Edwin A. Abbott

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Flatland can help.
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Flatland published in 1992.
Chapter 1 Quotes

To the Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL
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
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

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

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:

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:
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:

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:
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:

Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn his lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.

Page Number: Page 75
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
No matches.