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A Multiple Analysis of the Novels “The Little Prince” and “Animal Farm”

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The Little Prince

The Little Prince, a novella for children, was published in the United States in the year 1943, several years after its author Antoine de Saint-Exupery died. Today, it is one of the most promising French literary pieces ever written.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery who was a skilled aviator started writing the book in the year 1940 after he fleed France during the Second World War. The story is based on his own experience and creative imagination. Indeed, he and his confidants crash landed in Sahara in 1935 while attempting a speed record, but they managed to survive, barely enough, before a native arrived. At his plight, he claims to have seen a dessert fox and a plane.

I. Point of View

1st Person Point of View

  • Example:

‘Once when I was six years old, I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 1)

At first glance, it can be inferred that the story used a first-person point of view where the author who is also a character of the story, relates the information based on their own perspective. It used the first pronoun I, which can be seen in the beginning paragraphs where the narrator recalls the events of his childhood, particulary about a picture of a boa constrictor. Unlike other narrators, the first person’s perspective is limited so it does not know much about other character’s thoughts and feelings.

3rd Person Point of View

  • Example:

Thus you can imagine my amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It said:’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 2)

As the story progresses and the narrator tells his encounter with the little prince, the point of view changed into third person point of view and the narrator as the third person narrator. The narrator used the pronoun it to describe the little voice. He used it because he was not sure if the voice was that of a boy or a girl. But later when he saw that it was a little prince, he then used the pronoun he.

II. Maxims

Maxim of Quantity

  • Example 1:

‘In the book it said:’ ‘Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 1)

ln the first chapter of the story, the narrator told facts about the boa constrictor. He gave the necessary information which was essential for the readers to know about what a boa constrictor is. This can be related to the maxim of quantity of Paul Grice’s Rules of Conversational Cooperation, where one tries to be informative as possible and gives as much information that is necessary.

Maxim of Manner

  • Example 1:

‘But–what are you doing here?’

‘And in answer he repeated, very slowly, as if he were speaking of a matter of great consequence:’

‘If you please–draw me a sheep…’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 2)

In the statements above, the narrator asked the little prince what was he doing in the place but the little prince’s response did not answer the narrator’s question hence the little prince commited a flouting. He violated the maxim of manner whereas his response should be clear, brief and orderly to avoid obscurity and ambiguity.

  • Example 2:

‘My little man, where do you come from? What is this ‘where I live,’ of which you speak? Where do you want to take your sheep?’

‘After a reflective silence he answered:’

‘The thing that is so good about the box you have given me is that at night he can use it as his house.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 3)

The narrator asked the little prince where did he came from. After a reflective silence, the little prince responded but he did not answer the question made by the narrator, rather, he made a comment about the box that the narrator had given him. Hence, the little prince again committed a flouting and broke the rule of conversational cooperation which is the maxim of quantity.

III. Meaning of Speech Act

Suggesting/Commanding

  • Example 1:

‘Tie him! What a queer idea!’

‘But if you don’t tie him,’ I said, ‘he will wander off somewhere, and get lost.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 3)

The narrator gave the little prince a goat and he ordered the narrator to tie the goat so that the goat would not wander around and get lost. It seems that the little prince has the authority over the narrator because whatever the little prince suggests, the narrator is feeling obliged to do.

  • Example 2:

‘I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset now.’

‘But we must wait,’ I said. ‘Wait? For what?’

‘For the sunset. We must wait until it is time.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 6)

There came to the thought of the little prince that he is fond of sunsets, the little prince then suggested to the narrator that they can watch the sunset but they must first wait until it is time for the sun to set. He wanted to share to the narrator the experience of watching the sunset.

  • Example:

‘If you please—draw me a sheep!’

‘What!’

‘Draw me a sheep!’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 6)

In the first meeting of the narrator and the little prince, the little prince’s first words were those of asking the narrator to draw him a sheep. The narrator seems to have not fully grasped what the little prince had said so he responded ‘what?’ The little prince reiterated what he said. Fist, it was an act of pleading since he used the word ‘please’ and then it became an act of commanding because there was no longer a marker, rather, he only said the action that needs to be done.

  • Example:

‘I order you to yawn. It is years since I have seen anyone yawning. Yawns, to me, are objects of curiosity. Come, now! Yawn again! It is an order.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 10)

In the little prince’s journey, he came a cross a planet where there lived a king. The king ordered the little prince to yawn because he has the authority. He is someone who has power because he is the ruler of the kingdom. That is why it was easy for him to order the little prince to do something just like yawning. The little prince also followed what the king had told him to do because he considered the king someone in authority.

IV. Politeness

  • Example 1:

‘Goodbye,’ he said to the flower.

But she made no answer.

‘Goodbye,’ he said again.

The flower coughed. But it was not because she had a cold.

‘I have been silly,’ she said to him, at last. ‘I ask your forgiveness. Try to be happy…’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 9)

Saying goodbye is an act of politeness. Even if the flower did not respond to him, the little prince still said goodbye again because the little prince had so much liking for the flower. The flower did not respond, for a moment she thought. She had been silly. So, she asked the little prince for forgiveness, it was the only way she could be polite to the little prince.

  • Example:

‘May I sit down?’

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Place Order

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 10)

When the little prince met someone he asked for permission before to sit before sitting. Asking for permission from someone for you to sit down is an act of politeness. Using the word ‘may’ is an indicator that you acknowledge that someone who was there before you for permission upon doing something.

  • Example:

‘Sire,’ he said to him, ‘I beg that you will excuse my asking you a question-

‘Sire–over what do you rule?’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 10)

Also in the journey of the little prince, he came across a planet where there lived a king. In their meeting, the little prince addressed the king as ‘Sire’. When someone talks with other people, especially to those people who have higher positions than them or older than them, they tend to use markers. These markers suggest respect.

V. Speech Presentation

  • Example 1:

‘A sheep–if it eats little bushes, does it eat flowers, too?’

‘A sheep,’ I answered, ‘eats anything it finds in its reach.’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 7)

It can be seen in the excerpt above that the statements are the exact words that the characters have spoken. The narrator had nothing to do with the conversation. It is indicated by the quotation marks used by the author.

  • Example 2:

‘I am drinking,’ replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.

‘Why are you drinking?’ demanded the little prince.

‘So that I may forget,’ replied the tippler.

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 12)

Throughout the story, it is evident that the author used direct speech since the conversations are mostly not filtered through the narrator. The statements were the exact words spoken by the characters in the story, it can be recognized through the use of quotation marks. Also, the reported clause came first before the reporting clause.

VI. Normal Nonfluency

  • Example:

‘You know–a muzzle for my sheep… I am responsible for this flower…’

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince, Chap. 25)

Normal nonfluency usually happens with a child, in this sense the little prince was a little boy, a child. So it was normal for him to make utterances that are containing fillers. In the statement above, the little prince used a voice filler and a pause to indicate the things that first came to his mind, the things that he must do when he comes home to his planet.

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a novella written by George Orwell, it was first published in England in the year 1945. Animal farm tells the story of a group of farm animals who wanted to rebel against their unjust human owner. The animals were hoping to create a society where all animals are equal. However, they were betrayed by their own kind. The pigs led by Napoleon, formed a dictatorship and put the farm in a worse position.

The book was written by Orwell some time in 1943 and 1944 when the UK was in a wartime alliance with the USSR against Germany. British and American publishers initially rejected the manuscript and eventually delayed its publication. When international relations were restored, it became a great commercial success.

I. Point of View

  • Example:

‘They had begun singing it for themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the tune and a few of the words, and as for the clever ones, such as the pigs and dogs, they had the entire song by heart within a few minutes.’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. 1)

In the excerpt above, the narrator of the story is not a character of the story, he used the pronouns ‘them’, ‘they’, ‘he’ and ‘his’. Those were indicators that the story is narrated in the third person point of view. The narrator’s knowledge is not limited since he has full insight on the individual and collective mind of all the animals in the farm.

II. Maxims

  • Example:

‘THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. II)

The Seven Commandments was drafted by Snowball and Napoleon. They insisted that these commandments be followed by all animals. The commandment expressed a general truth and principle for all animals. It tends to teach moral values for the animals that will motivate them to lead a good life.

III. Meaning of Speech Act

Contradicting

  • Example:

‘After much thought Snowball declared that the Seven Commandments could in effect be reduced to a single maxim, namely: ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. III)

After announcing the commandments, some animals still did not fully understand its contents. So, Snowball reduced the commandments into one commandment, ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’

  • Example:

‘Four legs good, two legs BETTER! Four legs good, two legs BETTER! Four legs good, two legs BETTER!’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. X)

In the end the pigs who drafted the commandments tricked their own kind. What is more gruesome is that they’ve plotted it in the very beginning, they just waited for the perfect time to execute their plans and it the worse happened when they vanished Snowball. The pigs were so power-loving and selfish that they let themselves be exploited by another human. This was an act of betrayal.

IV. Politeness

  • Example:

‘Some of the animals talked of the duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones, whom they referred to as ‘Master,’ or made elementary remarks such as ‘Mr. Jones feeds us.’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. II)

At first, when the barn animals wer still plotting the rebellion, they still regarded Jones as their master. The use of ‘Mr.’ by the animals indicated that they still respect Mr. Jones and without Mr. Jones they would starve to death because Mr. Jones was the one feeding them. Even if Mr. Jones was kind of a ruthless master, the animals still have a place to live.

  • Example:

‘Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades,’ cried Squealer. ‘

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. III)

When the rebellion was over and the animals had successfully overthrown their master, Mr. Jones and his men from the farm, they regarded their former master as ‘Jones’ not ‘Mr. Jones’. It meant that the animals are finally the ruler of their own farm.

V. Speech Presentation

  • Example:

‘Boxer!’ she cried, ‘how are you?’

‘It is my lung,’ said Boxer in a weak voice.

‘We must get help at once,’ said Clover. ‘Run, somebody, and tell Squealer what has happened.’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. X)

In the excerpt above, we can notice that the reported clause came first and the reporting clause came the latter. The statements were the exact words that the characters have spoken. It can be recognized through the quotation marks used by the author.

VI. Normal Nonfluency

  • Example:

‘That was our mistake, comrade. For we know now–it is all written down in the secret documents that we have found–that in reality he was trying to lure us to our doom.’

(George Orwell – Animal Farm, Chap. VII)

The other pigs have accused Snowball of treason. They made a secret document and said it was Snowball’s property. They did it because they wanted to rule over the farm. Squealer announced it to the animals in the farm that Snowball was a traitor. His speech contained fillers because he knows himself that what he is about to say is not true at all. He knew he had to make things up so that the other animals would believe him. At first they were doubtful of what Squealer said but they eventually believed him.

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A Multiple Analysis of the Novels “The Little Prince” and “Animal Farm”. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/a-multiple-analysis-of-the-novels-the-little-prince-and-animal-farm/
“A Multiple Analysis of the Novels “The Little Prince” and “Animal Farm”.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/a-multiple-analysis-of-the-novels-the-little-prince-and-animal-farm/
A Multiple Analysis of the Novels “The Little Prince” and “Animal Farm”. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/a-multiple-analysis-of-the-novels-the-little-prince-and-animal-farm/> [Accessed 26 Nov. 2022].
A Multiple Analysis of the Novels “The Little Prince” and “Animal Farm” [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2022 Nov 26]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/a-multiple-analysis-of-the-novels-the-little-prince-and-animal-farm/
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