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The Little Prince

The Little Prince


by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince Perseverance Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. (1.7)

It’s not enough to simply decide you want to do something, like become a great painter, and then stick with it. You also need encouragement and backing up, for starters. When the narrator was a little kid, all the grown-ups he knew told him that he wasn’t good at drawing and that his pictures didn’t represent what he thought they represented. This was enough to make the narrator give up on art, when he could have been “magnificent” if only he’d stuck with it.

Quote #2

When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. Absurd as it might seem to me, a thousand miles from any human habitation and in danger of death, I took out of my pocket a sheet of paper and my fountain-pen. But then I remembered how my studies had been concentrated on geography, history, arithmetic and grammar, and I told the little chap (a little crossly, too) that I did not know how to draw. (2.12)

The narrator is ready to give up on drawing before he even starts, practically. As a grown-up himself, not having had enough of the proper encouragement when he was young, he left behind his creative instinct and imaginative style.

Now it would be a lot harder for him to make something like his Drawing Number One than it was before. For example, he can barely draw a correct sheep and ends up drawing a box instead. But, because the prince is so persuasive and has such a strong personality, this new friend persuades the narrator to keep trying to draw anyway.

Quote #3

…I am not at all sure of success. One drawing goes along all right, and another has no resemblance to its subject. I make some errors, too, in the little prince’s height: in one place he is too tall and in another too short. And I feel some doubts about the colour of his costume. So I fumble along as best I can, now good, now bad, and I hope generally fair-to-middling. (4.14)

Even when he’s not satisfied with his work, the narrator has to keep going. He explains that some pictures are better than others, and sometimes he does a better job of recording the details than others, without being exactly sure of why that is. The most important thing, though, is telling his story and conveying the essence of the little prince to his readers. In order to do this, the narrator simply has to keep drawing.

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