10 Wisdom-Filled Phrases from The Little Prince

Discover a few phrases from The Little Prince with profound messages.
10 Wisdom-Filled Phrases from The Little Prince

Last update: 25 August, 2018

Wisdom-filled phrases from The Little Prince have been read by men and women of all ages. At first glance, the book appears to be a simple children’s novel. However, there are millions of adults around the world who also enjoy this literary work of art.

What’s most interesting about The Little Prince are the simple yet profound phrases. The book’s author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, knew how to write with amazing balance. For that very reason, this work has transcended several generations, and is destined to continue doing so.

There are phrases from The Little Prince that deserve to be praised and remembered. In today’s article, we’ll look at a selection of these phrases. While there are many more to enjoy, this small list will give you an idea of the book’s brilliance.

Time, a common theme in The Little Prince’s phrases

Time is one of the issues that frequently appears in the The Little Prince. The following phrase, for example, alludes to time: “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy ready-made things in the shops. But since there are no shops where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends.” 

In this case, the text criticizes man’s tendency to hurry, and how little time we dedicate to what’s truly important. It’s a phrase whose message repeats itself in the following: “It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important.” This refers to the value we give things by dedicating time to them.

Down the road

The Little Prince says: “Walking in a straight line one can not get very far.” Here the character is referring to the importance of breaking the barrier of inertia.  Change and variety allow us to advance. On the other hand, immutable permanence keeps us from evolving.

Looking and seeing

This is one of the most quoted phrases from the classic novel: 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.” This has to do with the difference between seeing with one’s eyes and seeing with one’s heart. The heart sees far beyond appearances and gives us access to what’s essential.

In the desert

Most of this book’s story takes place in the desert. Symbolically, in an uninhabited and inhospitable territory. However, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry invites us to see it in a different light. He says, “What makes a desert beautiful… is that it hides a well, somewhere.” In other words, there is always hope.

Judging oneself and others

Another phrase from The Little Prince goes as follows: “That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom.”

Here, the author places emphasis on the difficulty that exists when it comes to looking at oneself objectively. It’s always easier to see mistakes and defects in others.

The meaning of the stars

Many of the phrases from The Little Prince point out that reality is meaningless in and of itself. What gives it meaning is each person and his or her experiences. The author expresses the idea beautifully in the following phrase: “When you look up at the sky at night, since I’ll be living on one of them, since I’ll be laughing on one of them, for you it’ll be as if all the stars are laughing. You’ll have stars that can laugh!” 

Better to enjoy than to reason

This extraordinary work speaks on repeated occasions about sensitivity as a source of wisdom. At one point, it says: “One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance.” What the author is saying is that getting too caught up in words keeps us from enjoying the real essence of things.

The taming of things

The word “domesticate” has a very special meaning in The Little Prince. As the prince points out, it means to make connections. In that regard, there is a beautiful phrase that says, “One only understands the things that one tames.” In order to “tame” something, you have to spend time with it. It’s this time and this “taming” that make someone into something special.

Crying a little sometimes

Along the same line as the last, another phrase from The Little Prince states: “One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets oneself be tamed.” What he means is that suffering is inevitable when you form close bonds with someone. There’s no relationship that doesn’t involve some pain at the same time.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Capestany, E.J. (1982). The Dialectic of the Little Prince. University Press of America, Maryland.
  • de Saint-Exupéry, A. (1943). El principito. Emecé Editores.
  • López Valero, A., Encabo Fernández, E., & Moreno Muñoz, C. (2002). Esencias de un “pequeño príncipe”. Didáctica de la literatura y valores. Didáctica. Lengua y Literatura.
  • Link, D. (2015). INFÂNCIA. Alea : Estudos Neolatinos. https://doi.org/10.1590/1517-106x/172-199
  • Pérez-Muskus, C. I. (2015). El Principito: Claves para educar en la amistad. Estudio a la luz del pensamiento de Rafael Tomás Caldera. https://dadun.unav.edu/handle/10171/39432

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