The Little Prince

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The little prince's meeting with the fox is the climax of the story—it's the moment when the little prince realizes why his rose is so important to him. The fox is skittish around the prince at first, but he teaches the prince how to tame him. Afterwards, he shares his secret with the little prince in the novella's iconic phrase, "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

The Fox Quotes in The Little Prince

The The Little Prince quotes below are all either spoken by The Fox or refer to The Fox. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Relationships Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harcourt Brace & Company edition of The Little Prince published in 291970.
Chapter 21 Quotes

"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me..."

Related Characters: The Little Prince (speaker), The Fox (speaker)
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

Still recovering from the painful realization about the roses, the little prince nonetheless is granted a chance to learn how he can reconsider what it means to value and love something as unique. The fox helps the little prince along in this understanding by explaining to him what "taming" means: by choosing one fox out of thousands to teach and to relate to, the prince chooses to treat it as unique in the universe, even though it may not be literally unique.

This is thus a more complex view of the value of relationships than the one the prince originally had. People choose to love and respect each other not necessarily because they cannot imagine finding anyone else similar to or even better than them, but because there is value in the choice itself. In some ways, this is another example of the point that the book has been making about the importance of valuing something in and of itself, rather than based on what it can do for you. 


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"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Related Characters: The Fox (speaker), The Little Prince
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

The fox has wanted the little prince to tame him, but now it has become clear to him that the prince will leave him to go on to other places. Before he leaves, the fox gives him one last piece of advice – advice, however, that he has been preparing the prince for all throughout their time spent together. The lesson of taming has introduced the prince to the idea that value and uniqueness might have less to do with the external qualities of the loved thing or being, and more with the act of loving – of attempting to see through the external and superficial to what is essential.

By making this lesson explicit, the fox reminds the prince to continue to ponder this difficult lesson – difficult especially since the rose, whom the prince loves, is indeed externally beautiful. But rather than fixating either on her outer beauty or on her superficial weaknesses, like vanity or a propensity to lie, the prince must learn to look with his heart and not his eye.

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The Fox Character Timeline in The Little Prince

The timeline below shows where the character The Fox appears in The Little Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Relationships Theme Icon
The True and the Essential Theme Icon
A fox appears, and the little prince asks the fox to play with him because he is... (full context)
Relationships Theme Icon
The True and the Essential Theme Icon
The fox discusses his monotonous life of hunting chickens and being hunted by men, and he asks... (full context)
Relationships Theme Icon
The True and the Essential Theme Icon
Exploration vs. Narrowmindedness Theme Icon
The fox tells the little prince to go observe the bed of roses again, and this time... (full context)