The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by

Norton Juster

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Milo Character Analysis

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 his many toys at home. His only goal is to get wherever he’s going as fast as possible, without noticing anything of the world around him. Things start to change for Milo when he gets home one day and finds a mysterious package in his room. It’s a kit to erect a purple tollbooth that will lead him to the Lands Beyond. In his toy electric car, Milo passes through the tollbooth into the Lands Beyond. During his journey through these lands, Milo transforms. At first, Milo finds the Lands Beyond nonsensical and confusing, as he’s never had to think much before. As he meets the watchdog Tock, Milo starts to see that his time is valuable—it’s horrible to waste it. He becomes interested in words, spelling, and math for the first time as King Azaz in Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician in Digitopolis show him how fun and useful it can be to use language, numbers, and logic to express himself and communicate with others. In the Forest of Sight, Milo learns how useful it can be to see things from different perspectives and not take everything at face value. As he internalizes these lessons, Milo gains the tools he needs to best the demons in the Mountains of Ignorance and rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason, thereby restoring figurative rhyme and reason to the kingdom of Wisdom. When he accomplishes his task, Milo returns home to discover that he’s only been gone an hour, even though it feels like he’s been gone for weeks. He’s excited to go back through the tollbooth the next day to spend more time with his friends. But when he gets home from school and discovers that the tollbooth is gone, Milo realizes that his experiences in the Lands Beyond have taught him how to amuse himself and find joy in his real world—he no longer needs the Lands Beyond to entertain himself.

Milo Quotes in The Phantom Tollbooth

The The Phantom Tollbooth quotes below are all either spoken by Milo or refer to Milo. 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 1. Milo Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Milo
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2. Beyond Expectations Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), The Lethargians (speaker)
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3. Welcome to Dictionopolis Quotes

“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—”

Related Characters: Tock (speaker), Milo, King Azaz the Unabridged, The Mathemagician
Related Symbols: Time/Tock’s Alarm Clock
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

“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.

Related Characters: The Count of Connotation (speaker), Milo (speaker), The Earl of Essence (speaker)
Page Number: 42-43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4. Confusion in the Market Place Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), Tock (speaker), Faintly Macabre
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5. Short Shrift Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Faintly Macabre (speaker), Milo, Tock, King Azaz the Unabridged
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6. Faintly Macabre’s Story Quotes

“‘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.”

Related Characters: Faintly Macabre (speaker), Princess of Pure Reason (speaker), Princess of Sweet Rhyme (speaker), King Azaz the Unabridged (speaker), The Mathemagician (speaker), Milo, Tock
Related Symbols: The Castle in the Air
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8. The Humbug Volunteers Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: King Azaz the Unabridged (speaker), Milo, Tock, The Humbug
Related Symbols: Gifts
Page Number: 98-99
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9. It’s All in How You Look at Things Quotes

“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.

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), Alec Bings (speaker)
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10. A Colorful Symphony Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Alec Bings (speaker), Milo, Tock, The Humbug
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

“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.”

Related Characters: Chroma (speaker), Milo, Tock, The Humbug, Alec Bings
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11. Dischord and Dynne Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Alec Bings (speaker), Milo
Related Symbols: Gifts, The Tollbooth
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12. The Silent Valley Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Milo, Tock, The Humbug, The Soundkeeper
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

“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:
Chapter 13. Unfortunate Conclusions Quotes

“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.”

Related Symbols: The Castle in the Air
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14. The Dodecahedron Leads the Way Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: The Dodecahedron (speaker), The Humbug (speaker), Milo (speaker), Tock
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15. This Way to Infinity Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), The Mathemagician (speaker), The Humbug (speaker), Tock, King Azaz the Unabridged
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16. A Very Dirty Bird Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), The Child (speaker)
Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:

“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.”

Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17. Unwelcoming Committee Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Milo (speaker), Terrible Trivium (speaker), Tock, The Humbug, The Mathemagician
Related Symbols: Gifts, Time/Tock’s Alarm Clock
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

“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.

Related Symbols: Gifts
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18. Castle in the Air Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Princess of Pure Reason (speaker), Milo (speaker), Princess of Sweet Rhyme
Related Symbols: The Castle in the Air
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

“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—”

Related Symbols: The Castle in the Air
Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:

“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.”

Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19. The Return of Rhyme and Reason Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: King Azaz the Unabridged (speaker), The Mathemagician (speaker), The Humbug (speaker), Milo (speaker), Princess of Sweet Rhyme, Princess of Pure Reason
Related Symbols: The Castle in the Air
Page Number: 247
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20. Good-by and Hello Quotes

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.”

Related Characters: Milo (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Tollbooth
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Phantom Tollbooth LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Phantom Tollbooth PDF

Milo Character Timeline in The Phantom Tollbooth

The timeline below shows where the character Milo appears in The Phantom Tollbooth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1. Milo
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
Milo is a little boy who never knows what to do with himself. If he’s in... (full context)
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Milo hurries through town, not even noticing the buildings and shops around him. Once at his... (full context)
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But, as Milo looks around, he notices something he’s never seen before. It’s a huge package and a... (full context)
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Milo continues to read. The package supposedly contains a tollbooth, directions to put it together, three... (full context)
Chapter 2. Beyond Expectations
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All of a sudden, Milo is driving along a strange country highway. He can’t see his room or the tollbooth—this... (full context)
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...speaks quickly and repeats everything he says multiple times. In this manner, the man welcomes Milo to Expectations and introduces himself as the Whether Man. Shocked by the greeting, Milo asks... (full context)
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Extremely confused, Milo says he thought the man was the Weather Man—but the man says he’s the Whether... (full context)
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Though Milo doesn’t know where he’s going, he tells the Whether Man he can find his own... (full context)
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Milo drives away into a green valley. As he drives, Milo tells himself that the Whether... (full context)
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Milo realizes the voice came from a tiny creature sitting on his shoulder. It blends in... (full context)
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When the Lethargian falls asleep and falls off the flower he’s sitting on, Milo laughs. Another Lethargian tells him laughing is also against the rules in the Doldrums. Then,... (full context)
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Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
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Yawning, Milo asks if everyone really does nothing. A Lethargian says that everyone except the watchdog does... (full context)
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The dog says Milo has to help himself; Milo must know why he got stuck here. Milo says he... (full context)
Chapter 3. Welcome to Dictionopolis
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The dog apologizes for his “gruff conduct” and introduces himself as Tock. Milo assures Tock it’s fine and asks why he’s called Tock, since he goes “tickticktick.” Tock... (full context)
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To stop Tock from sobbing, Milo asks how he became a watchdog. Tock says it’s tradition in his family. There used... (full context)
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After a while, Milo and Tock catch sight of Dictionopolis’s flags. At the gate, the gateman asks Milo if... (full context)
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Immediately upon entering, Milo wonders what the market will be like. He doesn’t have to wonder long, though, because... (full context)
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...Dictionopolis is the source for all the world’s words. The words grow in their orchards. Milo admits he didn’t know words grew on trees. The undersecretary and count say that since... (full context)
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Milo says little, as lots of words are difficult for him and he doesn’t know many... (full context)
Chapter 4. Confusion in the Market Place
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Milo looks around at the confusing marketplace. Vendors shout for people to get their “fresh-picked ifs,... (full context)
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Milo and Tock continue to study the words. At the end of the last aisle, they... (full context)
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Just then, an unfamiliar voice offers to help. Milo turns and sees that the voice is coming from an enormous bee. The bee introduces... (full context)
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This earns Milo’s admiration. The Spelling Bee explains that he used to be an ordinary bee, but then... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
...The Spelling Bee tells the Humbug to go away so he can continue to teach Milo about spelling, but the Humbug cautions Milo to not worry about spelling: caring about spelling... (full context)
Chapter 5. Short Shrift
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...mayhem. He says the Humbug looks suspicious. As the Humbug defends himself, he points to Milo. (full context)
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...the cause of everything.” Officer Shrift won’t let the Humbug elaborate and turns to interrogate Milo. He wants to know where Milo was on July 27. It’s Officer Shrift’s birthday, and... (full context)
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When Milo points out that only jailers can put people in prison, Officer Shrift again changes his... (full context)
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Milo and Tock decide this is very serious. They also realize there’s nothing to do, but... (full context)
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Confused, Milo asks what a Which is. Faintly Macabre explains that she’s the king’s great-aunt. She used... (full context)
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...think she’s a witch—but they’re just as frightened of witches as they are of Whiches. Milo insists she’s not frightening. To this, the Which says that Milo can call her Aunt... (full context)
Chapter 6. Faintly Macabre’s Story
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Milo suggests they rescue the princesses, but Faintly Macabre explains that the Castle in the Air... (full context)
Chapter 7. The Royal Banquet
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At the palace, the king’s advisors lead Milo and Tock up a marble stairway to a palace that looks suspiciously like a giant... (full context)
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With Milo, Tock, and the advisors in attendance, it’s time for the banquet. The Humbug says Milo,... (full context)
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Milo offers that he can count to a thousand, but at this, King Azaz tells him... (full context)
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Nobody likes the squares, so King Azaz says it’s time for speeches. He tells Milo to go first. Timidly, Milo starts a speech, but the king cuts him off. The... (full context)
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The duke offers Milo somersault (which improves the flavor). Passing the breadbasket, the minister and duke suggest he have... (full context)
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...says the half-baked ideas are tasty, but not always agreeable. He hands a cake to Milo that’s been iced with the words “THE EARTH IS FLAT.” The Spelling Bee muses that... (full context)
Chapter 8. The Humbug Volunteers
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
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...lick their spoons, the Humbug remarks that the meal was elegant. Then, he suddenly asks Milo to find him water for his indigestion. Milo suggests he ate too much too fast.... (full context)
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Milo wants to know how they can possibly eat dinner after a banquet. King Azaz shouts... (full context)
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Milo, though, suggests that King Azaz let Rhyme and Reason return. King Azaz says that would... (full context)
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King Azaz says he had no idea it’d be so easy, but Milo says it sounds dangerous. The king says there’s one more problem—but he can only tell... (full context)
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King Azaz walks Milo to his car and says that the Humbug will accompany Milo and Tock. The Humbug... (full context)
Chapter 9. It’s All in How You Look at Things
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
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...sign announcing that this is the scenic route; the “point of view” is straight ahead. Milo can’t see anything but trees, but eventually, the trees end, and he can see over... (full context)
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Milo asks the boy how he’s standing so high. In return, the boy asks how old... (full context)
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...are still lots of other ways to look at things. As an example, he tells Milo exactly what Milo had for breakfast. He tells Tock that Tock is worried about people... (full context)
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Milo asks if he could possibly see something from up high. Alec says he can—if Milo... (full context)
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Milo asks if everyone here grows down like Alec. Alec says that occasionally, someone’s feet start... (full context)
Chapter 10. A Colorful Symphony
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As Milo, Tock, and the Humbug follow Alec through the forest, the light becomes increasingly beautiful. Alec... (full context)
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Milo knocks on a door labeled “THE GIANT,” but a normal-sized man opens the door and... (full context)
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The man draws Milo close and tells him not to ruin it. To tall men he’s a midget, to... (full context)
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Milo and Tock return to Alec, who leads them to a big clearing. He explains that... (full context)
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Alec tells Milo that they’re right in the middle of Reality’s Main Street. Tock and the Humbug see... (full context)
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...explains that many actually live in Illusions—but that, in a way, is just as bad. Milo suggests that someday, they’ll have a city that’s easy to see, like Illusions, and hard... (full context)
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...forest. The conductor is on a high podium in front, conducting with full body movements. Milo notes that he doesn’t hear anything, but Alec says that’s the point—this is a concert... (full context)
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...the sun sets, leaving the bass fiddles playing the night and bells playing the constellations, Milo says the concert was beautiful. Chroma says he’s been practicing a long time as he... (full context)
Chapter 11. Dischord and Dynne
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At 5:22, Milo opens his eyes. Everything is still dark, and Milo knows he must wake Chroma for... (full context)
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...start to happen. The sky turns magenta, green snow falls, and the trees become orange. Milo tries to conduct the musicians to fix the odd colors, but everything keeps getting worse.... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug drive through the countryside until they reach a deep valley. At... (full context)
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The voice says that Milo, Tock, and the Humbug all look unwell. Milo notices that the voice is coming from... (full context)
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Milo isn’t excited to try this medicine, so he asks what kind of a doctor Dr.... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug all refuse the medicine, and Tock insists that a lack of... (full context)
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Milo, confused, asks what a DYNNE is. Dr. Dischord says everyone’s heard of the DYNNE—whenever someone... (full context)
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When Milo points out that according to King Azaz, words are the most valuable, Dr. Dischord points... (full context)
Chapter 12. The Silent Valley
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug think the valley is lovely and have no idea what Dr.... (full context)
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As the protestors reach the car, several people hold up placards welcoming Milo to the Valley of Sound and begging him to help them. Milo, of course, can’t... (full context)
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...and then she banished all sounds. It’s been this way ever since. The people need Milo’s help to attack the fortress and free sound. Milo’s task is to visit the Soundkeeper... (full context)
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Minutes later, Milo knocks on the fortress door by slipping a note reading “Knock, knock” under the door.... (full context)
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Milo politely asks how the Soundkeeper is doing. She says she’s not doing well, but she... (full context)
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At first, the Soundkeeper says yes—but then she says it’s against the rules. Milo follows the Soundkeeper to the workshops, where people used to invent all sounds. She demonstrates... (full context)
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...for herself. If people listen to the sounds carefully, they can tell someone a lot. Milo asks if she should just release them, but the Soundkeeper says she can’t—people just use... (full context)
Chapter 13. Unfortunate Conclusions
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Milo hurries back to the car, his mouth shut tight. He writes on the protestors’ chalkboard... (full context)
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Milo apologizes to the Soundkeeper and Tock says they had to do it. The Soundkeeper says... (full context)
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Milo announces that he’s going to rescue the princesses, so the Soundkeeper gives him a small... (full context)
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From the shore, the island was beautiful. Now it looks dead and awful. Milo asks the first man he sees where they are, but in return, the man asks... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug all make the difficult, cold swim. The Humbug emerges on the... (full context)
Chapter 14. The Dodecahedron Leads the Way
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...Digitopolis is in various units of measurement. The Humbug suggests they travel by miles, while Milo suggests it’d be shorter to go by half inches. Tock doesn’t care what units they... (full context)
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...with 12 faces. He shows off his 12 faces; each has a different expression. When Milo introduces himself, the Dodecahedron frowns—Milo only has one face, and his name is odd. The... (full context)
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Milo asks the Dodecahedron which road they should take. In response, the Dodecahedron gives a math... (full context)
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...and he says the cars will arrive at the same place at the same time. Milo asks if the roads are all the right way then, but the Dodecahedron says they’re... (full context)
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Milo squints and sees that they’re in a big cavern. Men his size are digging and... (full context)
Chapter 15. This Way to Infinity
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Eight miners rush in with a huge, bubbling cauldron. It smells delicious. The Mathemagician offers Milo, Tock, and the Humbug something to eat. They all quickly finish their bowls. The Mathemagician... (full context)
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The Dodecahedron walks Milo through how this works with a math exercise and then assures the ravenous Humbug that... (full context)
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Milo gasps, but the Mathemagician says it’s easy with “a magic staff.” The Humbug snaps that... (full context)
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Tock comes to Milo’s rescue and says Milo would actually like to see “the number of greatest possible magnitude.”... (full context)
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The Mathemagician leads Milo to a window, where a line stretches to the ground and keeps going forever. If... (full context)
Chapter 16. A Very Dirty Bird
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At first, Milo climbs the stairs quickly. But he slows down and, finally, he sits—he realizes these stairs... (full context)
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Milo insists that averages are just imaginary, but the child disagrees. He points out that if... (full context)
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When Milo reenters the workshop, he laments that everything in Digitopolis is too hard for him. The... (full context)
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...has already agreed to this, the Mathemagician refuses—he’ll never agree with his brother on anything. Milo thinks carefully and, using logic, is able to show the Mathemagician that he and Azaz... (full context)
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The Mathemagician transports Milo, Tock, and the Humbug to the edge of Digitopolis. Ahead is a narrow path leading... (full context)
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As Milo climbs the difficult path, the light fades. It’s not dark like the night, it’s “more... (full context)
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Milo asks the Everpresent Wordsnatcher if everyone in Ignorance is like him. The bird says folks... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug continue to climb until they come across an elegant gentleman leaning... (full context)
Chapter 17. Unwelcoming Committee
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After hours and hours, neither Tock, Milo, nor the Humbug have made much progress. Milo finds this strange—especially since he’s not hungry... (full context)
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Milo gasps, and the man finally introduces himself: he’s the Terrible Trivium, the demon of worthless... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug are transfixed—until someone shouts for them to run. They all run,... (full context)
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Tock and the Humbug are scared, but Milo now knows that people aren’t always what they say they are. With his telescope, he... (full context)
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug travel until they reach a mountain, where they stop to make... (full context)
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As the Gelatinous Giant again tries to eat the travelers, Milo asks the giant to help them rescue Rhyme and Reason. The giant refuses; it’ll never... (full context)
Chapter 18. Castle in the Air
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Milo, Tock, and the Humbug climb higher and higher, the demons behind them. Milo catches sight... (full context)
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This information recorded (the demons are gaining on the travelers), the Senses Taker says Milo can continue—after giving more information, such as how much ice cream he can eat in... (full context)
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The demons get closer and closer, but Milo, Tock, and the Humbug don’t notice.  Milo is so engrossed that his bag of gifts... (full context)
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...they break through the clouds and enter through the castle gates. Two sweet voices greet Milo, Tock, and the Humbug. The two women are clearly the Princess of Pure Reason and... (full context)
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Milo climbs onto the couch between the princesses and apologizes for taking so long. He made... (full context)
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Milo has another question, but at that moment, he hears something chopping. The demons are cutting... (full context)
Chapter 19. The Return of Rhyme and Reason
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...and Reason still on his back, leads the way down the mountainside. The demons shriek. Milo looks back as he runs and sees the Triple Demons of Compromise, who settle their... (full context)
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Milo’s lungs burn, but the path gets flatter and wider. He can see light and safety... (full context)
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The monsters of Ignorance are terrified. They turn back to the mountains and Milo greets the victorious army. Everyone cheers, and then, a man unrolls a huge scroll and... (full context)
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Finally, after three days, the carnival packs up and Reason says it’s time to go. Milo now remembers his home, but he’s sad to leave. Milo looks around at his new... (full context)
Chapter 20. Good-by and Hello
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As Milo drives, he realizes he’s been gone for weeks. He hopes no one is worried. Finally,... (full context)
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After school the next day, Milo plans to go back to the Lands Beyond—but when he gets home, the tollbooth is... (full context)
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Sad, Milo curls up in his armchair. He thinks of Tock and the Humbug, Rhyme and Reason,... (full context)