The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by

Norton Juster

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The Whether Man Character Analysis

The Whether Man is the first person Milo meets in the Lands Beyond. He lives in Expectations and, when people honk, he runs to the road to dispense advice. But the Whether Man hates making decisions, so his speech only confuses Milo because he won’t speak clearly or without using wordplay that goes right over Milo’s head.
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The Whether Man Character Timeline in The Phantom Tollbooth

The timeline below shows where the character The Whether Man appears in The Phantom Tollbooth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2. Beyond Expectations
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
...times. In this manner, the man welcomes Milo to Expectations and introduces himself as the Whether Man . Shocked by the greeting, Milo asks if he’s on the right road for Dictionopolis.... (full context)
Knowledge, Learning, and the Purpose of Education Theme Icon
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
...Milo says he thought the man was the Weather Man—but the man says he’s the Whether Man because “it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather... (full context)
Language, Wordplay, Fun, and Logic Theme Icon
Boredom, Beauty, and Modern Life Theme Icon
Absurdity vs. Reason Theme Icon
Though Milo doesn’t know where he’s going, he tells the Whether Man he can find his own way. The Whether Man asks Milo to return his way... (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
Milo drives away into a green valley. As he drives, Milo tells himself that the Whether Man is the strangest person he’s ever met. (Milo doesn’t know he's going to meet many... (full context)