Saturday, January 07, 2012

Favorite Quotes: The Phantom Tollbooth

My favorite Character from the Phantom Tollbooth is found in Chapter 14:  The Dodecahedron.

"You'll have to do better than that," scolded the Dodecahedron, "or you'll never know how far you've gone or whether or not you've ever gotten there."
"I'm not very good at problems," admitted Milo.
"What a shame," sighed the Dodecahedron.  "They're so very useful."

"All three roads arrive at the same place at the same time," interrupted Tock, who had patiently been doing the first problem.
"Correct!" shouted the Dodecahedron.  "And I'll take you there myself.  Now you can see how important problems are.  If you hadn't done this one properly, you might have gone the wrong way."
"But if all the roads arrive at the same place at the same time, then aren't they all the right way?" asked Milo.
"Certainly not!" he shouted, glaring from his most upset face.  "They're all the wrong way.  Just because you have a choice, it doesn't mean that any of them has to be right."

"Don't you know anything about numbers?'
"Well, I don't think they're very important," snapped Milo, too embarrassed to admit the truth.
"NOT IMPORTANT!" roared the Dodecahedron, turning red with fury.  "Could you have tea for two without the two--or three blind mice without the three? Would there be four corners of the earth if there weren't four? And how would you sail the seven seas without a seven?"
"All I meant was---" began Milo, but the Dodecahedron, overcome with emotion and shouting furiously, carried right on.
"If you had high hopes, how would you know how high they were? And did you know that narrow escapes come in all different widths? Would you travel the whole wide world without ever knowing how wide it was? And how could you do anything at long last, " he concluded, waving his arms over his head, "without knowing how long the last was? Why, numbers are the most beautiful and valuable things in the world.  Just follow me and I'll show you."

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