The little prince never answers the pilot’s questions, although he asks many of his own. He reveals information about himself only in little hints. When he learns that the broken plane fell out of the sky, he laughs and says that he did too. He asks seriously, “What planet do you come from?” This is how the pilot learns that the little prince comes from another planet.
Another time, the pilot offers to draw the little prince a rope and a stake to secure the sheep so he will not get lost. This makes the little prince laugh again. Where he comes from, everything is so small that no sheep will be able to get very far. This is how the pilot learns that the prince’s planet is an asteroid about the size of a house.
Years later, after the little prince is gone, the pilot comes to believe that this asteroid is called B-612. This is a terrible name for a planet but, as the pilot points out, “Grown-ups like numbers.” If a child tells grown-ups about a new friend, they never ask about the important things, like the games he likes or the collections he makes. Instead, they ask his age, and how many brothers and sisters he has, and how much money his father makes. When grown-ups know numbers, they think they know something.
Because of the grown-ups’ obsession with numbers, it would be impossible to make them believe in the little prince just by telling them how he came from a faraway asteroid and wanted a sheep. Grown-ups only believe something if they have a number for it; if they hear that the little prince comes from asteroid B-612, only then will they believe he exists and leave the matter alone. The narrator admits this is silly but says:
(The entire section contains 484 words.)
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Little Prince study guide. You'll get access to all of the The Little Prince content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.
- Chapter Summaries
- Critical Essays
Already a member? Log in here.