The Little Prince
Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
“Men?” she [the earth flower] echoed. “I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.” (18.6)
This is how this flower sees the world. Because she’s only encountered “six or seven” men in her lifetime, that’s how many she thinks there are. The parameters, or edges, of her world are really small. Just like the flower on the prince’s planet, who thinks the sun came into existence when she did, this flower thinks that the only men who exist are the ones she has seen. The flower has to make sense of what’s going on around her from her standpoint. So perhaps seeing things from only one point of view is not the best way to view the world.
“Yes,” I said to the little prince. “The house, the stars, the desert—what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!” (24.25)
This isn’t about entering a new world – it’s about looking at your own world differently. The narrator is finding “beauty,” now, in what he can’t see, rather than in what he can: in “something that is invisible.” That’s something the prince taught him – and something the fox taught the prince.
“All men have stars,” he answered, “but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they are wealth. But all these stars are silent. You—you alone—will have the stars as no one else has them—”
“What are you trying to say?”
“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You—only you—will have stars that can laugh!” (26.18-20)
Things can mean different things depending on how you perceive them. Because of their friendship, the prince is giving the narrator a chance to view the stars in a way that no one else can: as a clue to how the prince is doing, somewhere up in the stars, and as a means of finding laughter.