The Little Prince
How we cite our quotes:
For I do not want any one to read my book carelessly. I have suffered too much grief in setting down these memories. Six years have already passed since my friend went away from me, with his sheep. If I try to describe him here, it is to make sure that I shall not forget him. To forget a friend is sad. Not every one has had a friend. And if I forget him, I may become like the grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but figures… (4.13)
In this paragraph, the narrator’s sadness and ideas about friendship collide. He can’t think about his friendship with the prince without being sad that the prince has left. The idea that he might “forget a friend is sad.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
I had let my tools drop from my hands. Of what moment now was my hammer, my bolt, or thirst, or death? On one star, one planet, my planet, the Earth, there was a little prince to be comforted. I took him in my arms, and rocked him. (7.32)
This friendship with the prince inspires the narrator to be less selfish. When the narrator sees his friend is unhappy, he drops everything to comfort him. The narrator says that his hammer and bolt aren’t important compared to the prince’s grief, which is understandable—but he also says “thirst” and “death” aren’t as important either. He must really care about the prince!
I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more.
It is such a secret place, the land of tears. (7.34-5)
Even when you have a great friend, that friendship doesn’t mean you can do everything together. As much as the narrator cares for and sympathizes with the prince, the narrator can’t follow him “hand in hand” into the “land of tears” – in other words, it is impossible to really, truly understand someone else’s sorrow. Do you agree?