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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTERS 9 & 10
On the morning of his departure from his planet, the Little Prince puts everything in perfect order. He pulls up the last shoots of the baobabs and says goodbye to his flower. When the flower realizes that she has been the cause of his departure, she apologizes to him and confesses her love for him. Since she does not want the Prince to see her crying, she asks him to go away.
The Prince begins his interplanetary travels. He first visits asteroid 325, where he meets a king, who thinks he is an absolute monarch. Since he is really a very good man, the king only gives reasonable orders to his subjects, and no one seems to dislike him. Since the king is supposedly an absolute monarch, the Prince asks the king to command a sunset for him. When the monarch says he cannot bring forth a sunset, the Little Prince grows bored with the king's inability and decides to leave the planet. The king tries to talk the Prince into staying by offering him the post of Minister of Justice, but he is not interested in the position. As he leaves the asteroid, the Little Prince reflects on the king's strange behavior.
The meticulous Prince puts his planet in perfect order before departing. He cleans out the volcanoes and pulls out the last little shoots of the baobabs. When he goes to put a glass globe over the flower, to protect her, he realizes that he is close to tears at the thought of leaving her. The flower, sensing that she is the cause of his departure, apologizes to the Little Prince and says she loves him; he is surprised in her change in attitude, but he is still determined to leave. Although she seems less vain and begs him not to cover her with the globe, the flower still does not want the Prince to see her crying, so she sends him away.
The Prince's interplanetary travels begin; the goal of his visits is to gain more knowledge. His first stop is on an asteroid ruled by a king who claims he is an absolute monarch. There is light-hearted humor in the description of the king. Wanting to be strong, he demands to be obeyed; but because of his basic goodness and gentle nature, all of his orders are fair and reasonable, and the people have no problem following them. When the king cannot produce a sunset for the Prince, it is obvious that his so-called absolute monarchy is shallow and vain. The king becomes symbolic of a vain, demanding, and hypocritical adult, who tries to be powerful, but who really only rules over his own narrow domain.