some one loves a flower of which just one example exists among all
the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy
when he looks at the stars. He tells himself, “My flower’s up there
somewhere. . . .” But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him
it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?
The little prince makes this indignant
exclamation in Chapter VII in response to the narrator’s statement
that the prince’s rose is not a “serious matter.” The prince’s retort
exposes what he thinks are grown-ups’ limited priorities. The prince
points out how silly it is that the narrator frets over routine,
material matters when deeper questions about relationships and the
universe are so much more important.
At first, the prince’s ideas seem a bit lofty and perhaps
callous—after all, what could be more important than the pilot fixing
his engine so that he can survive? Yet by the end of the novel,
the narrator comes to understand the truth of the little prince’s
statement. When, after the little prince has returned home, the
narrator looks up at the sky and wonders whether the sheep has eaten
the flower, he realizes that the answer to that question changes
the way he sees the entire sky. In the end, the prince’s innocent,
personal perspective on the universe proves to be more serious than
the jaded perspective of adults.