The Little Prince
Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
“Perhaps it was because of the anniversary?”
The little prince flushed once more. He never answered questions—but when one flushes does that not mean “Yes”?
“Ah,” I said to him, “I am a little frightened—” (25.43-5)
Like the fox, who wants to communicate without words, the narrator reads the prince’s expressions in order to figure out what’s going on with his friend. He interprets the flush (which is like a blush) as a “yes.” So, the prince answers the narrator’s question, perhaps, without realizing it.
Look up at the sky. Ask yourselves: Is it yes or no? Has the sheep eaten the flower? And you will see how everything changes…
And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance! (27.8-9)
At the end of The Little Prince, the narrator puts the burden of interpretation on us readers. That’s a fancy way of saying that from this point on, it’s up to us to figure out what has happened in answer to these questions. In other words, the narrator asks us to finish the story. When we “look up at the sky,” what do we see? Is it a happy ending or a sad one? The other thing to remember is that not everybody will “understand” our answers or their significance—especially not grown-ups.
This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on page 88, but I have drawn it again to impress it on your memory. It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared. (Epilogue 1)
One more time, the narrator relies on images instead of words to make us understand. He thinks we’ll get a better understanding of the landscape if we look at the pictures he drew, rather than just reading what he has to say about it. Why do you think he’s more confident about the pictures than about the description he builds with words?