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What does this quote mean from "The Little Prince"?: "Love does not consist in gazing...

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j4ever-n-mo17 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:33 AM via web

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What does this quote mean from "The Little Prince"?: "Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction."

I need to know for my Summer reading. If you know who said it, that would be much appreciated too. Thanks!

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 24, 2009 at 3:39 AM (Answer #1)

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I agree that one point of this quote might be that people who are in love tend to be consumed only with one another, which is, as the last response indicated, a form of selfishness, since gazing at the object of one's love is satisfies one's needs.  But another point might be that this is a kind of love in a vaccuum, not taking into account the rest of the world in which the lovers must exist.  Are we put on this earth merely to satisfy ourselves and those with whom we are in love, or are we meant to take care of others in the world, our family, our friends, our community, our nation, and our planet?  If I and my loved one are looking outward, to the world around us, we are united in a goal that is greater than just ourselves and one another.  Should not the power of love energize us and motivate us to help the world around us? 

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kkosach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 24, 2009 at 12:42 AM (Answer #2)

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I don't know who said it - that sounds like something the fox would say, but I'm not sure.  Basically, the idea of "gazing at each other" is one sided - if I am looking at someone, and he is looking at me, each of us is loving in only one direction.  However, if the two people are looking in the same direction, they are doing so together.  I believe that to be the point of your question.  Remember that The Little Prince has much to do with man's selfishness.  This advice has to do with togetherness and sharing rather than individual motivation and desire.

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