Chapters 22-23 Summary

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The little prince travels on, leaving his fox behind and looking for friends. He meets a railway switchman who explains that it is his job to send out trains full of travelers “in bundles of a thousand.” The travelers zoom along, “sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left.” Very soon, a train passes, and the little prince watches in amazement as it rushes by, shaking the cabin where the switchman sits. The little prince comments that travelers are very hurried. The switchman agrees and says that nobody, “not even the engineer of the locomotive,” knows why.

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When another train comes by in the opposite direction, the little prince is confused because he thinks the first set of travelers is already back. The switchman explains that this is a different train full of different people. The little prince asks whether the people were dissatisfied with the place where they were before. “No one is ever satisfied where he is,” the switchman says.

Another train rumbles past, and the little prince guesses that they are trying to chase down the first train he saw. The switchman explains that travelers do not care about chasing anything. Most of them are unaware of the other trains. They do not even notice the scenery. They spend their time sleeping or being bored. Only the children care enough to look out the windows. “Only the children know what they’re looking for,” he says.

This, finally, is a statement the little prince understands. He says that children love their rag dolls. They spend time caring for the dolls,...

(The entire section contains 413 words.)

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