The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?
OK. Got a hanky or some Kleenex handy? Are you somewhere you won’t feel embarrassed should you end up shedding a tear or two? If that’s all set, we can go ahead and start talking about the ending.
The ending of The Little Prince is super sad. There’s no two ways about that. The prince has left the Earth—it looked like he died when the snake bit him, but his body is nowhere to be found. The narrator’s made it out of the desert, but that seems like small potatoes compared to wondering what happened to the prince. And the sheep. And the flower. The narrator’s got questions that can’t ever be answered. Whether the sheep has eaten the flower or the flower is safe is a “great mystery” (27.7). This mystery, he says “alters everything” (27.8).
But the ending also holds possibility for hope, because we don’t know exactly what happened. Perhaps (we hope!) the prince made it safely home to his flower. Perhaps he remembers to keep the sheep away from his flower. Perhaps all is well up there in Asteroid B-612.
That’s why, in the last two paragraphs of the book, the narrator turns to us readers and begs us to keep a look out for the prince, too.