Flatland

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Flatland is a mathematical novel combining satire with logical thoughts on the many dimensions of this world. The author, Edward A. Abbott, is playing the role of a square in this two dimensional land known as: Flatland. He is a man of mathematics and the understanding of sequences in geometry. When trying to understand geometry this novel is a clever way of interpreting the different shapes and dimensions of it.

One of the central themes of Flatland pertains to the ignorance of what we cannot see or understand. The author shows several interviews in which the characters cannot comprehend what is unknown to them. When the narrator tries to explain to the king of Pointland and of Lineland, they are both incomprehensive of the thought of a dimension or even a land outside of their own. Then as the Sphere of Spaceland tries to reason with the narrator he could not even imagine a third dimension until he saw it for himself.

Another key theme is the observations of the social hierarchy and how polygons are suppressed under the strict government and pleasing the perfect Circle. Throughout the book the narrator uses the regularity and number of sides used to determined their social class rank to show how one will be treated and how they would live their lives. As for women and the poor Isosceles Triangle they are among the lowest of figures in Flatland. Unless one was of the ‘Circle’ status they were not as high up as them and their ideas were not considered among the Council. During the time frame that Abbott wrote this was the Victorian Era, and although everything was at peace there was still that oppression to the people of different social classes.

Although uncommon, combining literature with mathematics to better explain geometrics and become more aware of mathematical meanings was a crafty way of putting these two elements together. This novel expresses the themes clearly by adding the mathematical spin-off. To understand something not easily interpreted,...
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