The Little Prince is one of those books which just as easily affects adults as children, and it’s hard to go long without encountering it. Still, the story remains a bit of a mystery. In the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik tries to solve bits of it:
For all of the Prince’s journey is a journey of exile, like Saint-Exupéry’s, away from generic experience towards the eroticism of the particular flower. To be responsible for his rose, the Prince learns, is to see it as it really is, in all its fragility and vanity—indeed, in all its utter commonness!—without loving it less for being so fragile.