Flatland

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The narrator and protagonist of the story, which he writes in prison—he has been arrested for attempting to educate others about the third dimension. A Square can be seen as the voice of Abbot himself (Edwin’s last name consists of two “Abbotts,” so A Square could be a pseudonym derived from “A-squared”). Given that he is a mathematician, A Square is rational, curious, and passionate, particularly in the quest for knowledge and desire to enlighten his fellow countrymen. He is a square and, additionally, belongs in Flatland’s social class of professionals and gentlemen, as a lawyer. Although he often exhibits the tendency to be overcome by his emotions, A Square is humble enough to accept the teachings of the Sphere and enthusiastic enough to spread the Gospel of Three Dimensions.

A Square Quotes in Flatland

The Flatland quotes below are all either spoken by A Square or refer to A Square. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Flatland published in 1992.
Chapter 1 Quotes

To the Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL
And H. C. IN PARTICULAR
This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page vi
Explanation and Analysis:

This dedicatory note marks the beginning of Flatland and states clearly and concisely Abbott’s purpose in writing this work. Written in the voice of the narrator, A Square, it mentions the importance of humility and modesty in gaining and seeking new knowledge of higher dimensions, which he hopes will lead to an expansion of the imagination. As a satire of Victorian Britain, Flatland is particularly invested in persuading its readers to understand the reality of their lives and to pursue higher truths and knowledge in search of better worlds (in this case, extra dimensions) and, more importantly, a faith in God that isn’t controlled by those in power.

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Alas, a few years ago, I should have said ‘my universe:’ but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 3
Explanation and Analysis:

A Square is reflecting on the effects that his past experiences—which make up the story of the book—have had on his self-development. At this moment, he is already the fully-developed character that has learned and grown from what he has experienced in his Flatland life. Due to the knowledge he gains from the events that he is about to narrate, he obtains an elevated sense of his world that causes him to change the way he speaks. What he would have called his “universe,” he now simply calls his “country.” The knowledge that he gains from this narrative journey is clearly something larger and grander than all of Flatland, and it is this transformation that A Square is hoping to share with his readers. In this way he also encourages his readers to perhaps expand their views of their own “universes,” and consider whether what they think of as a universe might actually just be a “country” within a larger world.

Chapter 3 Quotes

How admirable is the Law of Compensation! And how perfect a proof of the natural fitness and, I may almost say, the divine origin of the aristocratic constitution of the states of Flatland!

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 9
Explanation and Analysis:

The ruling class of Circles establish many different “Laws of Nature,” which cast their (often arbitrary, and shamelessly self-promoting) laws as divinely determined and impossible to refute. Notice how A Square cites the very “natural” quality and “divine origin” of the Law of Compensation. Although A Square is clearly being very sarcastic in this quote and in describing the Priests’ laws, it will be evident in later chapters of the book that A Square is not immune himself in adopting these dangerous ways of thinking. Since the Circles’ power is considered to be divine and natural, it literally precludes any sort of resistance or rebellion. In this way, the social hierarchy is maintained indeterminately and new knowledge is never sought.

Chapter 4 Quotes

A Male of the lowest type of the Isosceles may look forward to some improvement of his angle, and to the ultimate elevation off the whole of his degraded case, but no Women can entertain such hopes for her sex. ‘Once a Woman, always a Woman’ is a Decree of Nature; and the very Laws of Evolution seem suspended in her disfavour.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 14
Explanation and Analysis:

This is another decree of “Nature” that specifically pertains to the women of Flatland. What is particularly striking is that the way Flatland regards and treats their women is an allegory for the way women were treated in Victorian Britain. By establishing Flatland as an analogy for England, Abbott satirizes the horrific ways women were kept powerless and forced to act as simply flat and one-dimensional beings in both his fictional and real world. Once again, the social hierarchy is preserved precisely because it call upon “Nature” as its main constructor. If the world is built in a certain way, then reality cannot be argued against—but it’s the ones in power who decide how to say it’s built.

Chapter 5 Quotes

It is with us a Law of Nature that the brain of the Isosceles class shall begin at half a degree, or thirty minutes, and shall increase (if it increases at all) by half a degree in every generation until the goal of 60 degrees is reached, when the condition of serfdom is quitted, and the freeman enters the class of Regulars.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 17
Explanation and Analysis:

The number of “natural laws” that govern Flatland society is never-ending. Note how absurd this particular law is. It equates the amount of intelligence a person has with their angle measure, and it states a specific degree at which the Isosceles class (and their very “brain”) begins. It must be mentioned that this number is clearly arbitrary. Whether the class begins at half a degree or one degree does not matter. This law is put in place in order to establish concrete social boundaries between classes and strengthen the underlying foundation of the social hierarchy, of which the Circles occupy the very top. The specific word choice in describing non-Regulars as belonging to “serfdom” and becoming a “freeman” makes clear that these figures truly have little social authority in Flatland—and, moreover, are clearly analogous to social classes in Europe.

Chapter 7 Quotes

All this very plausible reasoning does not convince me, as it has not convinced the wisest of our Statesmen, that our ancestors erred in laying it down as an axiom of policy that the toleration of Irregularity is incompatible with the safety of the State.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 24
Explanation and Analysis:

Recall that A Square himself enjoys a relatively normal life in Flatland as a square. Thus, he is mostly aligned with and accustomed to the doctrines of the Circles, and for most of his life has seen no reason to contradict them. Throughout several points in the book and in this quote, he finds it difficult to completely extricate himself from the kind of thinking espoused by the Circles and other nobility. Here, A Square agrees with society’s intolerance of Irregularity (that is, figures with unequal sides or angles) without offering any sort of rational reason for why irregularity is truly a vice, besides the fact that it allows irregular figures to present a larger angle to others. Through A Square, Abbott illustrates how dangerous and embedded the doctrines of those in power can become, and how absurd it is to equate physical appearance with morality or value.

Chapter 12 Quotes

As to the doctrine of the Circles it may briefly be summed up in a single maxim, “Attend to your Configuration.”

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Flatland society is governed by this single, all-encompassing axiom that basically commands all Flatlanders to accept their places in society and live complacently with their fates, which are entirely decided by their number of sides and the regularity of their angles. It is truly terrifying to see how completely the Circles dominate Flatland society. Notice also that the Circles are considered the “priests” of Flatland and they teach certain “doctrines”—suggesting that to the Flatlanders, the Circles’ teachings equate to the teachings of a religion they wholeheartedly accept as true and indisputable. (In the analogy to Victorian England, this would be as if the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen were the same person.) This is the way in which the Circles consolidate their power, by restricting what is deemed as knowledge and teaching their own doctrines to the people as sacred and “natural” laws.

Chapter 13 Quotes

It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch—as he called himself—was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker), The Monarch of Lineland
Page Number: Pages 44-45
Explanation and Analysis:

The Monarch of Lineland is the epitome of ignorance. Importantly, he demonstrates that the biggest obstacle to learning is arrogance and close-mindedness. In fact, understanding the concept of extra dimensions is not a problem of intelligence in the book. Although the Circles dictate that intelligence is measurable by the degrees of one’s angle, and thus restrict educating those who do not have the “brainpower” to understand complex concepts, Abbott instead suggests that knowledge is not achievable to those who are not willing to accept new ideas. Thus, the Monarch of Lineland stands in as a harsh representation of anyone from the aristocratic nobility who is so self-absorbed that he takes for granted his world as the entirety of the universe.

Chapter 15 Quotes

“Go to bed,” said I, a little ruffled by this interruption: “If you would talk less nonsense, you would remember more sense.”

Related Characters: A Square (speaker), A Square’s Grandson
Page Number: Page 53
Explanation and Analysis:

When the Grandson asks A Square about the geometrical meaning of three-to-the-third, A Square sends the precocious hexagon to bed, annoyed by the boy’s “nonsense” question. Despite professing himself to rational and logical (after all, he is a male figure of Flatland), A Square cannot prevent being swayed by his emotions. Thus it’s easily revealed as false that reason is the exclusive quality of men, and emotion the domain of women. Notice also that A Square’s response to his Grandson is not unlike that of the Monarch of Lineland, who refused to listen to A Square’s lessons on the second dimension.

Chapter 17 Quotes

Why will you refuse to listen to reason? I had hoped to find in you—as being a man of sense and an accomplished mathematician—a fit apostle for the Gospel of the Three Dimensions, which I am allowed to preach once only in a thousand years…

Related Characters: The Sphere / The Stranger (speaker), A Square
Page Number: Page 62
Explanation and Analysis:

In response to A Square’s frustrated attempt to ram his hardest angle into the Sphere, the Sphere professes his disappointment in his pupil, who he hoped could be his next apostle to preach the “Gospel of the Three Dimensions.” This quote is full of religious metaphors that illustrate Abbott’s intention of interrelating religious knowledge with the very rational field of mathematics. Abbott did not see the two as mutually exclusive, but presented scientific thinking and research as having a role in individual spirituality, as a means of understanding the mysteries of God. However, the Anglican Church, like the Circles of Flatland, have a monopoly on controlling what is deemed as legitimate religious knowledge, restraining people from having a freely meaningful connection with divinity.

Chapter 18 Quotes

“Either this is madness or it is Hell.” “It is neither, calmly replied the voice of the Sphere, “it is Knowledge; it is Three Dimensions: open your eye once again and try to look steadily.”

Related Characters: A Square (speaker), The Sphere / The Stranger (speaker)
Related Symbols: Light and Shade
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

When the Sphere finally takes A Square physically into Spaceland, the Flatlander first sees darkness and assumes that he is either imagining things or has been sent to the depths of Hell. Yet the Sphere announces that this darkness that he perceives is actually the landscape of Spaceland. It is the knowledge of the third dimension that appears as dark to A Square at first. Once he adjusts to seeing light and shade and perspective, he will understand the totality of Three Dimensions. What is interesting is Abbott’s choice in symbolizing knowledge as both light and dark. In literature, the common convention is to associate light with knowledge and dark with ignorance. However, in Flatland, both represent knowledge, such that darkness is a different form of knowledge. It symbolizes the awareness that some mysteries will remain unknowable, or unable to be explained. A Square may never fully grasp the third dimension to its fullest, but what is truly noble is his effort in seeking that truth.

Behold, I am become as a God. For the wise men in our country say that to see all things, or as they express it, omnividence, is the attribute of God alone.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker), The Sphere / The Stranger
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

After A Square is shown the landscape of Flatland from above in Spaceland, he expresses how he feels elevated to a status of divinity. Note that A Square is speaking exclusively from what he has learned from Flatland and the Circles’ teachings. The Circles have constricted the art of sight recognition to themselves and teach the idea that those who can “see” are naturally more divine. That is how they legitimize their authority in Flatland, and, thus, A Square thinks in those same terms. However, the Sphere denies the Circles’ doctrines and demonstrates how meaningless those teachings are in his own world. In keeping with the Flatlanders’ elevation of reason, A Square’s faulty ideas rely entirely on ability or “configuration,” and not at all on morality, which is, according to the Sphere, the true measure of holiness.

Chapter 19 Quotes

Henceforth, I have to relate the story of my miserable Fall:—most miserable, yet surely most undeserved! For why should the thirst for knowledge be aroused, only to be disappointed and punished?

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 70
Explanation and Analysis:

After A Square climactically realizes the truth of the third dimension, he goes on to tell the story of his unfortunate downfall. Consider the religious intonations that are conjured up by this “Fall.” A Square has fully grasped new knowledge of a higher world and has gained a new thirst for more knowledge, but he is defeated in the end by the powers that be. This story is not unlike the “Fall of Man,” in which Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, and were punished for it by being cast out of Paradise. Thus Abbott attaches more religious layers to his allegory, and deepens his story’s tragedy with the theme of too much knowledge leading to suffering.

And even as we, who are now in Space, look down on Flatland and see the insides of all things, so of a certainty there is yet above us some higher purer region, whither thou dost surely purpose to lead me…

Related Characters: A Square (speaker), The Sphere / The Stranger
Page Number: Page 71
Explanation and Analysis:

After having understood the immensity of the Gospel of Three Dimensions, A Square discovers a thirst for knowledge of even higher dimensions. In fact, for the curious mind knowledge begets the desire for more knowledge. Through the faculty of analogy, A Square reasons that there are even higher dimensions and requests that the Sphere teach him more. Thus, Abbott shows the full potential of analogy. Not only does he use analogy as a satirical device to expose the flaws inherent in the society of Victorian Britain, but he also demonstrates how analogy can be used to generate new knowledge and infer into deeper truths of higher dimensions—in the case of Flatland—as well as the mysteries of God.

Chapter 20 Quotes

It was not so clear as I could have wished; but I remembered that it must be “Upward, and yet not Northward,” and I determined steadfastly to retain these words as the clue which, if firmly grasped, could not fail to guide me to the solution.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Related Symbols: Words
Page Number: Page 75
Explanation and Analysis:

Back in his home in Flatland, A Square continually thinks about what he has learned from his visit to Spaceland. What is interesting is his constant concern over losing his understanding of the concept of the third dimension, suggesting that some knowledge cannot ever be fully understood without being experienced. Just like the mysteries of God, some knowledge is simply too abstract and difficult to understand solely with human faculties. However, the importance lies in the effort and determination to seek a fuller comprehension, even if that end is impossible to achieve. Notice also how A Square repeatedly relies on the words of this short axiom to retain his idea of the third dimension. Although words symbolize the limitations of understanding abstract knowledge, this particular quote illustrates their potential usefulness.

Chapter 22 Quotes

Yet I exist in the hope that these memoirs, in some manner, I know not how, may find their way to the minds of humanity in Some Dimension, and may stir up a race of rebels who shall refuse to be confined to limited Dimensionality.

Related Characters: A Square (speaker)
Page Number: Page 82
Explanation and Analysis:

A Square ends the book with hopes that his writing inspires his readers to seek enlightenment and gain knowledge, even if that means rebellion against the existing authorities or social order. In a way, Abbott is here speaking directly to his readers through the voice of A Square and expressing his own purpose and hopes of writing Flatland. Both A Square and Abbott speak of raising a rebellion among those who are trapped in the throes of a rigid and unfair society (or, in the case of Flatland, limited dimensionality)—and the way to freedom is through knowledge. Knowledge has the power to liberate by opening the eyes of the oppressed and offering salvation through the understanding of better worlds.

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A Square Character Timeline in Flatland

The timeline below shows where the character A Square appears in Flatland. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square , the narrator and protagonist, opens the book with Part I by introducing his readers... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square says that Flatlanders, lacking the ability to distinguish each other by sight, only see each... (full context)
Chapter 2
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square continues to illustrate his world by describing its physical environment. Flatland is organized by four... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
...windows because light shines on Flatland equally day and night. From the topic of light, A Square makes a digression and begins rambling about how learned men who questioned the origin of... (full context)
Chapter 3
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square describes the inhabitants of Flatland and how they are organized into social classes based on... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
...dictates that a male child is born with one more side than his father. However, A Square says, this rule does not consistently apply to the lower social classes of the triangles.... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square adds that the natural “Law of Compensation” also stifles sedition, because as the working class... (full context)
Chapter 4
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A Square begins a discussion of the women of Flatland. He starts by warning his readers of... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
In light of the social restrictions on women, A Square explains, the statesmen of Flatland have found that a too prohibitive Code has the tendency... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square asserts that Flatland women are prone to affection as a result of their unfortunate configuration.... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
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Although A Square acknowledges how horrifying Flatland’s treatment of women would seem to his readers in Spaceland, he... (full context)
Chapter 5
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
...light and shade in Spaceland, Flatlanders must take other measures to recognize each other’s configurations. A Square lists three methods of recognition. First, hearing is a basic way of distinguishing each other... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
A Square states that introduction by contact can also be potentially dangerous, as any sudden, unexpected movement... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
At this point, A Square addresses a question he believes his readers may have about discerning an angle and its... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square describes another law of Nature in Flatland that dictates that the brain of the Isosceles... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
  A Square then digresses into a topic of school board politics. Due to the abundance of individuals... (full context)
Chapter 6
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square lists a third and final method of recognition, that of sight, which is practiced only... (full context)
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square explains this with a specific example of discerning between a merchant who is an equal-sided... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Therefore, A Square states that the higher classes prohibit the practice of “feeling,” and from early on, their... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square states that there is a Final Test of sight recognition given to the polygonal class... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square begins by explicitly laying down a fundamental social rule, which has been only assumed thus... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square posits that if Flatlanders were irregular, then civilization would “relapse into barbarism” because most, if... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square defends the way in which the ancestors of Flatland have secured the safety of the... (full context)
Chapter 8
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
A Square proclaims that life is artistically dull in Flatland, since all they perceive are straight lines.... (full context)
Chapter 9
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
At the same time, A Square continues, the intellectual arts were dying. The arts of sight recognition and feeling were no... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
A Square asserts that the bill was devised in such a way that would gather the women’s... (full context)
Chapter 10
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
The revolution continued for three years, A Square says, during which violence ensued between the army of Isosceles triangles and that of Polygons.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square states that all the previous chapters have been introductory notes, and he says that Part... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
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Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
Before A Square attends to the main subject of his book, he makes a few remarks on the... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square continues by explaining the unique way circles are born. By “natural law,” as circles ascend... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
A Square also describes how Art can intervene in the process of “evolution.” Flatland physicians have discovered... (full context)
Chapter 12
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square discusses the doctrine of the Circles, which is concisely expressed by the axiom “Attend to... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
...social conduct to irregularity. Thus, he concluded that praise and blame are meaningless gestures. However, A Square points out the downsides to the indisputable doctrine. In the case of an Isosceles triangle... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Despite the doctrine’s teaching, A Square confesses that he sees the value of scolding and disciplining on his Grandson’s configuration, although... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square describes how the Circles’ emphasis on configuration has reversed the relational arrangement between parents and... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
After humbling himself and his square status, A Square indicates what he believes is the weak point of the Circles’ system: their relations with... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
...are recorded by the State. Only women with certified pedigrees are allowed to marry. Thus, A Square entertains the fact that it might be supposed that Circles would be careful in choosing... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
...few sides is not very noticeable and can be compensated at the Neo-Therapeutic Gymnasium. Yet A Square warns that if this does not stop, the circular race may cease, and Flatland will... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
A Square offers an additional warning, one relating to the relations between men and women. Three hundred... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square fears that this program of educational negligence of females is harmful to the Male Sex,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
Chapter 13 marks the beginning of Part II, which describes other worlds visited by A Square . On the last day of the 1999th year, he dreams of visiting Lineland, a... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square apologizes for possibly startling the Monarch of Lineland, and proceeds to ask him questions about... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
...no Linelander can pass each other, and thus they have the same neighbors for life. A Square notes that the limited lives of the Linelanders seem dismal, and he is surprised that... (full context)
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square then asks the Monarch of Lineland how his people marry and produce offspring when they... (full context)
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
...mouths and two voices, a bass and a tenor one. He admits that he assumed A Square to be a feminine monster with a bass voice. The king then states that Nature... (full context)
Chapter 14
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Tired of the Monarch of Lineland’s narrow-mindedness and ignorance, A Square decides to teach him of the nature of the second dimension and Flatland. He begins... (full context)
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
In defiance, A Square asks then how fraud (that is, disguising one’s voice) is detected and checked for. He... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square points out to the Monarch of Lineland that life in Lineland must be very boring... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
The Monarch of Lineland asks A Square to demonstrate “left” and “right.” But A Square feels limited when he tries to explain... (full context)
Chapter 15
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
Still the last day of 1999, A Square is sitting with his Wife and recalling an earlier incident with his Grandson. A Square... (full context)
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
A Square exclaims out loud that his Grandson is a fool, and immediately he feels a presence... (full context)
Chapter 16
Social Hierarchy and Oppression Theme Icon
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
Unable to clearly see his unexpected visitor, A Square feels the Stranger and believes him to be a perfect Circle. The Stranger announces that... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
The Stranger then attempts to convince A Square with a different argument concerning A Square’s Wife. The Stranger argues that, although, theoretically, the... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
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Since dimension has a direction and is something that can be measured, A Square asks the Stranger to measure his “height.” The Stranger decides to use plain words and... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
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The Sphere makes an analogy between the way A Square appears as a line to the Monarch of Lineland and the way he himself looks... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
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Although A Square indeed sees that the Sphere decreases in size as he “rose,” he still does not... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
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The Sphere begins by asking A Square what a point moving northward creates with its path of motion. A Square answers “a... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
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...points. Thus, he demonstrates the geometrical series of 1, 2, and 4, and he asks A Square for the next number, which is 8. The Sphere says that the object with 8... (full context)
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
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A Square asks if this resulting creature has sides. The Sphere answers that what Flatlanders call “sides”... (full context)
Chapter 17
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
A Square violently tries to rush his strongest right angle into the Sphere, but the Sphere raises... (full context)
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Knowledge and Truth vs. Dogma Theme Icon
Analogy as Satire Theme Icon
...while the objects become smaller. He then declares that he will touch the inside of A Square to prove that he comes from the third dimension. A Square feels pain from the... (full context)
Chapter 18
Religion, Divinity, and the Unknown Theme Icon
Reason vs. Emotion Theme Icon
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The terrified A Square first perceives darkness and is initially confused at seeing everything in three dimensions. The Sphere... (full context)
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The Sphere shows A Square the whole layout of Flatland and the inside of his house, where his grandsons are... (full context)
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The Sphere scorns A Square for his shortsightedness, and argues that if omnividence is really a quality of the divine,... (full context)
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A Square is confused by his teacher’s words, because he believes that being more merciful and more... (full context)
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A Square and the Sphere descend into the building. It is the first hour of the first... (full context)
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A Square declares that he is confident that he can enlighten the Circles. However, the Sphere stops... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The two return to space and the Sphere introduces A Square to the concept of solids. He stacks many square cards on top of each other... (full context)
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A Square states that this is climax of the story. He then proceeds to recount his fall.... (full context)
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A Square posits the existence of a land of Four Dimensions. However, the Sphere denies its existence,... (full context)
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A Square asks the Sphere to confirm or deny his hypothesis. The Sphere admits that some of... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Back in his Flatland home, A Square decides to hide his experiences from his Wife, so he reassures her with a fake... (full context)
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...anything other than himself, since he does not know what length, breadth, and height are. A Square is stunned by the complacency of the Point and tries to make him realize his... (full context)
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A Square and the Sphere return to Flatland, and the Sphere inspires A Square to teach others... (full context)
Chapter 21
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A Square wakes up from his dream and decides to start his mission of enlightenment with his... (full context)
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Threatened by the Council’s proclamation, A Square decides to keep his own revelation secret and to demonstrate what he has learned instead.... (full context)
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First, A Square relieves his Wife’s questions about the other night’s encounter with the Sphere. Then he immediately... (full context)
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A Square ’s Grandson hears the Proclamation and begins to cry at his grandfather’s request to repeat... (full context)
Chapter 22
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After failing to enlighten his Grandson, A Square decides to write a treatise on the mysteries of Three Dimensions, which he believes will... (full context)
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One day, 11 months after his return from Spaceland, A Square attempts to envision a cube, but fails at his first try. Although he eventually succeeds,... (full context)
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...mentioning ideas of seeing the “interiors of things” and of the Third and Fourth Dimensions, A Square gives an entire account of his experiences in Spaceland at a meeting of his Local... (full context)
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The next morning, A Square offers his defense to the President of the Council, but he is sentenced to eternal... (full context)
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A Square expresses regret because he does not have any converts. Yet he writes this memoir-like story... (full context)