When the Little Prince comes to Earth, he meets the narrator, an airplane pilot who has crashed his plane. The Little Prince asks the narrator what Earth is like, and the narrator tries to explain. They travel around the earth, and the Little Prince is surprised at how big the earth is. He catches only glimpses of Earth from the places they visit, and he makes assumptions about Earth and humans from these brief encounters.
The Little Prince is surprised to meet a snake and come across a rose garden, but he doesn't meet any humans. He climbs to the top of a mountain, hoping to see all of Earth and the humans he believed would be everywhere, but all he sees is the land. He thinks that Earth is hard, due to the nature of the landscape he can see. He calls out and only hears his echo; he believes this is the voice of the humans and can't understand why they would only repeat back to him what he has said.
The Little Prince meets a railway conductor, who tells the Little Prince that humans rush around everywhere and don't enjoy life; only children look at what they pass through the windows. He meets a man who has created a pill which would relieve humans of the need to drink water for a week, thereby saving them fifty-two minutes.
The Little Prince does not gain a favorable view of Earth, and his view seems to be shared by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince was written during World War II, in which he served as a pilot in the French Air Force. After France was defeated, Saint-Exupéry and his wife went to North America, where he was active as a voice of the French Resistance, and where he wrote The Little Prince.