Chapters 1-2 Summary
As The Little Prince begins, the narrator explains that, when he was six years old, he saw a picture of a boa constrictor swallowing an animal. Afterward, he used a colored pencil to draw a long, brown creature with a huge, two-humped lump in the middle. It was obvious to him that this was “a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant” but grown-ups thought it was a hat.
The narrator felt annoyed and redrew his picture. This time he made an outline of the boa constrictor with the elephant clearly visible in the middle, “so the grown-ups could understand.” The grown-ups were no more impressed with the second picture than with the first. They told the narrator to give up drawing and focus on schoolwork instead. He followed their advice because, as he says, “it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.”
Now the narrator is all grown up, and he is a pilot who flies airplanes. Most of the time, he still finds grown-ups disappointing. Every now and then, he meets one who seems to understand the world. When this happens, he sometimes shows them Drawing Number One as a test. Then, no matter how great the grown-up is, he always says, “That’s a hat.” When the narrator hears this, he knows that he needs to avoid talking about “boa constrictors or jungles or stars.” Instead, he talks about “bridge and golf and politics and neckties,” and he and the other grown-ups get along just fine.
Because nobody he knows understands wonderful things like jungles and boa constrictors, the pilot feels alone in the world. One day he crash-lands his plane in the Sahara Desert. His engine is badly damaged, and he has to fix it by himself because nobody is around to help. This is scary because he is not a mechanic and because he only has enough water to last eight days.
On his first night, the pilot is very surprised when he hears a voice say, “Please...draw me a sheep.” The owner of this voice is a pretty little boy wearing a long coat and carrying a sword. Although he is in the middle of nowhere, he does not seem lost or...
(The entire section is 588 words.)