Flatland Essay, Research Paper
FLATLAND, by Edwin A. Abbott
The main idea of this book, as I see it, is if your ideas are too progressive society may not be ready to accept them and you may be punished for them. There is also the theme that there may be more to life than what you can actually see .
This story takes place on the eve of the millenium in the year 1999. The basic setting is in a land called Flatland with travels to Lineland and Spaceland. Basically, these are worlds with different dimensions; first, second and third.
The main characters in Flatlands are:
1. The narrator, a Square who describes his travels and dreams throughout the book.
2. The Monarch of Lineland, He is the leader in the first dimension.
3. Sphere, a being from Spaceland who appears to Square to impart the wisdom of the third dimension.
The first half of this book is dedicated to an explanation and history of the world and the inhabitants of Flatland. The main character is the narrator and he is a Square. In his realm, the people are distinguished in classes by their shapes, i.e., Lines are women and are considered one of the lower life forms while Circles are the highest life form in their society. Women do not have the ability to learn or remember. Circles, which are actually polygons with innumerable sides, are the Priests who lead society. The irregular shapes born into this society are either destroyed at birth or utilized in some inhumane way for educational purposes. Every being in this world has the ability to bear offspring which are a level higher than themselves, thereby ensuring that throughout generations, all families may eventual achieve the highest life form. All inhabitants in Flatland share the same senses; they can hear, see with one eye, and feel. There was once color in their world but it became prohibited when it was being used to disguise their real form and further, when it was suggested that color be used to give everyone equality.
In the second half of this book the narrator takes you to a dreamland of his, Lineland, where the inhabitants are even more limited than Flatland. They cannot move or see very well and have no sense of left or right, however, their sense of hearing is much keener. They live in the first dimension.
Finally, Square is visited by a being from the Third Dimension or Spaceland. This visitor is a Sphere who is sent to impart the knowledge of the third dimension to Square. He takes Square into his world to prove the existence of this dimension. This trip opens Square s mind to the possibility that there may exist other realms which he has not yet seen. Square returns to Flatland with the desire to educate his people about this new dimension, and the possibility of others, and ends up imprisoned for life because of these views.