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Brown Supplement - how a book influenced you (le petit prince)

swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 23, 2009   #1
So this essay is really similar to my Princeton essay, and I just modified some parts of it to fit the prompt. But here it is: (I'm really unsure about the last paragraph, especially how it starts. is it too dramatic and off-topic?). And also, I ended up talking more about myself than about the book. Is this a bad thing? Are we supposed to draw more parallels between the book and ourselves in the essay? Aghhhhh!! *as you can probably see, help will be much appreciated*

Tell us about an intellectual experience, project, class, or book that has influenced or inspired you.

It was a children's book. The cover is of a silly, exaggerated cartoon, with the title in bright colours and childish font. I picked up Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, slightly annoyed at having to read this for French class. A quick Wikipedia search told me it was about talking animals and a little boy from another planet. Wonderful.

I put off reading it for a long time. It was a thin book anyways, so it shouldn't take long to skim through. In the end though, I didn't skim through it - I couldn't. Without even realizing, I was carefully reading every word, captivated by its profound observations about life and human nature. What made the book so special to me wasn't just the moral of the story, but also the reminder of a past tradition I'd nearly forgotten.

As a child, it never failed to amaze me what families put out for yard sales. Decades-old books, tea sets, children's toys, outdated electronic devices, and sometimes even kitchen appliances - you never know what you will find. My family, of course, joined in on the fun. In the spring and summer, we would go around the neighbourhood almost every week, sometimes scrounging for antique artifacts and other times simply curious about what our neighbours kept hidden inside their houses. We never bought much - the occasional teacup and flowerpot sometimes wound up in the most unlikely crannies and nooks of our house - but this weekly ritual was a fresh experience for us as new immigrants.

Gradually, we stopped going to yard sales altogether. I guess it's because the novelty had worn off, and relocation to a suburban area with fewer neighbours and greater walking distances made house-visits more difficult. I soon forgot its significance, and was perfectly happy to have the Internet and technology take on a more dominant role in my life. Reading Le Petit Prince, however, reminded me of this little tradition. Thinking back to those days with a smile, I realized they still hold a special place in my heart. I now understand why I loved the philosophy behind yard sales even as a child - that someone's old, discarded object might still be wanted and cherished by someone else. Ultimately, everything has an inherent value, and that is how I see the world. Just like me, the little prince realizes that everything has something unique and special to it, something irreplaceable.

Because of this book, I now take time to appreciate the little things in my life. I tell myself to stop, take a look around, and drink in scenic sights. As I listen to the beautiful notes on a saxophone from a busker in the subway station, I slow my steps and lose myself in the moment. I revel in the innocence of a baby's smile, the scent of grass and dew in the morning, the laughter of my family and friends.

People often ask me what I want to do - with my time, my day, my life. I will simply answer, "J'aime bien les couchers de soleil. Allons voir un coucher de soleil: I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset." Because Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is right: life is about the little things, and it's these little things that often bring us joy, that will stay with us a lifetime.
Wanderer_x 5 / 88  
Dec 23, 2009   #2
its good.
"Because of this book, I now take time to appreciate the little things in my life. "
Dint you appreciate little things in life before? Make your transition subtle.

An yes, I also love that tiny book. I remember the hat being interpreted as Elephant inside a snake. haha

Would you like to comment on mine?
gumdrop41 6 / 30  
Dec 24, 2009   #3
It's a great essay! :D I only have one suggestion, the most part of your essay is talking about how you were reminded of your family's tradition of buying things at yard sales and how basically, one man's trash could be another's treasure. However, I don't think you mentioned enough about how the le petit prince actually reminded of you of that, only that one sentence "just like me, ..." I think you need to elaborate on it more, at least have a short paragraph of 3-5 sentences.

Best of luck!

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