Similar Ideas in Things They Carried And The Little Prince
Fiction, while its very definition is that it is not real there is some truth to be found in it. All stories are written by humans and there is no way to write a story without incorporating some level of what the author has experienced. Every story has a layer of truth behind it whether or not the author knows it; they put the truth in their fiction. All the characters are based on their own interactions of how people communicate and react. Three books in particular link their fiction to reality and those are Siddhartha, The Things They Carried, and The Little Prince.
Siddhartha is the story of a rich boy who tires of his wealthy lifestyle and leaves home to seek enlightenment. The rest of the story is his journey of discovery. His journey is very different than most journeys that one may go on in their lives but it relates all the same. It teaches the struggles of attaining a goal and reveals the truth in not giving up and to keep one’s head straight while seeking a goal “When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking.”. It also reveals a lot about wisdom and how it differs from knowledge. Knowledge is just information and can be taught and communicated while wisdom can only be learned through experience “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else… knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.”
The Things They Carried reveals many truths throughout its story of war and loss. It speaks about the true horrors of war and reveals the truth about propaganda at the time. For example a chapter by the name “Spin” covers some violence but mentions no blood while the chapter titled “How to tell a true war story” has much blood and violence in it. Spin refers to the spin that is placed on wars by the press and “How to tell a true war story” is all about the truths of war and mentions that “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing things men have always done.” Another truth that it reveals is similar to a main theme of that seen in The Little Prince which is that “What’s important is invisible to the eyes” as at one point in the story “She gave him the picture and told him not to burn this one up. Jimmy shook his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he finally said. “I love her.” This means that he doesn’t need pictures to remember that he loves Martha because what’s important is invisible to the eyes.
The Little Prince might seem like an odd story that would reveal truth in the world but it reveals possibly the most truth of the three. It reveals the truth of how daily interactions between people work. How friends are tamed and form ties “What does that mean-‘tame’? It is an act too often neglected, said the fox. It means to establish ties”. The Little Prince himself says that he has been tamed by his flower. Another truth it reveals is that people live in cycles. The drunken man reveals that he drinks to forget that he is ashamed of his drinking problem. Yet he drinking to forget only worsens the problem. It also reveals the most important truth of all, “What’s important is invisible to the eye”. This means that all that is important is within. Things like love that cannot be seen are what matter the most. This is a main theme throughout the book and reveals the truth about how the soul is the most important part of life.
Siddhartha, the Things They Carried, and The Little Prince all share a similar ability to share the truth through way of fiction. They all have important messages to share and all reveal different truths through their narratives. A main theme throughout all of them is that what’s important is invisible to the eyes. All of these books have vastly different storylines but all connect in similar ways. The reason is because the authors all put the truth in their works of fiction. These stories reveal many truths of life.
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