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The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Language and Communication

In The Phantom Tollbooth, words are very important. In fact, for the folks who live in the Lands Beyond, words are pretty much the most important things in the world. Language is everything to the...

Time

When The Phantom Tollbooth begins, Milo takes a lot of things for granted, particularly time. He doesn't see the importance of time and is always either wasting it or rushing through it. He's so bo...

Philosophical Viewpoints

In The Phantom Tollbooth, everyone in the Lands Beyond suffers from the loss of Rhyme and Reason. These two princesses, while real characters, could also be seen as symbols of what their names repr...

Freedom and Confinement

The Phantom Tollbooth is all about freedom. Milo is free to travel and have imaginative adventures, so long as he has the tollbooth to take him there. So it's strange, then, that he keeps getting h...

Cunning and Cleverness

Sometimes it might seem as though every single one of the characters in The Phantom Tollbooth is smart. They're able to approach the world in different ways than we do, and they can manipulate lang...

Education

This book is all about learning, but sneakily so. On the surface, The Phantom Tollbooth seems like an exciting quest fantasy, with bad guys, sidekicks, and beautiful princesses. But, as Adam Gopnik...

Versions of Reality

In The Phantom Tollbooth, the different zones of the Lands Beyond may seem really out there at first. It's true that both the Lands and their people can stretch the laws of physics, mathematics, an...

Exploration

In The Phantom Tollbooth, it takes a ton of courage for Milo to get in his little car and pass through the Phantom Tollbooth. He knows he's going someplace he's never been to or even heard of befor...

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