The Little Prince

by: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 4

I was surprised by suddenly understanding that mysterious radiance of the sands. When I was a little boy I lived in an old house, and there was a legend that a treasure was buried in it somewhere. Of course, no one was ever able to find the treasure, perhaps no one even searched. But it cast a spell over the whole house.

This passage from Chapter XXIV marks the moment when the narrator grasps for himself the fox’s secret (see quotation 3). In most fables and fairy tales, the story’s moral is given at the very end of the work. In The Little Prince, by contrast, Saint-Exupéry delivers his lesson early on so that the narrator, and us with him, can experience it for himself. In Saint-Exupéry’s hands, a moral serves no purpose if it is not fully explored and lived out, and that is exactly what he does here. We think we have understood the full meaning of the fox’s secret after the encounter between the fox and the little prince, but the narrator repeats the process of understanding once again, showing us that even when we think we understand something, there is always more to learn.