The Rose: A Fantasy on The Little Prince
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Welcome to the January 2000 web version of The Rose. This was first published in a printed format in 1987 and I have tried to keep the same look as much as possible. I had to literally cut and paste to create the first production of the book that was printed on a dot matrix printer. Now I have taken the primitive black and white graphics that were available then and scanned them into the computer, then cleaned them up a bit. I think The Rose would approve of what I've done.
The following are my notes from 1987:
This book is an example of desktop publishing in that it was totally conceived and produced on an IBM compatible on the refectory table in my `computer room.' I chose not not have the text laser printed at the local library as I wanted to show the book as the roses might have printed it using the medium-tech methods available to them.
Five graphics programs were used to produce the text and graphics including Printmaster, Print Shop, Lettrix, Fancy Word and Click Art Personal Publisher. The graphics are clip art used intact with my addition of a crown for the prince's head. The word processing program is Microsoft Word. The fun was all mine.
For those not familiar with the story of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry the plot is summarized briefly in the first part. The appearance of a sheep near the end may seem a little strange but the Prince was bringing a sheep (in a box) back to his planet to eat the baobabs as soon as they grew from the ground. I think the baobabs would be quite willing to share their lower leaves with the sheep now.
The story focuses on the radical feminist perspective of women's oppression by men. It looks at women's closeness to nature, their joy in reproduction and child raising, their use of new words and ideas to turn away old oppressions and in their incorporation of `male' technology to their own use.
It shows the male attitudes of the prince who talks of being responsible for what you have tamed, a classic androcentric position. He is shown as one who has no understanding of women besides an appreciation of their beauty. The rose, in the beginning, reacts to this in all the ways women do when confronted with this oppression. His treatment of the baobabs can be seen as ethnocentric in his colonial solution of kill the unknown.The baobabs are both oppressors and oppressed. They are the proletariat to the prince's bourgeois attitudes and will be potential workers for him on his return. This, I suppose, is better than the dead baobabs they would be without the roses intervention at the end of the book. In their relationship with the roses they do not seek to oppress them directly but echo male laws, "It is said that.." positing tradition in order to keep women in a lower place and maintain their own superiority. The baobabs also devalue knowledge that has been taken over by females as being less valuable.
There may be some Marxist feminism in the attitudes of the roses to the baobabs when the roses seek to gain and share with the baobabs the means of production, the computer. There is also the idea of liberal feminism in the roses' education will set us free.
Joan Carmichael, March 1987
Linked to Wikipedia's The Little Prince March 2007. Leave a message for The Rose with firstname.lastname@example.org