Unveiling the Symbolism: What Does the Drunkard Symbolize in The Little Prince?

Ever since its publication in 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” has captured the hearts of millions of readers across the world. This story of a young boy from a distant asteroid who explores different planets and learns about the complexities of life has touched the lives of people from all walks of life. One particular character, the drunkard, has puzzled readers for generations. As whimsical as “The Little Prince” may seem, it contains deep-seated symbolism that can help us understand our lives better.

In the story, the drunkard is an inhabitant of a planet that is so small that he drinks to forget his problems. His actions raise a question about what he represents in the larger context of the story. It’s essential to note that “The Little Prince” is not simply a children’s book. It’s also a guide to the human condition and the struggles we face every day. The drunkard, therefore, represents a particular facet of humanity that we can sometimes ignore but should never forget.

The drunkenness that the drunkard exhibits isn’t just physical intoxication but also an emotional state. This character symbolizes the idea that we humans sometimes use different vices to numb the pain in our lives and forget our troubles. The drunkard’s approach to dealing with his problems acts as a warning that it’s vital to confront our issues and not suppress them with external substances and distractions.

Alcoholism and Addiction

In The Little Prince, the drunkard symbolizes the destructive nature of alcoholism and addiction. The drunkard is portrayed as a person who drinks to forget the pain of reality, but in the process, he loses himself completely.

  • Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a chronic disease that is characterized by an uncontrollable desire to drink alcohol despite the negative consequences.
  • Addiction is a powerful force that can take over a person’s life. It is a compulsive behavior that is difficult to control, and it can lead to serious health and social problems.
  • In The Little Prince, the drunkard is seen as a symbol of the dangers of alcoholism and addiction. The character is so consumed by his addiction that he has lost all sense of reality.

The Little Prince teaches us that we should not use alcohol or other substances to escape from our problems. Instead, we should face our problems head-on and deal with them in a healthy and constructive way. This can be a difficult and challenging process, but it is essential for our overall well-being.

Alcoholism and addiction can have serious consequences, both for the individual and for society as a whole. They can lead to health problems, social problems, and economic problems.

Effects of Alcoholism and Addiction Examples
Health problems Liver disease, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure
Social problems Divorce, unemployment, homelessness, crime
Economic problems Loss of productivity, increased healthcare costs, decreased quality of life

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or addiction, it is important to seek help. There are many resources available, including support groups, counseling, and rehabilitation programs. With the right help and support, it is possible to overcome these challenges and live a happy and fulfilling life.


In literature, escapism is a common literary device that is used to depict a character’s tendency to avoid reality and the problems that come with it through self-indulgence. The Little Prince is no exception, as the drunkard, one of the characters the prince meets in his journey, symbolizes the act of escapism.

  • Drinking as a means of escapism
  • Consequences of escapism
  • Dangers of escapism

The drunkard in The Little Prince serves as a symbol of escapism. Drinking is his way of escaping the harsh realities of life. It is his way of blocking out the world and avoiding the problems he faces, even if it is just for a little while.

However, the consequences of escapism are not always positive, as the drunkard soon realizes. The more he drinks, the more he slips into a state of despair, with his only consolation being the next bottle of wine. This leaves him trapped in his own cycle of addiction, unable to break free.

The dangers of escapism are highlighted by the fact that the drunkard is unable to see beyond his own limited perspective. He is so consumed by his own problems that he fails to see the bigger picture. This makes it difficult for him to connect with others and form meaningful relationships.

Escapism in The Little Prince Examples
Drinking The drunkard’s excessive drinking is a way for him to escape reality.
Isolation The drunkard’s tendency to isolate himself reinforces his escapist tendencies.
Narrow-mindedness The drunkard’s inability to see beyond his own problems is a result of his escapism.

In conclusion, the drunkard in The Little Prince symbolizes the act of escapism and the consequences that come with it. Through his excessive drinking and isolation, the drunkard presents a cautionary tale about the dangers of avoiding reality. The Little Prince reminds us that while it may be tempting to escape our problems, it is important to face them head-on in order to grow and develop as individuals.

Loneliness and Isolation

In The Little Prince, the drunkard symbolizes loneliness and isolation, which are recurring themes throughout the book. The drunkard is the first person the prince encounters on his journey, and his drunkenness serves as a metaphor for the ways in which people isolate themselves from each other.

  • The drunkard’s constant state of intoxication makes him unable to connect with others on a deeper level. He is physically present but emotionally absent, and his inebriation shields him from true human connection.
  • The prince, on the other hand, is looking for connection and meaning in his life. His encounters with the drunkard and other characters highlight the importance of human relationships and the dangers of isolation.
  • The drunkard’s loneliness is also evident in his self-destructive behavior. His excessive drinking and subsequent aggression only serve to push others away, exacerbating his isolation and feelings of emptiness.

The book suggests that loneliness and isolation are common human experiences, but they can be overcome through meaningful connections with others. The drunkard represents the dangers of allowing these feelings to consume us and offers a cautionary tale on the importance of seeking human connection.

The Role of Imagination

In addition to loneliness and isolation, The Little Prince also explores the power of imagination as a means of maintaining a connection with others. The prince’s imagination is what allows him to connect with the people and animals he meets on his journey.

One example of this is the prince’s relationship with the rose he left behind on his planet. Despite her physical absence, the prince remains connected to her through his imagination and memories. This connection ultimately motivates him to return home to her, despite the risks involved.

The book suggests that imagination is a powerful tool for bridging the gap between people and overcoming loneliness. It encourages readers to embrace their own imaginations and use them as a means of connecting with others and finding meaning and purpose in life.

The Importance of Vulnerability

Another theme explored in The Little Prince is the importance of vulnerability in building meaningful connections with others. The characters who are most open and vulnerable are the ones who are able to form deep connections with the prince.

Character Ability to Connect with the Prince
The Fox Offers the prince guidance and teaches him the value of relationships
The Pilot Becomes the prince’s confidante and helps him on his journey
The Snake Represents a shared threat that brings the prince and the pilot closer together

These characters demonstrate that vulnerability is key to forming deep connections with others and finding meaning in life. The book suggests that we can all benefit from opening up and being more vulnerable with those around us.

Self-destructive behavior

The drunkard symbolizes self-destructive behavior in The Little Prince. The author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, suggests that alcoholism is a form of escapism and self-harm that can lead to destruction. The Little Prince encounters the drunkard on a planet who drinks to forget his shame but only ends up feeling more ashamed. The character of the drunkard is a pitiful example of addiction and its negative effects on one’s mental and physical state.

  • The drunkard’s constant drinking causes him to stumble and become disorientated, unable to recognize the Little Prince
  • The character becomes aggressive and lashes out at others, creating unnecessary conflict and further perpetuating his negative spiral
  • The drunkard’s alcoholism leads to physical harm to himself, with the character falling over repeatedly and injuring himself, yet continuing to drink despite the obvious risks

The drunkard also personifies the false hope that is often associated with self-destructive behavior. He believes that by drinking, he can forget the shame that he feels, yet alcohol only exacerbates the issue and does not offer a permanent solution.

The Little Prince himself recognizes the danger of the drunkard’s behavior and wisely chooses to leave the planet and move on to new experiences. This can be seen as a form of self-preservation, as the Little Prince chooses to avoid individuals who exhibit self-destructive tendencies like the drunkard.

Signs of Self-Destructive Behavior Effects
Excessive alcohol consumption Physical and emotional harm, addiction, dependency
Drug abuse Addiction, dependency, physical and emotional harm, social alienation
Eating disorders Physical harm, body dysmorphia, lowered self-esteem, depression and anxiety
Self-harm Physical harm, addiction, emotional harm, social alienation

Self-destructive behavior can manifest in many ways beyond just alcoholism, as shown in the above table. These behaviors not only harm the individual in question but also can lead to social and emotional difficulties that can affect those around them. The Little Prince provides a cautionary tale for individuals who may be tempted to engage in self-destructive behavior, reminding us to always seek help and support when needed.


The drunkard in The Little Prince symbolizes irresponsibility in multiple ways. Firstly, he represents the notion of wasting one’s life away by indulging in alcohol and avoiding responsibilities. The Little Prince encountered the drunkard on his journey through the universe and saw him as someone who had nothing else to do but drink. The drunkard admitted to drinking to forget his shame of being a drunkard, which shows how he has succumbed to a vicious cycle of irresponsibility.

  • Secondly, the drunkard is also a symbol of escapism. He escapes from reality by getting drunk and avoiding his problems. The problem with escapism is that it never solves issues, and one gets trapped in a cycle of running away from problems.
  • The drunkard also represents a lack of self-control. He cannot control his drinking habits and has become addicted to alcohol. His inability to control his alcohol consumption has led to him being irresponsible in all aspects of his life.
  • Moreover, the drunkard also represents a disregard for the consequences of one’s actions. He drinks even though he knows it is not good for his health and is not beneficial for his social and economic status.

The table below shows the consequences of the drunkard’s irresponsibility:

Consequences of Irresponsibility Explanation
Loss of respect The drunkard has lost respect in society due to his behavior and is often seen as a joke.
Health issues The drunkard’s addiction to alcohol has led to health complications, including liver damage, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of cancer.
Financial problems The drunkard’s addiction has put a strain on his finances, making it difficult for him to take care of his responsibilities.

Overall, the drunkard in The Little Prince is a symbol of irresponsibility and demonstrates how a lack of self-control can lead to a range of problems. His character serves as a warning to readers about the dangers of indulgence and the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Dependence on Others

In “The Little Prince,” the drunkard plays a significant role in symbolizing the theme of dependence on others. This is a common theme in the story and is evident through the various characters encountered by the Little Prince on his journey through the galaxy. The following are some ways in which the drunkard represents dependence on others:

  • The drunkard is completely reliant on alcohol to quell his thirst, and he can’t seem to get enough of it.
  • Despite being aware of the negative effects of drinking, the drunkard continues to indulge in it without restraint.
  • He is also dependent on others to supply him with alcohol, as he cannot obtain it by himself.

Through the character of the drunkard, the author shows how dangerous it can be to rely on something outside of oneself to provide comfort or escape from reality. This dependency can lead to a loss of control and ultimately cause one to become consumed by their addiction.

The Little Prince teaches us the importance of being self-sufficient and not relying on external sources for our happiness or well-being. It is a reminder that true contentment and fulfillment come from within rather than from material possessions or other people. By taking responsibility for our own lives and learning to be self-reliant, we can break free from the cycle of dependence and lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Other Dependent Characters in The Little Prince

  • The King is reliant on others to obey his commands and validate his power.
  • The Conceited Man is dependent on the admiration of others to feel good about himself.
  • The Businessman is tied to his possessions and wealth and is unable to appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

The Importance of Breaking Away from Dependency

In The Little Prince, the theme of dependence on others is a cautionary tale that teaches us to be wary of the dangers of relying too heavily on external factors for our happiness. It highlights the importance of breaking away from our dependencies and becoming self-sufficient.

However, breaking away from dependency is not always easy, and it is something that requires a great deal of strength and self-awareness. The following table outlines some steps one can take to break away from dependency:

Steps to Break Away from Dependency
Identify the source(s) of your dependency
Start taking small steps towards self-sufficiency
Find alternative sources of comfort or escape
Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage your independence
Monitor your progress and celebrate your successes

By following these steps, we can learn to break free from our dependencies and become stronger and more self-sufficient individuals.

Self-Pity and Self-Loathing

One of the most interesting characters in the Little Prince is the Drunkard. He is a symbol of intoxication and the abuse of alcohol. He drinks to forget his shame and pain, but ultimately, it leads to more suffering. The Drunkard represents self-pity and self-loathing, and the consequences of these emotions.

  • Self-pity is the feeling of being a victim of circumstances and deserving of sympathy. The Drunkard feels sorry for himself and his situation in life. He believes that he is powerless to change his circumstances and that he is doomed to a life of misery.
  • Self-loathing is the extreme dislike and hatred of oneself. The Drunkard despises himself for his weakness and his inability to control his drinking. He feels ashamed and embarrassed by his behavior, but cannot stop himself from engaging in it.
  • Together, self-pity and self-loathing create a destructive cycle. The Drunkard drinks to forget his problems and his self-hatred, but this only leads to more pain and suffering. He spirals downward into a cycle of addiction and despair.

It’s important to note that the Drunkard is not a sympathetic character in the Little Prince. He is a cautionary tale about the dangers of self-pity and self-loathing. His behavior harms himself and those around him, and he ultimately fails to find happiness or meaning in life.

The Drunkard serves as a warning to readers about the dangers of self-pity and self-loathing. These emotions can lead to destructive behaviors, such as addiction, and prevent individuals from living fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Emotion Definition
Self-Pity The feeling of being a victim of circumstances and deserving of sympathy.
Self-Loathing The extreme dislike and hatred of oneself.

Overall, the Drunkard symbolizes the dangers of self-pity and self-loathing. His behavior serves as a warning to readers to avoid these destructive emotions, and instead, seek happiness and fulfillment in life.

Poor Decision Making

In the Little Prince, the drunkard symbolizes poor decision making. The drunkard on the third planet that the little prince visits is so consumed with drinking that he can’t even remember why he drinks. This is an example of how poor decision making can lead to a vicious cycle, where one becomes trapped in their own bad habits.

  • Drinking to excess
  • Lack of self-awareness
  • Inability to break out of a cycle

The drunkard is also a cautionary tale about what can happen when we let our desires control us. His excessive drinking has turned him into a slave to his impulses, and he has lost sight of the things that really matter in life. This can happen to anyone who falls into the trap of instant gratification and short-term pleasures.

When it comes to decision making, it’s important to step back and consider the long-term consequences of our actions. Making impulsive decisions based on immediate desires can lead us down a path that is hard to come back from. By taking the time to reflect on our choices and their potential outcomes, we can avoid becoming like the drunkard on the third planet in the Little Prince.

Signs of Poor Decision Making How to Improve Decision Making
Repeating the same mistakes Reflect on past choices and learn from them
Ignoring feedback from others Listen to constructive criticism and seek out different perspectives
Acting impulsively Take time to consider the long-term consequences of actions before making decisions

In conclusion, the drunkard in the Little Prince serves as a reminder of the dangers of poor decision making. By taking a step back and reflecting on our choices, we can avoid becoming trapped in bad habits and cycles that are difficult to break out of. We can all learn from the drunkard’s mistakes and strive to make better decisions in our own lives.

Financial Instability

One of the subthemes of the drunkard’s character in “The Little Prince” is financial instability. The drunkard in the story symbolizes how people often find refuge in material things, like alcohol, to cope with financial struggles and difficulties. The little prince encounters the drunkard and learns about his habit of drinking and the emptiness it brings. The drunkard admits that he drinks to forget his shame of drinking. This vicious cycle of alcoholism and financial instability is a common problem in many societies around the world.

  • The drunkard’s reliance on alcohol reflects how people may use substances to cope with financial stress and anxiety.
  • Alcoholism can lead to a cycle of financial instability, as the cost of drinking can deplete one’s finances.
  • The drunkard’s shame of drinking highlights how society stigmatizes those struggling with alcohol addiction.

Furthermore, the drunkard’s character also represents the dangers of imprudent spending and the failure to plan for the future. By spending his days drinking, the drunkard is neglecting his responsibilities and squandering his resources. This lesson can serve as a reminder for individuals to live within their means and prioritize financial goals.

Lessons learned Implications for society
Importance of financial stability and responsibility The need for support and resources for those struggling with alcohol addiction
Dangers of imprudent spending and neglecting financial planning The importance of reducing the stigma associated with addiction and seeking help

The drunkard’s role in “The Little Prince” provides insight into the damaging effects of financial instability and addiction on individuals and society as a whole.

Negative impact on relationships

Alcoholism and its effects on personal relationships are commonly portrayed in literature, and The Little Prince is no exception. The drunkard in the story symbolizes the negative impact of alcoholism on relationships. When the little prince comes across the drunkard, he sees him as someone who is unhappy and trying to escape his problems through alcohol.

Alcoholism can have detrimental effects on personal relationships, which are highlighted in The Little Prince. Here are some ways in which the drunkard symbolizes the negative impact of alcoholism on relationships:

  • The drunkard is isolated and alone, which suggests that his addiction has caused him to lose connections with others.
  • He is portrayed as someone who is unhappy and unfulfilled, indicating that alcoholism can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
  • He is unaware of his own behavior, suggesting that alcoholism can cause people to be disconnected from their own feelings and how they impact others.

Alcoholism can cause people to behave in ways that are damaging to those around them. It can cause verbal abuse, physical violence, and emotional manipulation, all of which can have serious consequences on personal relationships.

Effects of alcoholism on relationships: Examples:
Verbal abuse Calling a partner names or saying hurtful things when drunk.
Physical violence Becoming physically aggressive and causing harm to a partner when drunk.
Emotional manipulation Using alcohol as an excuse for poor behavior or manipulating others into drinking with them.

Ultimately, The Little Prince highlights the negative impact of alcoholism on relationships through the character of the drunkard. By portraying him as someone who is isolated, unhappy, and unaware of the impact of his own behavior, the story shows that alcoholism can cause people to become disconnected from others and the world around them.

What does the Drunkard Symbolize in The Little Prince?

1. Who is the drunkard in The Little Prince?

The drunkard in The Little Prince is a character who the prince meets on the fourth planet. The drunkard drinks to forget that he is ashamed of himself, and he is always drinking.

2. What does the drunkard symbolize?

The drunkard symbolizes people who are addicted to substances or habits that they use to mask their emotions.

3. What does the drunkard’s drinking habits represent?

The drunkard’s drinking habits represent people who are trying to numb their pain or escape from reality.

4. What does the drunkard’s shame represent?

The drunkard’s shame represents the guilt or shame feelings that people have about their past or mistakes they have made.

5. What is the lesson that the Little Prince learns from the drunkard?

The lesson that the Little Prince learns is that drinking to forget problems does not solve them, and it only makes the problem worse.

6. How does the drunkard’s story relate to the theme of the novel?

The drunkard’s story relates to the theme of the novel because it emphasizes the idea of living in the present, accepting responsibilities, and being true to oneself.

7. Why is the drunkard’s story important?

The drunkard’s story is important because it teaches us that we should not try to escape our problems, but rather, we should face them with courage and honesty.

Closing Time: Thanks for Reading!

Now that you know the symbolical meaning behind the drunkard in The Little Prince, you have a better understanding of the message conveyed by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Thank you for reading, and please come back for more interesting insights on literary works and their symbolism.