• Main Protagonists
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Tock , a "watchdog", is one of the three central characters of The Phantom Tollbooth . He is always sniffing around to see that nobody wastes time. A wise and protective yet friendly biomechanical watchdog, he saves  Milo  in the Doldrums and accompanies him throughout his entire adventure, giving him answers to his questions and advice to fix his problems and keep him out of trouble throughout the story. He acts as a voice of reason.

Prior to his birth, Tock's mother and father had a puppy whom they named Tick, but when they first wound him up, he did not make a "ticking noise" as they anticipated. He went "tock" instead. Likewise, when the second puppy came into their world, the mother and father named him Tock, figuring that both of their children would make the same sound, but that backfired as well, because Tock went "tick" instead. So then, because their parents were unable to change their names, Tock and Tick are riddled with the burden of the wrong names forever.

He helped Milo get out by telling him "Since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking." He described how people think time works in the Lands Beyond: "Once there was no time at all, and people found it very inconvenient. They never knew whether they were eating lunch or dinner, and they were always missing trains. So time was invented to help them keep track of the day and get places where they should. […] [W]e were given the job of seeing that no one wasted time again." He then hopped in Milo's car, and accompanies Milo throughout his journey, acting as a voice of reason. As Milo and Tock drive through miles of the new land, the two start to create a quite good friendship.

  • 1 Appearance
  • 2 Personality
  • 3.2 The Humbug
  • 3.3 The Lethargians
  • 5 Gallery of Tock Pics

Appearance [ ]

Tock is a dog with brown, straight fur. In the novel, he is depicted with a clock embedded on the left side of his body. As for in the movie he has to open up his stomach to show where the clock lies. Cleverly, the clock rings when something bad happens and it  alarms him.

Personality [ ]

Always alert, kind, yet firm at the same time. He forms a strong bond with Milo.

Relationships [ ]

Since their first meeting, Milo and Tock had become friends with Tock being the voice of reason for Milo as well as be his mentor.

The Humbug [ ]

Though Tock gets somewhat annoyed by the Humbug's snootiness and antics, he and him are still friends.

The Lethargians [ ]

The Lethargians fear Tock who they call "The Terrible Watchdog" and are sent running when Tock barges into their swamp barking and chasing the Lethargians.

In the movie, while the Lethargians fear Tock, they show a more sinister side for when Tock tried to reason with Milo to get out of the Doldrums, he noticed the Lethargians' angry looks as they prepared to chase them and showed that while he watched the Lethargians, he also had a fear of them wanting to get him and Milo.

  • Tock is the only main character to have his background told.
  • In the movie, Tock's brother Tick is never mentioned.

Gallery of Tock Pics [ ]

Tock in the novel

  • 1 The Terrible Trivium
  • 2 The Humbug
  • 3 Lethargarians

The Phantom Tollbooth

By norton juster, the phantom tollbooth character list.

Milo is a young boy and the main character in the novel. At the beginning of the book, he is a morose child who is constantly bored despite owning many toys and books. He is not really interested in anything - in fact he is positively uninterested in everything and cannot see the point to most of the things he is required to study in school. He is never happy where he is and is always looking to be somewhere else. All of these qualities make him the perfect candidate to be changed for the better by the phantom tollbooth.

Despite having no real passions or interests, Milo is an intelligent child with a good head on his shoulders. This becomes evident as he travels through strange lands where he is required to think a great deal and is challenged by new words, strange concepts, and mathematical problems. He is also required to have an open, courageous, and strategic mind, which he manages to do. He is a likeable boy who remembers the manners he has been taught. At the end of the book, he is forever changed by his adventure and constantly in awe of all the amazing things around him and the fact that he has so much to do, read, and learn about.

Tock the Watchdog

Tock is a watchdog who makes a tick noise. His brother, Tick, makes a tock noise. This is the cause of tremendous trauma in his family. Tock is a true and loyal friend to Milo and accompanies him on the entire journey to rescue the princesses and bring them back to Dictionopolis. His main preoccupation is time; chiefly, respect for it and abhorrence of wasting it. He is very precise and very helpful whenever a logic problem or mathematical challenge presents itself. He has a great deal of courage and is always ready to support Milo.

The Humbug is Milo's other traveling companion. Despite all efforts to the contrary, he is also courageous and puts himself in considerable physical danger by offering himself as a ladder for the others to climb up out of the abyss. He has lamentable mathematical abilities and answers "seventeen" to every question, but believes himself to be a good problem solver and cannot understand how he has yet again managed to come up with the wrong answer.

Princesses Rhyme and Reason

The lovely Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason are stable, logical, and reasonable. They are the arbiters of calm in the kingdom; however their refusal to come down on anybody's side about whether words or numbers are more important results in their banishment. It is not until their rescue and return that harmony is restored again.

King Azaz the Unabridged

King Azaz rules Dictionolpolis and reveres words. He delights in their appearance, sound, usage, and collection. He gathers courtiers around him who are verbose and full of prose. He is the person who charges Milo with the task of rescuing the princesses and bringing them back to the kingdom so that there can be peace between the kingdoms of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.

The Mathemagician

The Mathemagician rules the kingdom of Digitopolis. He believes numbers are superior to words and loves everything about them. He challenges Milo to come up with the answer to many mathematical problems, including the identity of the biggest number in the world. He is rather unhappy about the divide between the kingdoms, but blames King Azaz and on principle disagrees with everything he says or believes.

Alec is a boy whom Milo meets on the outskirts of Dictionopolis and who like everyone in his family is born floating in the air and grows downward until his feet reaches the ground. He consequently looks at things from an adult perspective from a very early age. He is also adamant that everyone has their own point of view, which of course is much easier when one is floating above everyone else like Alec is.

Chroma the Great

Chroma conducts all of the colors in the world with an enormous symphony orchestra whose combined playing makes everything in the world the correct color. Although Milo thinks this might be easy, it transpires that it is exceedingly difficult and only Chroma knows how to conduct the symphony so that the perfect allocation of colors is achieved.

The Dodecahedron

The Dodecahedron is both introduction committee and guide for Milo when he reaches Digitopolis and also makes sure that nobody steals any numbers from the numbers mine. The Dodecahedron is a shape with twelve faces and he also wears a different expression on each face to save time and effort in altering them. He introduces Milo to the Mathemagician and is very good at explaining numerical concepts to the boy.

The Whether Man

The Whether Man is the first person whom Milo meets. He welcomes Milo to the Land of Expectations and encourages him to begin his journey.

The Lethargians

These grayish, homogeneous creatures live in the Doldrums and are excessively lazy and prone to procrastination. They inform Milo that one cannot laugh or think in the Doldrums.

The Spelling Bee

A massive bee who spells words throughout his utterances. He does not care for the Humbug and the two get in a rough-and-tumble fight.

Officer Shrift

A two-foot-tall police officer who is the only law enforcement in Dictionopolis. He is loud and rigid and blustering; he acts as judge and jailer as well, and arrests, sentences, and jails Milo and Tock.

Faintly Macabre

The which (not witch) whom Milo and Tock meet in jail, Faintly Macabre is the king's great-aunt. She was once in charge of all the words in Dictionopolis, but became miserly with the words and was thrown in jail. She tells them the story of Rhyme and Reason, thus helping them begin their quest.

Kakofonous A. Dischord

The Doctor of Dissonance, Dischord lives in a carnival wagon where he creates loud and wild sounds in his laboratory. He rescued DYNNE and made him his assistant. He delights in noise and wishes to cure the world of beautiful signs.

He is a smoky, amorphous creature who acts as assistant to Dischord. He is emotional and dramatic.

The Soundkeeper

She is an old woman who was guardian of all sounds past and present, but then ruled that silence must reign in the Valley because people were using sounds poorly and preferred terrible sounds. She gives Milo a tour of her fortress and explains how sounds are made and archived. When Milo releases all the sounds, she is initially upset, but learns to be more open to how sounds are used.

He is a man who lives on the Island of Conclusions and explains how he "can be" this or that - fat, thin, happy, sad, etc.

A friendly child who lives along the staircase to Infinity, he is the .58 of families' 2.58 average of children. This means he looks otherwise normal but only has .58 of a body. He tells Milo how valuable averages are.

Everpresent Wordsnatcher

A dirty and rude bird the travelers encounter on the journey in the Mountains of Ignorance, he constantly interrupts them. He tells them he was from a place called Context, but rarely goes there anymore. He is not a demon but rather a nuisance.

Terrible Trivium

He is an elegant but malicious man with a blank face whom Milo and friends meet in the Mountains of Ignorance. He gives them useless and petty tasks to waste their time and effort. He tries to beguile them into staying but the demon of insecurity leads them away.

The Demon of Insecurity

While he pretends to be a large, ugly creature, he is actually small and furry. He is very emotional and says he does not know what he does or who he is. He leads Milo and friends away from Terrible Trivium into a ditch.

The Gelatinous Giant

He is a formless creature who takes the shapes of things he is near - in this case, a mountain. He almost eats Milo and friends, but releases them when he hears that Milo has a box of ideas.

Senses Taker

He is a little man with thick eyeglasses who takes the information of travelers seeking to enter the Castle in the Air. He is fastidious and detailed. He helps people find what they are not looking for, hear what they are not listening for, and steals their senses of purpose and duty; he cannot take their sense of humor, though.

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The Phantom Tollbooth Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Phantom Tollbooth is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Chapters 9-10 before you. Read

Are you referring to chapter 9 or 10?

What decree does soundkeeper issue

Since people had stopped appreciating sound, the Soundkeeper issued a decree abolishing all sound in the valley. The people in the crowd tell Milo that the Valley of Sound has been silent ever since.

Study the word rigmarole. Why did the count pass the breadbasket when offering a rigmarole?

I think that in this context, a rigmarole is a kind of croissant passed in a breadbasket.

Study Guide for The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth study guide contains a biography of Norton Juster, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Phantom Tollbooth Summary
  • Character List

Lesson Plan for The Phantom Tollbooth

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • The Phantom Tollbooth Bibliography

Wikipedia Entries for The Phantom Tollbooth

  • Introduction
  • Influences and comparisons

the phantom tollbooth tock character traits

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More on The Phantom Tollbooth

Introduction see all, summary see all, themes see all.

  • Language and Communication
  • Philosophical Viewpoints
  • Freedom and Confinement
  • Cunning and Cleverness
  • Versions of Reality
  • Exploration

Characters See All

Rhyme and reason, the mathemagician, the soundkeeper, faintly macabre, the dodecahedron, king azaz's cabinet, the 0.58 boy, officer shrift, the lethargarians, chroma the great, dr. dischord and the dynne, the spelling bee, minor characters, analysis see all.

  • What's Up With the Title?
  • What's Up With the Ending?
  • Tough-o-Meter
  • Writing Style
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Doldrums
  • The Castle in the Air
  • The Tollbooth
  • Narrator Point of View
  • Plot Analysis

Quotes See All

  • For Teachers

At the start of The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo is just a boy, a bored boy who's not satisfied by...

As much as we might love the Humbug, he definitely loves himself more. Sure, he's a...

Tock is a watchdog. Literally. He has a huge clock in his belly. We could just quit there, and...

If you're already thinking that you'll name your next pair of pets Rhyme and Reason, we already...

King Azaz is more like a stereotypical ruler than his brother the Mathemagician. He takes the...

The Mathemagician sure is an interesting ruler. For one thing, he doesn't take the title of...

Remember Alec? He's not a main character, but he's definitely important to the story. So if...

Like the other rulers in Wisdom, the Soundkeeper has lost sight of what her people really need....

Faintly Macabre is treated like a witch, punished by a jail term, and feared by the population....

Usually when we describe someone as two-faced, we're judging that person for being hypocritical...

Milo and Tock are properly introduced to Dictionopolis by the king's cabinet members: the Duke of...

Ready for a mouthful? The Everpresent Wordsnatcher, the Terrible Trivium, the Demon of...

This character doesn't even have a name. He's the boy who's only 0.58 there, and he comes from...

More than anything else, Officer Shrift seems to exist to make fun of the justice system and the...

The Lethargarians live in the Doldrums, and they appear as a warning to Milo about what can...

Chroma is the conductor of the color orchestra. Unlike many of the other powerful figures in the...

Dr. Dischord and the DYNNE are quite the dynamic duo. Here's the low down on these guys: they...

The Bee is one of the first characters to tell Milo about the importance of education. Since this...

The Whether Man, the Ordinary Man, and Canby are three interesting individuals Milo meets during...

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The Phantom Tollbooth Character Map

In this activity, activity overview, template and class instructions, more storyboard that activities.

  • This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

The Phantom Tollbooth - Character Map

In this activity, students can display the characters of the story, paying close attention to the physical characteristics and the character traits of major and minor characters. Students should also provide detailed information regarding the character’s actions, and how they influence the plot. Students could identify how specific events caused the character to change, and the significance of the characters to the plot.

The Phantom Tollbooth Characters included in this character map:

  • Milo The young protagonist
  • Tock A "watchdog"
  • Humbug A boastful individual who looks a bit like a beetle
  • Rhyme & Reason Two sisters imprisoned in the Castle in the Air
  • Faintly Macabre A "which"
  • King Azaz Ruler of Dictionopolis
  • Mathemagician Brother of Azaz, and ruler of Digitopolis
  • Alec Bings A boy who sees through things and grows down rather than up

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  • Identify the major characters in The Phantom Tollbooth and type their names into the different title boxes.
  • Choose a Storyboard That character to represent each of the literary characters.
  • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  • Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  • Fill in the text boxes for Physical Traits, Character's Actions, Change After Dictionopolis, and Important Quote.

Template: Character Map

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Character Map

  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric .)

How To Analyze the Interaction of the Characters with the Settings in “The Phantom Tollbooth”

Identify the characters, discuss the settings, examine behaviors, analyze character development, reflect and conclude, frequently asked questions about the characters in “the phantom tollbooth”, who is the key character in the narrative, what kind of personality does milo have at the start of the story and how does it develop as the story progresses, who are some other important characters in the story, phantom tollbooth, the.

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The Phantom Tollbooth

61 pages • 2 hours read

Norton Juster

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

  • Introduction-Chapter 2
  • Chapters 3-8
  • Chapters 9-13
  • Chapters 14-15
  • Chapters 16-20

Character Analysis

  • Symbols & Motifs
  • Important Quotes
  • Essay Topics
  • Discussion Questions

Milo, the central protagonist , is a boy bored with life until a mysterious package containing a magical tollbooth thrusts him into a strange land, where he learns to appreciate the wonders around him and the advantages of thinking, learning, and wisdom. Milo’s adventures in the Lands Beyond inspire in him an ability to escape boredom by taking an interest first in the oddities of the realm he visits and then in the interesting world of everyday things. For the first time, he also finds an inspiring purpose—to rescue Rhyme and Reason and return them to the Kingdom of Wisdom . These experiences teach him that he can enjoy the wonders of life simply by determining to do so, keeping an open mind, and not falling prey to the common pitfalls of human thought.

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the phantom tollbooth tock character traits

The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton juster, everything you need for every book you read., milo quotes in the phantom tollbooth.

Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon

He looked glumly at all the things he owned. The books that were too much trouble to read, the tools he’d never learn to use, the small electric automobile he hadn’t driven in months—or was it years?—and the hundreds of other games and toys, and bats and balls, and bits and pieces scattered around him.

Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon

“That’s a ridiculous law,” said Milo, quite indignantly. “Everybody thinks.”

“We don’t,” shouted the Lethargians at once.

“And most of the time you don’t,” said a yellow one sitting in a daffodil. “That’s why you’re here. You weren’t thinking, and you weren’t paying attention either. People who don’t pay attention often get stuck in the Doldrums.” And with that he toppled out of the flower and fell snoring into the grass.

Milo couldn’t help laughing at the little creature’s strange behavior, even though he knew it might be rude.

“Stop that at once,” ordered the plaid one clinging to his stocking. “Laughing is against the law.”

Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon

“When they began to count all the time that was available, (…) it seemed as if there was much more than could ever be used. ‘If there’s so much of it, it couldn’t be very valuable,’ was the general opinion, and it soon fell into disrepute. People wasted it and even gave it away. Then we were given the job of seeing that no one wasted time again,” he said, sitting up proudly. “It’s hard work but a noble calling. For you see”—and now he was standing on the seat, one foot on the windshield, shouting with his arms outstretched—“it is our most valuable possession, more precious than diamonds. It marches on, and tide wait for no man, and—”

Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon

“Our job,” said the count, “is to see that all the words sold are proper ones, for it wouldn’t do to sell someone a word that had no meaning or didn’t exist at all. For instance, if you bought a word like ghlbtsk , where would you use it?”

“It would be difficult,” thought Milo—but there were so many words that were difficult, and he knew hardly any of them.

“But we never choose which ones to use,” explained the earl as they walked toward the market stalls, “for as long as they mean what they mean to mean we don’t care if they make sense or nonsense.”

“Innocence or magnificence,” added the count.

Milo had never thought much about words before, but these looked so good that he longed to have some.

“Look, Tock,” he cried, “aren’t they wonderful?”

“They’re fine, if you have something to say,” replied Tock in a tired voice, for he was much more interested in finding a bone than in shopping for new words.

“That was all many years ago,” she continued; “but they never appointed a new Which, and that explains why today people use as many words as they can and think themselves very wise for doing so. For always remember that while it is wrong to use too few, it is often far worse to use too many.”

“‘Words and numbers are of equal value for, in the cloak of knowledge, one is warp and the other woof. It is no more important to count the sands than it is to name the stars. Therefore, let both kingdoms live in peace.’”

“Everyone was pleased with the verdict. Everyone, that is, but the brothers, who were beside themselves with anger.

“‘What good are these girls if they cannot settle an argument in someone’s favor?’ they growled, since both were more interested in their own advantage than in the truth.”

“In this box are all the words I know,” he said. “Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is use them well and in the right places.”

“Oh no,” said Milo seriously. “In my family we all start on the ground and grow up, and we never know how far until we actually get there.”

“What a silly system.” The boy laughed. “Then your head keeps changing its height and you always see things in a different way? Why, when you’re fifteen things won’t look at all the way they did when you were ten, and at twenty everything will change again.”

“I suppose so,” said Milo, for he had never really thought about the matter.

“No one paid any attention to how things looked, and as they moved faster and faster everything grew uglier and dirtier, and as everything grew uglier and dirtier they moved faster and faster, and at last a very strange thing began to happen. Because nobody cared, the city slowly began to disappear. Day by day the buildings grew fainter and fainter, and the streets faded away, until at last it was entirely invisible. There was nothing to see at all.”

“You see what a dull place the world would be without color?” he said, bowing until his chin almost touched the ground. “But what a pleasure to lead my violins in a serenade of spring green or hear my trumpets blare out the blue sea and then watch the oboes tint it all in warm yellow sunshine. And rainbows are best of all—and blazing neon signs, and taxicabs with stripes, and the soft, muted tones of a foggy day. We play them all.”

“Carry this with you on your journey,” he said softly, “for there is much worth noticing that often escapes the eye. Through it you can see everything from the tender moss in a sidewalk crack to the glow of the farthest star—and, most important of all, you can see things as they really are, not just as they seem to be. It’s my gift to you.”

“Slowly at first, and then in a rush, more people came to settle here and brought with them new ways and new sounds, some very beautiful and some less so. But everyone was so busy with the things that had to be done that they scarcely had time to listen at all. And, as you know, a sound which is not heard disappears forever and is not to be found again.

“People laughed less and grumbled more, sang less and shouted more, and the sounds they made grew louder and uglier. It became difficult to hear even the birds or the breeze, and soon everyone stopped listening for them.”

“It doesn’t make me happy to hold back the sounds,” she began softly, “for if we listen to them carefully they can sometimes tell us things far better than words.”

“But if that is so,” asked Milo—and he had no doubt that it was—“shouldn’t you release them?”

“NEVER!” she cried. “They just use them to make horrible noises which are ugly to see and worse to hear. I leave all that to Dr. Dischord and that awful, awful DYNNE.”

“But some noises are good sounds, aren’t they?” he insisted.

“That may be true,” she replied stubbornly, “but if they won’t make the sounds that I like, they won’t make any.”

“But it’s all my fault. For you can’t improve sound by having only silence. The problem is to use each at the proper time.”

“What a shame,” sighed the Dodecahedron. “[Problems are] so very useful. Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?”

“Where would you find a beaver that big?” grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped.

“I’m sure I don’t know,” he replied, “but if you did, you’d certainly know what to do with him.”

“That’s absurd,” objected Milo (…)

“That may be true,” he acknowledged, “but it’s completely accurate, and as long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong? If you want sense, you’ll have to make it yourself.”

“How did you do that?” gasped Milo.

“There’s nothing to it,” they all said in chorus, “if you have a magic staff.” Then six of them canceled themselves out and simply disappeared.

“But it’s only a big pencil,” the Humbug objected, tapping at it with his cane.

“True enough,” agreed the Mathemagician; “but once you learn to use it, there’s no end to what you can do.”

“But that can never be,” said Milo, jumping to his feet.

“Don’t be too sure,” said the child patiently, “for one of the nicest things about mathematics, or anything else you might care to learn, is that many of the things which can never be, often are. You see,” he went on, “it’s very much like your trying to reach Infinity. You know that it’s there, but you just don’t know where—but just because you can never reach it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth looking for.”

“I hope you found what you were looking for.”

“I’m afraid not,” admitted Milo. And then he added in a very discouraged tone, “Everything in Digitopolis is much too difficult for me.”

The Mathemagician nodded knowingly and stroked his chin several times. “You’ll find,” he remarked gently, “that the only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort.”

“But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.

“Think of all the trouble it saves,” the man explained, and his face looked as if he’d be grinning an evil grin—if he could grin at all. “If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you should really be doing, and if it weren’t for that dreadful magic staff, you’d never know how much time you were wasting.”

“I’m the demon of insincerity,” he sobbed. I don’t mean what I say, I don’t mean what I do, and I don’t mean what I am. Most people who believe what I tell them go the wrong way, and stay there, but you and your awful telescope have spoiled everything. I’m going home.” And, crying hysterically, he stamped off in a huff.

“It certainly pays to have a good look at things,” observed Milo as he wrapped up the telescope with great care.

“but we would have been here much sooner if I hadn’t made so many mistakes. I’m afraid it’s all my fault.”

“You must never feel badly about making mistakes,” explained Reason quietly, “as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.”

“And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.”

“And remember also,” added the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, “that many places you would like to see and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you’ll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”

“I think I understand,” Milo said, still full of questions and thoughts; “but which is the most important—”

“But what about the Castle in the Air?” the bug objected, not very pleased with the arrangement.

“Let it drift away,” said Rhyme.

“And good riddance,” added Reason, for no matter how beautiful it seems, it’s still nothing but a prison.”

“That’s why, said Azaz, “there was one very important thing about your quest that we couldn’t discuss until you returned.”

“I remember,” said Milo eagerly. “Tell me now.”

“It was impossible,” said the king, looking at the Mathemagician.

“Completely impossible,” said the Mathemagician, looking at the king.

“Do you mean—” stammered the bug, who suddenly felt a bit faint.

“Yes, indeed,” they repeated together; “but if we’d told you then, you might not have gone—and, as you’ve discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”

And, in the very room in which he sat, there were books that could take you anywhere, and things to invent, and make, and build, and break, and all the puzzle and excitement of everything he didn’t know—music to play, songs to sing, and worlds to imagine and then someday make real. His thoughts darted eagerly about as everything looked new—and worth trying.

“Well, I would like to make another trip,” he said, jumping to his feet; “but I really don’t know when I’ll have the time. There’s just so much to do right here.”

The Phantom Tollbooth PDF

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COMMENTS

  1. Tock Character Analysis in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Study Guide Summary Themes Characters Tock Milo's closest friend in the Lands Beyond, Tock, is a watchdog—a canine with a clock for a body. He spends most of his time patrolling the Doldrums, since so much time is wasted there, and decides to accompany Milo on his quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason.

  2. Tock Character Analysis in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Tock is a watchdog, which means he's a massive dog whose body is a ticking alarm clock. Despite displaying a gruff demeanor at first, Tock is actually a normal dog in a lot of ways—he loves car rides and interesting smells, and he's very loyal and dedicated to Milo once they get to know each other.

  3. The Phantom Tollbooth Character Analysis

    Milo Milo The protagonist of the novel, Milo is a little boy who, when readers first meet him, is chronically bored. He doesn't see the point in doing anything, whether that's learning in school or playing with… read analysis of Milo Tock Tock is the first real friend that Milo meets in the Lands Beyond.

  4. Tock

    1 Appearance 2 Personality 3 Relationships 3.1 Milo 3.2 The Humbug 3.3 The Lethargians 4 Trivia 5 Gallery of Tock Pics Appearance Tock is a dog with brown, straight fur. In the novel, he is depicted with a clock embedded on the left side of his body. As for in the movie he has to open up his stomach to show where the clock lies.

  5. Tock in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Tock is committed because, as a watchdog, he is passionate about what he does to help people keep track of time, and he is emotional as he feels strongly about the naming of himself and his...

  6. Tock in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Tock is one of the first characters who teaches us a little moral lesson. He does this by describing to Milo how people think time works in the Lands Beyond: "once there was no time at all, and people found it very inconvenient. They never knew whether they were eating lunch or dinner, and they were always missing trains.

  7. SparkNotes

    In The Phantom Tollbooth, a classic children's novel by Norton Juster, Milo embarks on a fantastical adventure to the Lands Beyond, where he meets many quirky characters, including Tock, a watchdog who helps him on his quest. Learn more about Tock and other characters in this detailed analysis from SparkNotes.

  8. The Phantom Tollbooth Characters

    by Norton Juster Buy Study Guide The Phantom Tollbooth Character List Milo Milo is a young boy and the main character in the novel. At the beginning of the book, he is a morose child who is constantly bored despite owning many toys and books.

  9. The Phantom Tollbooth Character Analysis

    Milo Milo is perpetually bored and a poor student until he drives his toy car through the phantom tollbooth, which he builds from a kit that was sent to him anonymously. Through his adventures across the strange lands on the other side of the tollbooth, he learns to see and appreciate the things around him.

  10. The Phantom Tollbooth Characters

    Milo At the start of The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo is just a boy, a bored boy who's not satisfied by... The Humbug As much as we might love the Humbug, he definitely loves himself more. Sure, he's a... Tock Tock is a watchdog. Literally. He has a huge clock in his belly. We could just quit there, and... Rhyme and Reason

  11. The Phantom Tollbooth Characters

    The main character of The Phantom Tollbooth is Milo. As the story begins, he is not interested in anything at all, and consequently, he is not very interesting himself. King Azaz, for...

  12. The Phantom Tollbooth Characters: Who's Who

    A "watchdog" Humbug A boastful individual who looks a bit like a beetle Rhyme & Reason Two sisters imprisoned in the Castle in the Air Faintly Macabre A "which" King Azaz Ruler of Dictionopolis Mathemagician Brother of Azaz, and ruler of Digitopolis Alec Bings A boy who sees through things and grows down rather than up Copy Activity*

  13. The Phantom Tollbooth Study Guide

    Full Title: The Phantom Tollbooth. When Written: 1960. Where Written: New York. When Published: 1961. Literary Period: 20th century children's literature boom. Genre: Children's Novel, Nonsense Literature. Setting: Milo's bedroom and the Lands Beyond. Climax: Milo, Tock, and the Humbug rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason.

  14. The Phantom Tollbooth Character Analysis

    Milo, the central protagonist, is a boy bored with life until a mysterious package containing a magical tollbooth thrusts him into a strange land, where he learns to appreciate the wonders around him and the advantages of thinking, learning, and wisdom.

  15. The Phantom Tollbooth Chapter 11. Dischord and Dynne ...

    Characters All CharactersMilo Tock

  16. Literature IND

    The mysterious delivery of the Phantom Tollbooth is especially suited to shake Milo out of his thoughtless and disinterested rut. Indeed, it is addressed to Milo "who has plenty of time." Despite his glum outlook and lack of interest in anything, Milo is an appealing character in whom a reader can usually identify some of his own bad traits and ...

  17. Phantom Tollbooth Character Traits Flashcards

    Milo. bored, dull, pessimistic. -thinks everything is a waste of time, yet curious about the tollbooth. The Whether Man. effusive; repetitive; talks fast; seems a little crazy. -his job: to get people where they need to be whether they want it or not (move them beyond Expectations) Lethargarians. sleepy, lazy, very small, blend into their ...

  18. The Humbug Character Analysis in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Norton Juster Study Guide Summary Summary & Analysis Themes Symbols The Humbug The Humbug completes the trio of travelers, having been sent along as a guide by King Azaz. Resembling an enormous beetle, the Humbug has just about that much personality.

  19. The Humbug Character Analysis in The Phantom Tollbooth

    He's a giant beetle-like bug dressed smartly in a coat, hat, pants, and spats. He also carries a cane. Despite his distinguished appearance and occasionally flowery language, though, the Humbug is self-involved, and his only goal in life is to be right—he's at home on either side of an argument until, of course, an obvious correct position appears.

  20. Milo Character Analysis in The Phantom Tollbooth

    Intro Plot Summary & Analysis Themes Quotes Characters Symbols Theme Viz Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Phantom Tollbooth makes teaching easy. Everything you need for every book you read. "Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."

  21. The Phantom Tollbooth: Key Facts

    Themes The value of education; appreciating the things of everyday life; learning to use common sense; escaping boredom Motifs Puns; gift giving. Symbols Rhyme and Reason, Milo's gifts, Tock Foreshadowing When he gives Milo his mission, Azaz tells him that there is a serious problem with the quest.