The Little Prince


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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The Little Prince: Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

The pilot revises his earlier statement, saying that grownups would in fact take up only a small amount of room on Earth if they were all crowded together into one public square miles long. The grownups, however, would protest this fact, as they believe they are just as important as the baobabs.
The pilot's revision shows that the grownups are not as important as they think they are.
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When the little prince lands on Earth, he sees no people and worries that he is on the wrong planet. He meets a snake that tells him that he is on Earth, in Africa. The snake explains that there are no people in the desert, but that the Earth is large. The little prince says that the snake is a funny creature, and the snake winds himself around the little prince's ankle, saying that he can send anyone back to their planet of origin, just by touching them. He hesitates with the little prince, however, because the prince is weak and innocent. The snake instead offers to send the little prince back to his planet should he ever get too homesick.
The snake speaks in riddles, making the reader guess at the truth of his words, which seem threatening. The little prince's innocence saves him, however—the snake takes pity on him because the little prince seems so helpless.
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