The Phantom Tollbooth Analysis

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Writing 5 Rachna Shah From Null to Beyond: The Writing of Space/Geospatial Storytelling in The Phantom Tollbooth … “‘I don 't think there really is such a country," [Milo] concluded after studying [the map] carefully. "Well, it doesn 't matter anyway." And he closed his eyes and poked a finger at the map.” —The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961 … When we travel to a new place, one of the first tools we acquire is a map, a tool that gives boundaries to and guides us through the unknown through visualizing spatial relationships. As one of the first ways we are exposed to an unfamiliar place, a map plays a significant role in authoritatively constructing the place’s identity. In fantasy novels, a map of the…show more content…
As the field’s original purposes were colonial and religious expansion, maps provide and impose a specific way of perceiving a world; they represent both progress (by showing what is known) and potential (by showing what is unknown through blanks). A fictive map represents imaginary geography, conveying the thematic implication of the setting’s form and content. Literary cartographers create a relationship between a map of a text’s setting and the text where the map is “an [authorial] graphic representation of spatial relations among [the] places or objects [within] the literary work” (Bushell 2012). Fictive maps are based primarily in fantasy, which provides the reader with life lessons through escapism and medieval and/or supernatural elements. These elements are developed through world-building, where the landscape and man-made structures convey power dynamics and how society operates, and presented through a…show more content…
This notion is furthered by the names of the main locations within the forest: Point of View, Illusions, and Reality. There are two regions of clearing in the forest, suggesting the presence of human settlement; one is blank and in the other clearing, Illusions and Reality are on opposite sides. An illusion is a false interpretation of sight; reality is how things are, not what they are imagined to be. Once, Reality was a beautiful city. However, as people did not pay attention to the importance of seeing their environment, the city passed out of sight. People forgot reality and began to start living in Illusions. The proximity of these locations on the map is because Illusions

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