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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTERS 15 & 16
The sixth planet that the Prince visits is ten times larger than the lamplighter's planet and is inhabited by an old geographer who writes voluminous books. At first he seems interesting to the Prince, for he possesses a great deal of information about towns, rivers, mountains, seas, oceans, and deserts. Hoping that the geographer will record information about his asteroid in one of his books, the Little Prince tells him about his planet, including a description of his special flower. He is shocked to learn that the geographer has no interest in the Prince's flower, saying that all flowers are too "ephemeral." At the word, the Prince suddenly grows fearful for his precious flower. He regrets having left her alone on his planet, but he is still determined to continue his journey to Earth.
When the Little Prince lands on Earth, he describes it s an extraordinary planet. It is so huge that it would require 462,5111 lamplighters to maintain all the lamps.
On the sixth planet, the Little Prince meets a geographer, who spends all of his time recording the existence of rivers, mountains, and lakes that he has never even seen. The Prince thinks that it is tragic that he has so much information about the physical characteristics of Earth but never goes out to enjoy the natural world. When the geographer says that flowers are not really important because they are ephemeral, the Little Prince is upset; he regrets that he has left his defenseless flower alone on his planet. He promises to go back and check on her as soon as his visit to Earth is complete.
With the geographer, the author is once again pointing out that adults do not take time to look beneath the surface. Although he thinks he knows a lot about rivers, mountains, and lakes because he charts them on maps and writes about them in books, the geographer really knows little about the world, for he is too busy to go out and enjoy it; his knowledge is really superficial and unimportant. A child who take time to splash in a river really knows more about that river than the geographer does.
In the sixteenth chapter, the Little Prince finally lands on Earth; he describes it with child-like wonder, for he is totally amazed by its size and diversity. It is not surprising that this little man from a very little planet chooses to stay on Earth for awhile.