little_prince_fox.jpg‘”Goodbye,’ said the fox. ‘Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes...It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . People have forgotten this truth,’ the fox said, ‘but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose...’

The quotation explicitly states the central moral of The Little Prince. The Prince has learned these lessons on his own, but the fox explicitly state it for him to make it clear. The lesson that the fox teaches is a secret because it is not available to everyone, but it must be learned eventually by everyone.

“I was surprised by suddenly understanding that mysterious radiance of the sands. When I was a little boy I lived in an old house, and there was a legend that a treasure was buried in it somewhere. Of course, no one was ever able to find the treasure, perhaps no one even searched. But it cast a spell over the whole house.”

This passage from Chapter XXIV is when the narrator grasps the message told by the fox for himself. Saint-Exupéry delivers his lessona early on, unlike most fables where the moral is given at the very end, so that the narrator can experience it for himself. A moral serves no purpose if it is not fully explored and lived out, the narrator repeats the process of understanding once again, showing us that even when we think we understand something, there is always more to learn.