The search of the prince
Friendship represents the central theme in the novella The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The pilot reports that he would have preferred to start his story like this: "Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet that was scarcely any bigger than himself, and who had need of a sheep ..." (14%).
Through the visits to the planets, the little prince is initially disappointed by the people he meets, who show no particular interest in him. When he lands on Earth, he is looking for friends, but he does not know exactly what friendship is yet.
To the snake, he complains about the loneliness in the desert. The snake says, however, that one is lonely also among humans . The snake is of the opinion that humans are not capable of building friendships.
Something similar is also suggested by the desert flower, which thinks that people lacked roots (cf. p. 86). The little prince does not give up and continues to try to find a friend. When, on a mountain, he mistakes his own echo for the people's answer, he is disappointed by their lack of imagination and longs for his rose (p. 88). Eventually, however, he slowly discovers what friendship means. The fox plays an essential role in this.
The encounter with the fox
The fox lives in the wild. The little prince meets him under an apple tree and asks him to play . But the fox says that he is not tamed and therefore cannot play with the little prince. When asked if the little prince is looking for people, he answers, "I am looking for friends." (71%).
For the fox, making friends means taming each other: " If you want a friend, tame me ..." (73%). The term tame is generally used to take away an animal's wildness. However, it can also be applied to friendship between people. According to the fox, "taming" means, first of all, "to establish ties" (71%).
When people are not familiar with each other, they canot be special to each other, either:
‘To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other’ (71%).