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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTERS 13 & 14
The Little Prince moves on to a fourth planet, which belongs to a businessman. He thinks that he is rich because he believes that he owns all the stars; however, he spends all of his time counting his stars (his wealth) and has no time left to enjoy them. The Prince feels the businessman is not wealthy at all, for he is of no use to the stars. In contrast, the Little Prince must take care of his possession; he waters and protects his flower and cleans out his three volcanoes.
When the Prince travels to the fifth planet, he finds it the strangest and the smallest. There is really just enough room on it for a street lamp and a lamplighter. The lamplighter spends all of his time lighting the lamp and then putting it out, simply because this is what he has been told to do. Although the Little Prince is amazed that the lamplighter does not question his work, he admires him for his faithfulness. He feels that this is the only man that he has met who is not totally ridiculous; he even thinks if he stayed on the fifth planet for awhile, he could have become a friend to the lamplighter. Before he departs, the Little Prince tries to help the lamplighter solve the problem of his lack of rest.
The Prince meets a businessman who is so occupied with counting stars that he does not even raise his head when the Little Prince arrives. The man is certain that if he successfully counts all the stars and writes the total number on a sheet of paper, he will then own all the stars. The Little Prince believes that the businessman is involved in a useless occupation, for he is so busy counting that he can not even enjoy the stars; and even if he did own all of them, he would be of no use to his stars. The Prince is glad he needs to take care of his possessions, watering the flower and cleaning the volcano; it makes him feel useful.
Before he departs from the fourth planet, the Little Prince decides that the businessman is just as confused as the tippler; neither of them is able to stop their activity (counting or drinking) and enjoy life. Through the businessman, Saint-Exupéry is being very critical of men who love their possessions and wealth so much that they spend all their time accounting for them, rather than enjoying them and sharing them.
On the fifth planet the Prince meets a lamplighter, whom he finds to be faithful and sincere in doing his job. Although he spends his life lighting, putting out, and re-lighting the lamp, he never complains and completes his work just as ordered. In all his travels, this is the only man that the Little Prince respects; he even feels he could be the lamplighter's friend. Before he departs, the kind and concerned Prince tries to help the lamplighter figure out a way to get more rest.