Book Review: Flatland

I finally got around to reading Flatland by Edwin Abbott. Actually when Abbott first wrote this book back in 1884 it was published under the name A Square. This book is a very exciting journey through the world of Flatland.

What’s Flatland you ask? This is the 2-Dimensional world in which Square lives. Where you and I live in a world with three dimensions (i.e. x, y, and z), Square lives in a world with no ‘height.’ Only the x and y directions. In this reality, everything you would see is a line segment. Imagine a square sitting on table. If you were to lower your eyeline closer and closer to the edge of the table, the square would eventually become a line, who’s length is the length of one edge of the square. All shapes are then lines: circles, triangles, polygons.
In this book, the author is recounting his story of being shown the 3rd dimension. A being, named Sphere, pulls Square out of his 2 dimensions and into the 3rd.
An interesting part of this book is the its commentary on the world in which Abbott lived. In describing the culture and lives of the people of Flatland, you learn more about Abbott’s views of his own. For instance, all women are lines. The men are divided into many classes depending on their shape. Isoceles triangles are the lowest class, then equilateral, then squares, then polygons, and circles are considered to be the ‘priests.’
I hope I’ve enticed you enough to go check this book it out. It’s a very unique book; not much like anything else I’ve ever read. The best part is this book is free because the copyright licences is over and is now in the public domain! Go check it out. it’s an amazing book.
happy reading!

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