The Phantom Tollbooth

by: Norton Juster

Important Quotations Explained

I'm afraid of everything. That's why I'm so ferocious. If the others found out, I'd just die. Now do be quiet while I eat my breakfast.

The Gelatinous Giant, one of the many demons Milo meets throughout Chapter 17 in the Mountains of Ignorance, is a monster of conformity. He lives every day trying to blend in and simply agree with everyone around him. Milo stumbles upon the giant because he is mimicking the mountains around him. This quotation illustrates Juster's viewpoint of group thinking. People who try to fit in by copying with everyone else, he seems to think, are just afraid of being different. The giant is also petrified that someone will find out that he is afraid because that might make him stand out from the crowd. He is, as he said, afraid of everything. The Gelatinous Giant is especially afraid of different ideas, as we learn when Milo uses the words in Azaz's box to scare him away.