and especially fond of the ladies. Yet, it would also seem that he had an even greater love for flying and writing. It might be true to say that he was a man of passion, considering his interest in women, flying and writing (I am not sure if it was in this order).
He met, fell in love with and Married a Salvadorian beauty, Consuelo Suncin. Like Antoine, she came from aristocracy and wealth. She was also a woman who was an accomplished writer and academic.
During the course of their marriage, regular infidelity on the part of Antoine and loneliness, on the part of Consuelo with Antoine’s frequent absence, caused serious problems.
Antoine was the epitome of the bold and brave adventurer and would frequently be away from home and his wife. Part of his ‘away time’ was as a wartime pilot. On more than one occasion, they parted ways, only to come back together at a later time.
Their marriage was tempestuous, best described as: ‘they could not live with each other, nor could they live without each other’
With the German occupation of France, Antoine fled his homeland for the safety of American shores. It was here that he and his wife, Consuelo, found solace. After a spell of living on the east side of Manhattan they retired to Long Island in a French period styled home in a village called, Ashroken.
It was here that they found reconciliation and quietness.
It was here that Antoine wrote The Little Prince. “It was Antoine’s greatest gift to the woman he never stopped loving, the only child to emerge from their union.’ The Tale of the Rose’ is Consuelo’s reply—the love letter she never could write to her husband. It is a fable of its own, just as magical, poetic, and tragic as The Little Prince”.
On learning about the above information, we can now revisit the Little Prince story with a fresh view of the characters that appear on that stage. I shall attempt to draw parallels in the lives of the chief characters: The Little Prince and his much loved rose; Antoine and Consuelo.
The Little prince leaves his planet and his beloved rose, because he can no longer cope in his relationship with her. He does not really understand her, even as she does not fully understand him.
He sets out on a voyage of discovery. He meets many characters of whom all have behavioral issues, that is, apart from the Pilot and the fox.
Antoine leads a life a life of incessant travel and discovery, the more he discovers the more disenchanted he becomes with adult humanity. He seeks travel and adventure to escape his inability to cope in his relationship with his little rose, Consuelo.
The fox explains to the Little Prince, that the world is full of people and creatures that cannot relate to one another harmoniously. The fox says that if the Little Prince tames him, they will need each other and thereby pave the way for a relationship. (Suggesting that if all the occupants of the earth did the same, the world and relationships in particular, would be greatly improved).
Did Antoine eventually arrive at the same place as recommended by the fox, when he and Consuelo enjoyed their Long Island sojourn?
It becomes evident to the Pilot that there is a bargain forming between the adder and the Little Prince. To the Pilot it was an unholy alliance; to the Little Prince it was the only means by which he could return to his little planet and the rose he loved. Late one night, as arranged between them, the adder bit the Little Prince and sent him on his way home.
Towards the final days of the Great War, Antoine returns to France and with strong political support, cajoles his way into the cockpit of a powerful American Lockheed Lightning aircraft, assigned to reconnaissance work off the coast of France.
He is part of the Free French Squadron 2/33. Before, what turned out to be his final mission, he handed all his personal papers to his OC.
Count Antoine De Saint-Exupery was never seen again.
All of France mourned their Hero and folk lore had it that he had been shot down and had gone home to his planet and beloved little rose.
More than fifty some years later, a fishing vessel, off the coast of France pulled up a net full of shell fish. In among this haul was found a bracelet which revealed when cleaned off, the following inscription, “Antoine De Saint-Exupery” on the one side. On the other was inscribed, “Consuelo”.
On hearing the story, a diver set about applying for permission to search the area, which he was certain was the crash site of Antoine’s airplane.
Some years later permission was granted and a thorough search of the crash site undertaken.
The findings revealed three primary facts: One, that the airplane was that piloted by Antoine and two, that the aircraft hit the ocean in a vertical dive, travelling at a speed of 500 miles per hour. Third, there were no signs of any bullet holes, which would indicate that the aircraft was not shot down.
Antoine, eight days before his fatal flight, spoke of fears that his wings would be clipped, added to this, the loss of his little rose, brought him to speak to his friends of suicide.
Did Antoine bargain a deal with the Lockheed Adder in order to return to his planet and beloved little rose?
Those who have been in love with another can speak with integrity on the pain of separation from that loved one; but those whose love cannot sustain a relationship even when they try to do so, time and time again; they know a more lasting pain.
Judgement of these is the sole prerogative of our Creator God. No human ever created or yet to be created has the wisdom or right to judge a fellow human. How we react to loss, whether it is of a loved one or if hope has abandoned us, we can only be judged by God – no other.
We humans have many opinions, but we do not know anything without some doubt.
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 Some material on this page has been taken from:
‘The Other Side of The Story’ – Martin Buckley – http://www.thetelegraph.co.uk.