The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by

Norton Juster

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Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord Character Analysis

Dr. Dischord (the A. in his name stands for “As Loud As Possible”) creates all terrible sounds in the world and sells them as medicine to cure people of a lack of sound, which is a fake illness. He lives and works in a caravan trailer parked outside of the Valley of Sound. He has huge ears and dresses in a lab coat and a stethoscope. He loves the rise of city living and the increase of noise in the cities, as it means that business has been great—according to him, people love city noises like screeches, honks, and gurgling drains. He’s partially responsible for the silence in the Valley of Sound, as he “cured” everyone in the valley as people turned more and more to loud city living and stopped appreciating beautiful sounds. He has an assistant, the DYNNE, whom he found as an orphan and brought up himself.

Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord Quotes in The Phantom Tollbooth

The The Phantom Tollbooth quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord or refer to Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bullseye Books edition of The Phantom Tollbooth published in 1988.
Chapter 12. The Silent Valley Quotes

“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.”

Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord Character Timeline in The Phantom Tollbooth

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Kakofonous A. Dischord appears in The Phantom Tollbooth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11. Dischord and Dynne
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
...Milo notice a carnival wagon on the side of the road. It’s red and “ KAKOFONOUS A. DISCHORD , DOCTOR OF DISSONANCE” is written on the side. Milo parks so he can ask... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...head. When Milo asks if the man is a doctor, the man introduces himself as Kakofonous A. Dischord , Doctor of Dissonance. The A stands for “as loud as possible.” As he speaks,... (full context)
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
Milo isn’t excited to try this medicine, so he asks what kind of a doctor Dr. Dischord is. Dr. Dischord says he’s a noise specialist, and he creates the sound of “a... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
...all refuse the medicine, and Tock insists that a lack of noise isn’t an illness. Dr. Dischord agrees, but he says that that’s exactly why it’s a hard illness to cure. He... (full context)
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
Since nobody will take the medicine, Dr. Dischord says he’ll give it to the DYNNE for lunch. He uncorks a bottle and a... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
Milo, confused, asks what a DYNNE is. Dr. Dischord says everyone’s heard of the DYNNE—whenever someone plays too loudly, others complain about “that awful... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
When Milo points out that according to King Azaz, words are the most valuable, Dr. Dischord points out that when people (or things) want something, they make noise to ask for... (full context)
Chapter 12. The Silent Valley
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
Milo, Tock, and the Humbug think the valley is lovely and have no idea what Dr. Dischord was so upset about. But just then, something imperceptible changes. Milo opens his mouth to... (full context)
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
The person continues and writes that then, Dr. Dischord and the DYNNE came to the valley, promising to cure everyone. He gave everyone medicine—and... (full context)
Chapter 13. Unfortunate Conclusions
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...bag; they’re not bad enough for him. The Soundkeeper is ecstatic and invites him and Dr. Dischord to come listen to music one night. Horrified, the DYNNE runs away. Tock tells the... (full context)
Chapter 19. The Return of Rhyme and Reason
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...trumpet sounds, and then horsemen race forward. King Azaz and the Mathemagician lead the way, Dr. Dischord , the DYNNE, and Chroma behind. Everyone Milo has met in the Lands Beyond joins... (full context)