The Little Prince

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The Geographer Character Analysis

The geographer is the last man the little prince meets before he ventures to Earth. The geographer is a scholarly grownup who spends his life waiting for explorers to venture to his planet so that he may fill his books. He teaches the little prince the meaning of the word "ephemeral," causing the little prince to miss his rose, who he fears is in danger of speedy disappearance.

The Geographer Quotes in The Little Prince

The The Little Prince quotes below are all either spoken by The Geographer or refer to The Geographer. 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 15 Quotes

"Exactly," the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer. I haven't a single explorer on my planet. It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts. The geographer is much too important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk. But he receives the explorers in his study…"

Related Characters: The Geographer (speaker)
Page Number: 63-64
Explanation and Analysis:

Upon reaching the geographer's planet, the little prince thinks he is in for something more exciting: a geographer, after all, must know useful, relevant, and fascinating knowledge about the world around him. All too soon, however, this geographer also disappoints the prince's expectations. The geographer may not treat the prince as someone lesser than he - instead, he happily welcomes the prince into his study as an explorer - but it becomes clear here that he does indeed consider himself as more important than the explorers who go "loafing about." 

As readers, we are meant to understand that the geographer simply has things backwards. His insistence on staying inside and learning about things only second-hand is not a strength but a severe limitation, preventing him from the true learning that happens when one goes out into the unknown. We thus are given another example of the weaknesses of adults compared to children: grown-ups are all too willing to be satisfied with second-hand "authority," rather than being curious and brave enough to seek it out for themselves.

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The Geographer Character Timeline in The Little Prince

The timeline below shows where the character The Geographer appears in The Little Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Exploration vs. Narrowmindedness Theme Icon
Childhood vs. Adulthood Theme Icon
The little prince then arrives on a much larger planet with a geographer , who is eager to talk to an explorer. He tells the little prince that... (full context)
Relationships Theme Icon
The True and the Essential Theme Icon
The geographer then takes an interest in the little prince, asking him about his planet. The little... (full context)