Chapters 11-13 Summary
A vain man lives on the next planet. Seeing the little prince, the man says, “Ah! A visit from an admirer!” In some ways, he is like the king. Just as the king feels that everyone exists to be ruled by him, the vain man feels that everyone exists to admire him.
The vain man tells the little prince to clap his hands. When the little prince obeys, the vain man tips his hat over and over, accepting the prince’s praise. The little prince finds this fun for a few minutes, but eventually it gets boring, so he stops. He suggests that the man make his hat fall off, but the man does not hear the request. Unfortunately, vain people cannot hear anything except praise.
The vain man asks if the little prince admires him, and the little prince asks what that means. The vain man explains:
To admire means to acknowledge that I am the handsomest, the best-dressed, the richest, and the most intelligent man on the planet.
This surprises the little prince. He points out that nobody else lives on the vain man’s planet. Still, at the vain man’s urging, he offers his admiration anyway. “But what is it about my admiration that interests you so much?” he asks. Soon after this, he leaves, muttering once again, “Grown-ups are certainly very strange.”
A drunk lives on the next planet. The little prince asks what he is doing, and the drunk explains that he is drinking to forget his shame. When the little prince asks what makes him feel ashamed, the drunk says that drinking makes him feel ashamed. The little prince cannot understand this, so he leaves, feeling sad and also more certain than ever that grown-ups are “very, very strange.”
On the next planet, a man sits at a desk adding up numbers. When the little prince greets the man and asks what he is adding, the man hardly has time to say hello. But the little prince never gives up a question once he has asked it, so he keeps asking until the man has to stop and acknowledge the interruption. The man grumbles that it is the third time ever that he has been...
(The entire section is 565 words.)